Half of all Australian bosses encourage bad behaviour

Unruly employee behaviour may be linked to the bad example set by bosses, with a new study revealing over half of Australian work leaders are responsible for poor employee performance.

Unruly employee behaviour may be linked to the bad example set by bosses, with a new study revealing over half of Australian work leaders are responsible for poor employee performance.

The survey, Transforming Leadership and Culture: The State of the Nations, from research firm Human Synergistics, shows more than 50% of senior Australian executives encourage bad behaviour and a negative workplace culture through their own bad habits.

Human Synergistics managing director Quentin Jones says most of the problems relate to control. “These bosses want people to check in, rather than delegate and make a decision. Just some really basic motivational principles are not being followed.

“They’re saying ‘don’t rock the boat, conform, avoid making decisions, make sure you don’t make any mistakes, make sure you compete with the other departments’. Just all the messages that don’t build employee satisfaction,” Jones says.

“It’s clear that over half of our leaders in the sample have a negative impact on their followers. So what it’s essentially saying and confirming is that leadership in this country could do a whole lot better.”

The report recommends communication, encouraging creativity and setting an example as behaviour that leaders need to emulate.

“What they can do is firstly identify those behaviours they need to stop, and then learn to replace them with things like coaching people, setting goals so they can inspire through vision and enthusiasm,” Jones says.

“All around Australia we have managers tripping over themselves to try and find good staff, then once they get them in, they have trouble keeping them because their bosses are encouraging such bad workplace practices,” he says.

“It is time for managers to take responsibility for their actions, as it will have huge implications for all aspects of their organisation.”

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