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8 signs your leadership style is outdated

By Fi Darby | 17 May 2019

If you are a manager, you will understand that we live in a world of constant change. Whether the changes that influence your industry are political, economical or technological, chances are that they will already have a significant impact on you and your workforce

Your management style is important to the happiness of your employees and therefore, as happy employees make for a more productive workforce to your company’s success. 

However, you live in a busy world and might not have had time recently to sit back and consider whether or not your management style needs renewing. We have read the research, done the work for you and composed a list of eight signs that your leadership style might be outdated.

What are the signs your leadership style is outdated?

  1. You don't trust your employees.
  2. You build ineffective teams.
  3. You have ignored requests for flexible working.
  4. You are secretive about salary information.
  5. You are holding on to annual formal performance reviews.
  6. You lose track of former employees.
  7. You send too many emails.
  8. You ignore people’s passions.

1. You don’t trust your employees.

no trust concept

The signs of employee mistrust are clear. If you are always finding mistakes, suggesting alternative approaches or even redoing work, then chances are that you are suffering from employee mistrust. 

The frustration caused by these types of action can lead to reduced levels of employee engagement and contribution, both of which will be detrimental to productivity. Try to adopt a coaching rather than a fixing approach.

2. You build ineffective teams.

ineffective teams concept

Team skills are important but so are more specific task-related skills. If you don’t understand the full extent of your employees’ strengths and weaknesses, you won’t be able to select the right team for each job. 

The wrong team rarely gets the right results so put some systems into place to monitor performance and skill levels and find out who works well with who.

3. You have ignored requests for flexible working.

male employee feeling frustrated with workload

Across Australia 12.1% of the workforce were working as part-time employees in 2016 but research has also shown that a high proportion of Australians were interested in job sharing and other flexible working options

Workplace flexibility is no longer just about lower-paid or part-time work, it is about securing your appeal to a high-quality workforce in a world of high-skill demand and employee movement

If you are looking to keep your talent pool, you should be considering working from home, compressed hours, flexi time and staggered hours, as well as the relevant organisational and office changes that accompany these.

4. You are secretive about salary information.

someone holding money bag over vintage wood background

You might think that by fostering a culture of secrecy around the topic of salary, you are protecting your workforce and increasing their performance levels but in fact the opposite is true. 

People spend a lot of time comparing their levels of reward and effort to those of others and, by denying them this information, you are denying them opportunities to adjust their performance and up their achievement. 

This one represents a huge culture shift but full pay-transparency can be accomplished in steps.

5. You are holding on to annual formal performance reviews.

On paper, the formal annual review makes sense but, in reality, the paperwork involved in an extensive review can take up a lot of management time and the feedback given can be less than effective and sometimes even detrimental because it doesn’t engender a two-way, practical conversation about time-relevant issues. 

By switching to a more informal but more frequent approach to performance reviews, it is easier to take a, ‘How can I help?’ approach rather than the negative, ‘You did this wrong’ alternative.

6. You lose track of former employees.

lost track concept

The traditional approach to someone leaving employment, particularly if they are going to work for a competitor is to cut off communication. This is a shortsighted tactic as it ignores completely the importance of networking and inter-organisational communication in today’s fluid business environment. 

By keeping communication channels with alumni open and friendly, you will enhance your recruitment profile, give yourself access to otherwise unobtainable industry knowledge and know where to look first when you have a talent crisis.

7. You send too many emails.

sending emails concept

It has now been established that we can’t do more than one thing at once and that multitasking is actually task switching. In fact research has gone even further than this and suggested that attempts at multi-tasking, such as those induced by email notifications, are actually detrimental to productivity

Whatever your choice of internal communication method, the more you can do to avoid communication overload, allocate time for deeper, interruption-free work, and limit push notifications, the more productive your workforce will be.

8. You ignore people’s passions.

refusing concept

If you know something about the talents and passions of your workforce, you have already taken a step in the right direction.  Limiting opportunities to pursue these can lead to a disheartened and stagnant workforce. 

The first step towards fostering passions is to spend time observing and talking to your workforce, as well as asking for their suggestions and input on working practice and business enhancements. After that you will need to ensure that future plans allow for opportunities outside their current job remit.

Are you ready to change your leadership style?

As a business leader, it is sometimes easy to focus on the professional development of your staff and ignore your own growth needs. By updating your management practices and taking a strategic leadership approach, you will avoid some of the pitfalls of a stagnant management style and outdated attitude. 

In today’s advancing world, your employees need you and your leadership style to be as forward-thinking and proactive as possible. Online learning gives you the opportunity to study when and where it suits you and is perfect for those with a busy lifestyle. Check out Upskilled’s range of online leadership and management courses today. 
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