Leadership Effectiveness is Your #1 Priority
By Lisa Sterling, Chief People Officer, Ceridian
When you have the honor of being in a leadership position within an organization, the importance of selecting the right people and empowering them cannot be understated. By delegating to the right people and knowing you can trust them to do what they are tasked with – and follow through with it – you are freed up to focus more time and attention on other critical areas of the organization. Running the business, then, becomes second nature. It is a cycle that, when approached, implemented and maintained correctly, can have profound and tremendous benefits. After all, when you take care of your people, your people take care of your customers and the rest, well, it just works.
But, when people don’t have the tools, resources, guidance, feedback and coaching to do their jobs effectively, it hampers their experience with your company. Engagement, productivity and satisfaction levels all plummet, ushering in a whole slew of problems for the company, from high turnover to drops in performance.
The issue of ineffective leadership
According to Workplace Insight, recent studies have indicated a major issue with today’s leadership. The source explained that one survey found:
- 50 percent of management professionals lack leadership skills.
- Almost 20 percent don’t have adequate planning skills.
- 14 percent are lagging in communication capabilities.
Furthermore, Workplace Insight also revealed a separate study showing the top skill organizations need to focus on improving over the next few years is people management, followed closely by performance management.
For leadership effectiveness to be the top priority, organizations need to be more deliberate when it comes to the following:
1. Selecting the right people for leadership roles
One of the worst mistakes leaders can make is basing promotions and leadership decisions on tenure. Appointing someone to a leadership role is important and the person chosen can have a tremendous effect on organizational success. How long someone has been at the business does not necessarily translate to their effectiveness as a leader or their commitment to the role, people or company.
Furthermore, just because they are top performers on an individual level doesn’t mean they will automatically hold the same weight of valuable contribution from a leadership angle. There are certain qualities, behaviors and traits that make someone excel in these roles. And while many can certainly be strengthened, built and improved upon with time and the right training, there are some key behaviors and characteristics in someone’s personality that indicate they would be particularly effective as leaders.
2. Support them with programs
You should be investing in the development of all your employees. But, just how you would prioritize training programs for career development and new systems for the organization, you should also offer development programs to advance the effectiveness of your company’s leaders. It is important to keep in mind that this is not something that just affects the managers and leaders – it has a ripple effect that trickles down to all levels. The influence of your business’ leaders today impacts how staff members feel and function in the roles. It also affects the type of leaders they will or will not become as they advance their careers throughout the company, or whether they decide to even stay there at all.
When you establish these two strategies into your organization, you will be much better positioned to build a better leadership experience.
As EVP and Chief People Officer for Ceridian, Lisa has a dual responsibility for Ceridian’s overall global people and HR strategies as well as overseeing the product vision and strategy for Dayforce Talent Management.
Prior to joining Ceridian, Lisa served as a Partner and Technology Solutions Leader for Mercer’s Talent Solutions business. Lisa also served in both a product and people strategist role at Ultimate Software as Head of People Engagement. As a Partner at Kenexa – an IBM company – she led the design and deployment efforts of the organization’s performance, succession and career development solution. She’s currently a Human Capital Executive Research Board Member and sought after speaker on various talent management topics.