Leadership Disengagement Still a Problem for Business Owners & CEOs in 2020

The cost of a disengaged leader is staggering. For the last 5-10 years, much emphasis has been focused on the impact that disengaged employees have on the bottom line. And while technically a leader is an employee, the cost of a disengaged leader can be ten times the cost of a single employee.  A person sitting on a couch

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The reasons leaders disengage are:

  • They lack the skills to lead and influence their team
  • Poor coping or resilience skills
  • The culture is toxic

According to current poll trends, only about 30% of employees are engaged and productive at work, and only 21% of employees feel motivated by the leaders who manage them. 

Being a great leader is very difficult, but most CEOs and business owners do not make leadership development and coaching a priority.  To improve engagement, profitability, and talent retention, here are four ways to deal with leadership disengagement:

  • Create a Leadership Success Program: Capture or define all of the organization’s practices that help leaders achieve and sustain employee performance, engagement, and offer fulfillment.  
  • Leadership Empowerment: Support leadership engagement by providing training, coaching, and resources to lead their teams – tools, data, automated systems, processes, and on-going feedback that measures results. 
  • Measure participation and sustainability: Incorporate engaging, interactive learning, and facilitation to keep pace with our attention span in a face-paced world. Make it easy for leaders to attend and participate by factoring in time limitation, personal and job demands, and personal commitments. 
  • Change their Assignment: If the leader does not lack the skills as an effective leader, move them into a different leadership role – perhaps an individual contributor role that does not have responsibility for a team.  If the leader is a valuable asset to the company, think of other ways to resource their talent.  
  • Move Them Out: When you have tried to find a solution, and it doesn’t work, perhaps it has less to do with a skills deficiency but more about a bad attitude, unwillingness to re-engage or it’s simply laziness. For the good of all, MOVE THEM OUT and DO IT FAST! 

As business owners and CEOs, sometimes the hardest decision is to take action to fire a leader who is a problem – it’s uncomfortable and sometimes messy.  But if you don’t mediocre leaders will drain the life out of your company – it can be a fatal mistake.

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