A study by the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) has found business leaders are falling short when it comes to the essential skills required to lead a team.
The AIM Leadership study surveyed over 2000 respondents to reveal business leaders are missing many of the critical soft skills required to be great leaders. According to the survey communication skills and emotional intelligence are lacking in the majority of Australian leadership teams.
Additionally, 72 per cent of Australian workers surveyed said they would leave their jobs due to poor leadership.
The CEO of AIM, Ben Foote suggested the results show Australians are ready for a new breed of leader and that poor leadership skills no longer cut it.
“Having a leadership role is more than just a title, there are distinct qualities that need to be developed or learnt entirely if someone is to be a true and competent leader, Foote said.
The survey found that the majority of leaders are considered average by their employees with an overall rating of 5.6/10.
“With “good” and “excellent” leadership revealed as a key driver of engagement, investing in leadership development will be pivotal in boosting the involvement and commitment of employees,” said Foote.
“Leaders need to develop strategies for expressing ideas and break down barriers to effective communication to boost employee retention rates. Communication is about adapting your behaviours to better express yourself in the workplace, to actively listen to others, and to give and receive appropriate feedback.”
The top three skills respondents believed their leadership teams could strengthen were:
- Communication – 35.7 per cent of responders.
- People management – 25.7 per cent of responders.
- Leading by example – 22.9 per cent of responders.
The survey also highlighted areas that leaders were somewhat or not at all competent in:
- Displaying emotional intelligence – 48 per cent of responders.
- Managing staff performance – 48 per cent of responders.
- Creating a high-performance culture – 48 per cent of responders.
“Displaying emotional intelligence is vital in employees feeling like they matter and that they are cared for, listened to, and cared about in the workplace. Leaders need to step their game up in showing empathy and understanding the needs of employees,” Foote concluded.