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Why 44% of Today’s Leaders Are Unhappy With Their Employees’ Performance & their Own Communication Style

Forty-four percent of business leaders at various levels and a variety of industry categories reported disappointment in the performance results of their employees, in a survey recently conducted by Leadership & Workplace Communication Expert Skip Weisman.

In the survey, whose results were released this week, 70% of those struggling business leaders also believe they need a new approach to how they communicate so they can better motivate for better results.

Leaders responding to the survey indicated significant frustration in motivating their people due to a number of key factors, including:

• An inability to rally team members to focus on a common goal,

• Dealing with a lack of cohesion between employees, and

• Employees looking outside of themselves for reasons of sub-par performance

• Employees engaging in excuse-making and

• Employees engaging in distracting behaviors that take attention away from the job at hand.

Another big issue for these organizational leaders was a lack of time to invest in connecting with their team members, both as a group and also individually, in one-on-one discussions.

This is why these leaders reported they felt they needed a new approach to how they communicated with their employees to improve performance.

Despite reporting an investment of 37% of their time communicating one-on-one to motivate employees to meet the performance expectations for their role, the business leaders responding to this survey felt they needed to change their approach.

The reason for this desire to change their approach to their own leadership communication is that 37% of a leader’s total communication time communicating one-on-one is significant, and the return on their investment is not adequate.

There are three ways to address this issue: 

  • increase the time allotted to one-one-one communication with employees (I would recommend raising it to 50%)
  • improve their style and message so that it leads to behavior and attitude changes that lead to performance improvements
  • evaluate the type of one-on-one conversations the leader is having with their team members, and adjust to attain better performance. There are three primary types of one-on-one discussions a leader might have:
    • issue/problem based
    • performance based
    • career based

In order to improve an individual team member’s performance more time must be invested in performance and career discussions and less on issues/problems.

Another vital determination leaders must make is whether the lack of performance results is due to an individual’s attitude and motivation or their skills, talents and ability.

Without determining if the problem is one of attitude or one of ability, there is a high-probability the wrong solution will be applied potentially causing more stress, frustration, a loss of resources, and continued disappointment in performance results.

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