Leadership at Work – the Employee Perspective
What comes to mind when thinking about leadership? In the classical sense of the term, one might think it’s a person who stirs others in a certain direction – for executives this usually means overseeing the achievement of company goals. The science of leadership has progressed in different directions – from models of transactional vs. transformational leadership to task-oriented and considerate leadership behaviors. A lot has been done to break down the role and influence leaders have. While there are many facets to this topic, the employee perspective towards their leaders is one we will focus on in this article. What do employees think about their executives? The IFBG took a closer look at their data, with over 30.000 employees answering our questions about how they evaluate their leaders’ influence in their day-to-day work life.
The Leadership-Impact on Work Routine
Job satisfaction, conflict with colleagues and workload management are arguably the biggest factors determining the subjective quality of the daily work routine. However, only 47.1 % of employees say that their direct leaders consider job satisfaction important. Only 40.6 % of employees state that their direct leaders can manage conflicts well most of the time, while 27.5 % state that their leaders rarely manage conflicts well. The same pattern carries over to workload management: 40.9 % report that their direct leaders are able to plan the workload well most of the time, while 24.4 % think they rarely do. All in all, younger workers (up to the age of 29) tend to evaluate their direct leaders more positively, and male workers tend to think that their leaders recognize the importance of job satisfaction more and are better at conflict management.
Do Leaders Allow for Future Possibilities of Development?
The possibility of further education and advancing one’s career can be central components to an employee’s motivation. Whether it be through workshops or job offers in other departments, managers have an influence on the opportunities that are presented to any given worker. Remarkably, 28.2 % of employees state that their leaders provide (very) few opportunities, while 38.4 % claim the opposite. Again, employees are more likely have this opinion if they are male and up to the age of 29.
The Bottom Line
Leaders contribute a huge amount to workers’ wellbeing. Being part of a team with an unskilled leader will unavoidably show its effects later down the line. It doesn’t take much to imagine how an executive incapable of managing workload and conflicts properly may influence their workers negatively.
While the ratings provided by our surveys show that about 50.0 % of leaders get job satisfaction, conflict and workload management right, there is still is room for improvement for the other half. Furthermore, leaders should be aware of their influence on the career paths of their team. By searching for and providing opportunities, they may be able to guarantee employee engagement in the long term.
The prognosis is far from bleak, if anything, it should animate leaders to acknowledge their impact and take action to positively influence the work environment.