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Business leaders 'must improve their behaviour'
HR News |
Bad behaviour from senior business executives risks undermining employee engagement levels and hampering productivity, a report has suggested.
Research conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) indicates that only 36 per cent of workers trust their senior leaders.
In addition, more than half (58 per cent) display signs of having adopted a 'not bothered' attitude to their work.
The survey found that employees who display 'neutral' engagement are about half as likely to 'go the extra mile' than those who are engaged.
They are also nearly three times more likely to be looking for a new job, which may force employers to use resources recruiting and training new staff.
Peter Cheese, chief executive at the CIPD, said there have been a number of examples reported in the media in recent months of unethical behaviours and corrosive cultures overseen by senior leaders.
And as such, it is "perhaps unsurprising" to see trust in the workplace eroding, he noted.
"What’s worrying is the impact this will have on engagement. We know that strong employee engagement drives higher productivity and better business outcomes, so such a prominent display of 'neutral engagement' in the workplace should act as a real wake up call for employers," Mr Cheese stated.
“Now more than ever, organisations need to pay close attention to the impact the behaviours of senior leaders is having on the rest of the workforce and consider how they can improve corporate culture from the top down."
He said the HR profession is "uniquely positioned" to help organisations properly understand existing cultures and behaviours, to re-examine and re-define corporate values and to revisit the way in which those values are reinforced, incentivised and rewarded through the day-to-day behaviours by managers.
“Employees also need to believe their views are respected and that they have a voice in the organisation, otherwise there is a risk that when things go wrong, no-one tells the executive team until it is too late," Mr Cheese stated.
"Just as importantly, empowered and engaged employees are able to provide customer-inspired innovation and ensure organisations' products and services adapt quickly to take advantage of fast changing markets."
He claimed that building trust in senior leaders and employee engagement requires a shift away from traditional command and control styles of leadership to a distributed leadership model.
This is where managers at all levels have the ability to win hearts and minds, and get the best out of their people in the service of the organisation, the CIPD boss explained.
Posted by Stephen Wilkinson
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