We surveyed almost 700 professionals across different industries in Australia and New Zealand to gain insight into how leadership plays a part in the performance of a team.
The results reveal that 80% of professionals think poor leadership decreases trust and openness, 66% think it blocks their performance and 51% feel it presents team alignment with organisational goals.
In fact, when asked what negatively impacts team performance most, poor leadership appeared at the top of the list, followed by not having clearly defined goals and objectives.
Sinead Hourigan, Director of Brisbane says: “It’s not surprising that poor leadership creates these problems, especially in a market where salary is no longer a key attraction. While money is a great reward for a job well done, it’s not always what your reports are after. They want a feeling of inclusion in decision-making and in achieving the team’s objectives.
So, how can leaders improve for better team performance? According to the survey, the leadership style that engages and motivates people the most is a style based on shared leadership and accountability. This was the style favoured by 66% of our respondents. The next popular style was self-directing (29%), while the traditional, top-down leadership style trailed behind at only 5%. Interestingly, while professionals overwhelmingly preferred shared accountability, 43% of said the leadership style in their organisation was top-down.
“When speaking to candidates looking for a new role a resounding number are looking for a role where they will feel valued and part of the wider business goals. And this is why a participatory style is more engaging – in the eyes of an employee it equates to feeling valued. It’s not always possible to implement such a style, and that’s fine, but where a top-down style does work best for you and your organisation, communication is vital so decision making is seen as a consultative process,”.
The qualities of a great leader
When it came to the personal qualities of team leaders, 78% of professionals rated “supports team members” as the most important quality in their leaders.
If it is the case that you have too many reports and not enough time, it may be a good idea to implement a mentoring program to ensure all staff are getting the support they need.
Other important qualities in a leader include being a genuine and open communicator and the ability to visualise objectives and end goals.
To understand the formula of high performing teams, view our whitepaper on ‘Developing high performing teams to drive business performance and engagement’.
For more information, contact us.