Why ‘Lousy Bosses’ Are Killing Your Business
In leadership roles, we look at how well the people (or the team or department) we manage are performing, according to pre-determined goals.
The ongoing review is to work out how to enhance performance, increase productivity and encourage people to meet goals when they are not achieving them. Whilst we expect them to perform the role to the best of their ability, we also expect them to be polite to us, and each other.
What about when you have the boss from hell? The person who greets you sometimes and ignores you at others? The boss who tells you what to do, but is not prepared to do something themselves? The same boss who tells the team they want everybody to be ‘highly performing’ and yet doesn’t finish their own work on time.
A recent study conducted in the USA, found that almost 80 percent of the employees surveyed identified their boss as a ‘lousy manager.’
Seventy percent of people in that study stated that their immediate superior had ‘no clue’ as to how to be a good manager or lead people effectively.
Author Harvey Hornstein, Ph.D, estimates that 90 percent of the U.S. work force has been subjected to abusive behavior by a boss at some time. He bases his conclusions on a survey of nearly 1,000 workers over eight years.
The better the leader, the more engaged the staff
Research informs us that happy employees are more productive and add value to the bottom line. We also know that the better the leader, the more engaged staff are.
In a recent study completed by Harvard Business Review on the effectiveness of 2,865 leaders in a large financial services company, a direct correlation was found between levels of employee engagement and the overall effectiveness of their bosses (judged not just by the employees themselves, but by their bosses, colleagues, and other associates).
The overall finding was that the best leaders were supervising the happiest, most engaged, most committed employees — those who are happier than 92% of their colleagues.
A ‘bad’ boss makes all the difference
You can throw money, prestige, opportunity and excellent rewards at people to increase their engagement and motivation, but nothing will make a difference if they are stuck under a ‘lousy’ boss.
People lose motivation and interest – and profitability walks out the door!
A difference of $250 million
In a study completed in 2000 by Researchers Rucci, Kirn and Quinn, they identified the ‘employee-customer-profit chain’ at a leading American organisation, Sears.
This was a straightforward dynamic in which employee behaviour affected customer behaviour, which in turn affected company financial performance.
Specifically, in Sears’ case, when employee satisfaction improved by 5%, customer satisfaction improved by 1.3%, which led to a .05% improvement in revenue. That might not sound significant, but for $50 billion Sears, this resulted in an extra $250 million in sales.
Employee satisfaction is driven by leadership. A great leader makes significant impact on driving the troops forward. A bad boss makes significant impact on the troops walking out the door, having secured better employment opportunities elsewhere.