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What Lack of Leadership Training is Doing to Business

A study reported that more than one-quarter of managers admitted to feeling unprepared when they started managing others, and a full 58% of managers said they had not received ANY management training. Most managers are promoted because they are good at what they do, not because they are good at leading and managing others.

Sub-par leaders directly impact employee engagement and ultimately the company's bottom line. Ineffective managers lead to problems with retention, low customer satisfaction levels and reduced productivity. So what are some of the issues bad managers have and how can they be addressed? Some of the biggest concerns attributed to bad management include lack of communication, micromanagement, and unclear expectations.

Lack of communication leads to misunderstandings, distrust and dampens employee engagement and motivation. Good communication skills are a difficult trait to master, but they can be learned. More importantly though is that managers need to buy in to the value that better communication brings to the workplace, and thus commit themselves to improving.

Unclear expectations can be a result of poor communication, but whatever the cause it leads to employee frustration and disengagement. This ultimately makes a team lack direction and become highly inefficient. Leaders cannot just spout vague clichés about a company's vision and priorities. They need to clarify that everyone has the same definition of what a company's goals are and what comes first. These expectations need to be clearly reinforced and shown in the manager's actions as well as words.

Micromanagement is perhaps the quickest way for employee morale to plummet. Managers who cannot let go and let team members do what they are employed to do create not only very inefficient teams, but the manager loses the team's trust and enthusiasm as well. Sure it is important to keep track of how a project is coming along, but equally important is the need to trust your team and inspire them to do their very best. That cannot happen if you are doing the job for them, or looking over their shoulder every other second.

These are some of the most prevalent management issues, but there are many others and new ones developing as the workforce changes. So if you own a company or have the authority to do so, make sure that you support your managers with leadership & communication training as well as other continuous improvement initiatives. If you are a struggling manager yourself, talk to upper management about leadership training. If they will not provide it, invest in yourself and your team anyway outside of the work day. The rewards will be well worth the cost, both for your personal career and for the productivity of your team.

By Ann Condon - Communication Manager, E.A. Dion, Inc.