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Strengths and weaknesses of New Zealand leaders

Having the ability to measure and analyse aspects of organisation, team and leadership performance, helps us find out what’s really going on. Both large and small company CEOs are often left insulated from information that could challenge their assumptions allowing them to perceive a looming threat or opportunity differently. And it is not the CEOs alone who battle with the challenges of people telling them what they think their bosses want to hear, or worse, people being fearful of telling their bosses things they believe they do not want to hear; managers and people leaders at all levels of the organisation are experiencing some degree of these challenges as well.

Access to better information

To help executives burst their CEO bubble and give them more transparency around what’s really going on, a powerful new benchmarking insight has been made available for the first time from AskYourTeam. This insight report presents survey results taken from 36,000 participants across a range of industries and sectors where individual respondents span all levels of an organisation. Shining a light on how Kiwi leaders are doing in the areas that matter most. 

The survey asks a range of 64 questions that fall under the 13 most proven Organisation Success Factors (OSF’s), covering every aspect of the workplace from remuneration, project planning, health and safety, personal development, culture and communication.

The findings offer leadership teams comprehensive health checks to the New Zealand workplace - akin to an MRI scan for the modern business. Of course, age, role, gender, tenure and so on play a part in how these trends can be analysed. Here we are bringing together results from across the board. These are the strongest and weakest attributes of New Zealand’s business leaders.

What leaders are getting right?

Building teams

Findings show that New Zealand leaders are succeeding in building teams that are closely aligned with the strategic objectives of the company. Employees responding to the survey regularly asserted that their individual targets and measures closely matched those of the business and also expressed understanding of how their actions affect the wider organisation - this was the top ranked assertion across the survey. Leaders are providing a culture of involvement, empowering their employees and as a result lifting performance.

Vision and direction

Employees express confidence in their leader’s ability to take their people and the organisation in the right direction. Results show that staff are regularly able to identify the vision and strategy for their organisation and this indicates that leadership is communicating company goals effectively with everyone involved. That people are expressing confidence in strategic direction from those in charge is no mean feat in today’s competitive and often uncertain global economy.

Customer-focused leadership

Staff report feeling motivated to put their customers first because of the outward focus of Kiwi business. Workers believe that bosses give customer relationships the right amount of importance in their business and this shows that customer-focussed behaviour should come from the top. This is the third highest ranked assertion showing that New Zealand leadership is doing well at developing customer-focussed business.

Strategic agility

This research shows that New Zealand workers have faith in their leaders to keep pace with the competition and what is happening in the marketplace. Employees believe that the performance of their company is comparable to other organisations in the same space. Not only do Kiwi bosses respond to the competition with agility, employees also feel that leadership is effective in identifying and acting upon opportunities to grow and innovate in order to gain competitive advantage.

Open to news

Telling the truth at work can be tricky at times. This data shows that employees feel leaders are providing a working environment in which people are comfortable enough to speak up and tell the truth even if it means delivering not-so-great news. This shows leaders are building strong bonds with their staff and creating a workplace where people trust those in charge to respond rationally and constructively to any issue.

Where leaders need to lift?

Lack of consultation

Employees want to contribute to the success of the company they work for. However, survey findings report that the number one gripe about their job is feeling left in the dark when changes are made by those in charge. Disgruntled workers feel that their bosses make changes without consulting everyone who could be affected by the decision. Not only do staff want to hear what is going on at their company, they also want to be asked for their input into how the organisation runs or how to improve the business. In not providing channels for staff to have a regular say, leaders leave staff feeling disenfranchised.

Poor communication

Despite our leaders providing an environment in which bad news can be broken safely, results show that employees feel that their boss doesn’t provide the motivating communication they want. Bad communication by leadership leaves employees feeling uninspired and demotivated particularly relating to deadline or plan changes.

Bullying safeguards

The effects of bullying and conflict within a workplace can be serious. However, according to results, leadership teams do not have clear and effective systems in place for dealing with intimidating behaviour and workplace bullying which are not applied equally to everyone. Respondents may feel more forthcoming around this issue due to the survey’s anonymity. 

Failure to learn

Leaders are missing opportunities when it comes to reviewing the success of a project. Employees report that there is a serious lack of review process when it comes to seeing how well the actual outcomes of a project reflected the forecasted outcome. There is a lack of information and analysis and so no actions are taken to try and improve next time round. Companies easily fall into a cycle of underperformance when failing to learn from previous and ongoing work.

Poor project planning

Data shows that leaders are failing when it comes to managing ‘concept to project’. Early planning and organising of a project or initiative is key to motivating and creating a culture of involvement with the team to ensure a project’s success. Leaders are reported to be failing at the first hurdle with a lack of research and effective planning into a project. This is a critical weakness in New Zealand’s leadership.

To learn more, sign up for the latest in leadership thinking and tools for free.

Date: 6th October 2017
Category: Report
Ask Your Team
Ask Your Team
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