This post over at Harvard Business Review was awesome. It also goes well with my prior post about curing CEO-itis. Poor leaders or ‘bad bosses’ do immense damage to a company, and I am blown away at how little PMSC’s focus on this aspect of their companies and contracts. You should be doing all you can to find and get rid of the toxic leaders in your company and reward good leaders. This article below shows exactly why, and that is what is sooooo cool about it. It is hard to argue with these kinds of numbers. lol

The money quote is this one though.

And we’re not the only ones who’ve seen it: In a recent article, *Jim Clifton, the CEO of the Gallup organization,* found that 60% of employees working for the U.S. federal government are miserable — not because of low pay, poor workplace benefits, or insufficient vacation days — but because they have bad bosses. He goes so far as to report a silver-bullet fix to this situation: “Just name the right manager. No amount of pay and benefits will solve the problems created by a manager who has no talent for the task at hand.”
This matters so much for two very basic reasons.
Bad Bosses Negate Other Investments: As Clifton points out, none of the other expensive programs a company institutes to increase employee engagement — excellent rewards, well-thought-out career paths, stimulating work environments, EAP programs, health insurance, and other perks — will make much difference to the people stuck with bad bosses.
Good Bosses Lead Employees to Increase Revenue: And, as many other studies have shown, there’s a strong correlation between employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and revenue.

That first one about bad bosses negating other investments of the company is a vital one for our industry to understand. I have seen it first hand, and bad bosses or project managers or team leaders or whatever you want to call them, can make all of the company investments into ‘codes of conduct’, incentives, perks, training, clearances, etc. seem of little use or concern for a contractor that has no respect for a poor leader in charge of them. They will either stay on that contract but do the very minimum to survive ( not be engaged), or they will just jump contract and leave–all because of that poor manager/leader.

The company could have invested all sorts of money into a contractor/employee for a specific job–but it all goes away once that contractor runs away because of a horrible boss in charge of them. Or worse yet, disgruntled contractors tear apart the company from the inside out or go on to sabotage a company. Those horrible bosses could also be the ones that allow a G4S London Olympics screw up, and yet you just don’t see the kind of focus on leadership that is truly required by companies these days.

And get this. When you have contractors constantly leaving because of poor leadership, then a company has no chance of growing leaders from within. That you are constantly having to roll the dice with new leadership that might or might not be able to do the job, all because the company has no one that sticks around long enough to be that go to guy or gal for a contract. This is especially troubling when you combine this reality with the reality of protecting people in war zones. Pretty scary, huh?

I can’t stress this stuff enough, and these multi-million dollar companies out there need to do all they can to properly vet and pick good leaders that will represent the company well and motivate subordinates to be ‘engaged’. Check it out below and let me know what you think? -Matt

 

 

How Damaging Is a Bad Boss, Exactly?
by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman
July 16, 2012
What’s the one factor that most affects how satisfied, engaged, and committed you are at work? All of our research over the years points to one answer — and that’s the answer to the question: “Who is your immediate supervisor?”
Quite simply, the better the leader, the more engaged the staff. Take, for example, results from a recent study we did on the effectiveness of 2,865 leaders in a large financial services company. You can see a straight-line correlation here between levels of employee engagement and our measure of the overall effectiveness of their supervisors (as judged not just by the employees themselves but by their bosses, colleagues, and other associates on 360 assessments). [please refer to graph up top]

So, as you can see at the low end, the satisfaction, engagement, and commitment levels of employees toiling under the worst leaders (those at or below the 10th percentile) reached only the 4th percentile. (That means 96% of the company’s employees were more committed than those mumbling, grumbling, unhappy souls.) At the other end, the best leaders (those in the 90th percentile) were supervising the happiest, most engaged, most committed employees — those happier than more than 92% of their colleagues.
This study is by no means unusual. We’ve seen the same pattern in the U.S., the U.K., the Netherlands, Spain, United Arab Emirates, and India. We’ve seen it in financial services, manufacturing, high-tech, government, universities, hospitals, food service, oil, and every other industry we’ve studied. We’ve seen it in organizations employing 225,000 people and 250.
And we’re not the only ones who’ve seen it: In a recent article, *Jim Clifton, the CEO of the Gallup organization,* found that 60% of employees working for the U.S. federal government are miserable — not because of low pay, poor workplace benefits, or insufficient vacation days — but because they have bad bosses. He goes so far as to report a silver-bullet fix to this situation: “Just name the right manager. No amount of pay and benefits will solve the problems created by a manager who has no talent for the task at hand.”
This matters so much for two very basic reasons.
Bad Bosses Negate Other Investments: As Clifton points out, none of the other expensive programs a company institutes to increase employee engagement — excellent rewards, well-thought-out career paths, stimulating work environments, EAP programs, health insurance, and other perks — will make much difference to the people stuck with bad bosses.
Good Bosses Lead Employees to Increase Revenue: And, as many other studies have shown, there’s a strong correlation between employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and revenue.
To take just one example, in the first of many such studies, published more than 15 years ago in HBR, Anthony Rucci, Steven Kirn, and Richard Quinn identified* “the employee-customer-profit chain” at Sears.* This was a straightforward dynamic in which employee behavior affected customer behavior, which in turn affected company financial performance. Specifically, in Sears’ case, when employee satisfaction improved by 5%, customer satisfaction improved by 1.3%, which led to a .05% improvement in revenue. That might not sound significant, but for $50 billion Sears, that that came to an extra $250 million in sales revenue.
*This study has since been replicated* by J.C. Penny, Best Buy, and Marriott. And for all of them the results held true — effective leaders led to satisfied employees, which led to satisfied customers, which led to a direct and measurable increase in sales revenue.
Put all of these studies together, and to us the implications are clear. Investing in leadership development not only pays off, it’s a prerequisite to getting the most out of your other investments in workplace effectiveness and the most from your top line.
Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman
Jack Zenger is the CEO and Joseph Folkman is the president of Zenger/Folkman, a leadership development consultancy. They are co-authors of the October 2011 HBR article “Making Yourself Indispensable,” and the forthcoming book How to Be Exceptional: Drive Leadership Success by Magnifying Your Strengths (McGraw-Hill, 2012).
Story here.