Often, companies are quick to say they are ready to respond to any crisis. When I ask to see a copy of their plan, there is usually a lengthy pause followed by a statement such as, “I will get you a copy.” For some reason, the copy never materializes.
As the safety and environment manager for manufacturing firm Valeant Pharmaceuticals in Steinbach, Man., Duthie has not only served as proponent of the company’s safety programs, but as a teacher of safety to whoever is willing to learn.
When it comes to influencing workers to behave safely, leaders need to show them how it’s done. Recent studies have shown a direct link between workers’
perception of the priority their leaders place on safety and their attitude
towards working safely.
What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say - Emerson
This important and highly observant quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson says a great deal about the importance of the behaviour of company leaders in establishing the safety culture of the company. So if you’re an owner, manager or supervisor please read on and we’ll explore the significance that leadership behaviour and conversations can have on your company’s safety success.
"The organizations included in I Love Rewards' 50 Most Engaged Workplaces Awardâ„¢ have created an environment where engaged employees truly are their greatest assets," says Razor Suleman, CEO and founder, I Love Rewards. "As the leading rewards and recognition solution provider helping companies engage its employees, it is an honour to award top employers who understand the importance of their people and share their best practices with others on how to foster employee engagement. Congratulations to all this year's winners, you are an inspiration to other businesses looking to drive engagement in their own organizations."
The panel of judges evaluated each applicant on how they measured up to other organizations based on the Eight Elements of Employee Engagement. The Eight Engagement of Employee Engagement include: Communication, Leadership, Culture, Rewards & Recognition, Professional & Personal Growth, Accountability & Performance, Vision & Values and Corporate Social Responsibility.
I Love Rewards' 50 Most Engaged Workplaces(TM) listed in alphabetical order:
2. Access America Transport Inc.
3. Aird & Berlis LLP
4. American Express
5. Apex Distribution Inc
6. Bayer Inc.
7. B.C. Housing
8. BlueCat Networks
9. Carswell, a Thomson Reuters business
10. Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership
11. Cliffstar Corporation
12. ConAgra Foods Canada Inc.
14. Delta Hotels and Resorts
15. Empathica Inc.
16. Flight Centre
17. Fusenet Inc
18. Gap Adventures
19. Genesis Hospitality Inc.
20. Highmark, Inc.
21. Hydro Ottawa
22. IQ PARTNERS Inc.
23. Kootenay Savings Credit Union
25. M5 Networks
26. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd.
27. Marriott Hotel- Calgary and Edmonton
28. Medcan Clinic
29. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC
30. Meridian Credit Union
31. Milestones Restaurants Inc.
32. Molson Coors Canada
33. NetSuite Inc.
34. peopleCare Inc.
35. Polar Mobile Group Inc.
36. Royal SunAlliance Insurance Company
38. SIRIUS Satellite Radio Canada
39. Softchoice Corp
40. Speakers' Spotlight
41. Supply Chain Management
42. Syncapse Corp
44. Varicent Software Incorporated
45. We Care Home Health Services
46. William Osler Health System (Osler)
48. XO Communications
49. Young & Rubicam
50. Zappos.com, Inc and its Affiliates
Recipients of I Love Rewards' Most Engaged Workplaces Awardwill be honoured at an awards gala on September 9, 2010 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, Ontario.
I Love Rewards is a leader in results-driven employee rewards and recognition solutions. Top employers in North America choose I Love Rewards for its proven best practices in launching and sustaining successful, ROI-based programs. Our focus is to recruit, retain and inspire employees and align them to company goals. We believe that engaged, motivated employees drive the results most important to business success. For more information on the award visit www.iloverewards.com/engaged.
The study, conducted by Psychometrics Canada, a leading assessment publisher and consultant for the development and selection of people in business, government and education, which involved a poll of 517 human resources professionals across Canada, confirms that leadership is seen as an important area of organizational functioning and development. The majority (63.2 per cent) see leaders as having a lot of influence over their organizations’ success, with only 2.5 per cent reporting that leaders have very little influence. The most common effects of good leadership are increased motivation (85.5 per cent), improved working relationships (85.1 per cent), higher team performance (80.7 per cent), better solutions to problems (68.9 per cent), and major innovations (41.6 per cent).
Leadership does have its downside, however. When not properly used, leadership can have negative effects. HR professionals have witnessed good people quitting and a lack of morale (91.7 per cent), employees’ skills not being utilized (87.2 per cent), feuding staff members (68.3 per cent), and failed projects (60 per cent). Three-quarters (76 per cent) have also witnessed a disconnection between the organization’s goals and its employees’ work.
"These figures should be a strong alert to organizations that poor leadership could be causing them major problems,” says Shawn Bakker, psychologist at Psychometrics Canada. "Our results show that leadership is influential, and organizations with effective leadership in place are realizing a wide range of benefits including increased financial performance and improved work relationships."
When asked to rate the importance of various leadership skills to success, 90 per cent of respondents reported that communication is critically important, followed by dealing with change (52.6 per cent), managing people (48.2 per cent), setting goals (37.5 per cent), solving problems (30.3 per cent), and project management (12 per cent).
The study also uncovered a serious gap between the ratings of importance for these skills and leaders’ current level of effectiveness. Only 27.8 per cent of respondents rated leaders’ communication skills as effective, even though nine out of 10 see communication as a critical skill. Twenty-four per cent of respondents indicated that the leaders they know are not effective when it comes to dealing with change.
Respondents cited a number of obstacles that get in the way of today’s leaders developing their skills. These include leaders not seeing the need for improvement (67.5 per cent), not having enough time (63.1 per cent), lacking support from superiors (50.1 per cent), and having inadequate training budgets (41.6 per cent).
Recommendations for leaders
Recommendations for leaders to be more effective included:
- talking less and listening more (81.4 per cent),
- providing clear expectations (78.1 per cent),
- having more informal interaction with staff (75.6 per cent),
- clearly communicating how the organization plans to manage change (89.4 per cent),
- assigning tasks to staff based on their skills rather than office politics (71.4 per cent),
- holding people accountable (67.7 per cent),
- giving employees more responsibility (64.6 per cent),
- overcoming resistance to change (48 per cent), and
- deferring to people with greater expertise (63.1 per cent).
“What surprised me from our research was that, even with the understanding that leadership is key for organizational success, the leaders themselves were not actively pursuing their own development – despite the opportunities available,” says Mark Fitzsimmons, president of Psychometrics Canada.
To read the complete report, visit www.psychometrics.com/docs/leadership.pdf.
- From November through December 2009, Psychometrics Canada surveyed 517 HR professionals currently working in Canadian organizations. These individuals work in business, government, consulting, education and not-for-profit sectors.
- The majority of people see leaders as influential. Yet, six out of 10 people also believe that leaders are given too much credit for what their organization accomplishes. So although leadership is significant, its impact may be overstated.
- It does not matter whether leaders are in business, government, consulting, education, or not-for-profit; the ranking of skills’ importance does not change.
- Three out of four HR professionals have seen feeble management of people lead to wasted time, duplicated efforts and poor working relationships. More than half of the survey respondents have observed team members working against each other as a result of ineffective leadership.
- Other problems that come from poor leaders are missed opportunities, workplace conflict, increased sick days and absences, and qualified people being shown the door.
- 10.8 per cent of respondents have seen the inability to lead through change result in a company going out of business.
- Almost three-quarters have seen employees resist change that management proposes because it was poorly managed.
- 67.3 per cent of respondents said the ideal leader for their organization would be “someone who is democratic and involved, focuses on working with and through people.”
- Based on a sample of 26,477 leaders (Center for Creative Leadership), 40 per cent of people in leadership roles today are described as being thorough, orderly and focused on organizational stability and consolidating systems. Thirty-nine per cent of leaders say their style is being pragmatic and analytical, and focusing on the development of long-range, comprehensive plans. Only 12 per cent of today’s leaders have a primary style that is democratic and involved.
Right Management’s white paper, entitled “Ready, Get Setâ€¦Change! The Impact of Change on Workforce Productivity and Engagement,” summarizing the key findings drawn from research of 28,000 employees in 15 countries. The paper serves to demystify the change process and highlight key engagement drivers that senior leaders can use to effectively improve change management initiatives and results.
“Employee engagement is a key driver of organizational effectiveness and directly impacts productivity and profitability,” says Deborah Schroeder-Saulnier, senior vice president for global solutions at Right Management. “It’s a critical measure of person-organization alignment, expressed as employee satisfaction, commitment, pride and advocacy. Disengaged employees negatively impact productivity, customer retention, morale and satisfaction on the job.”
Schroeder-Saulnier notes that change is necessary for companies to evolve and respond to dynamic market conditions. “Given the constant need to navigate rapid change, such as organization restructurings, revamped product lines or the appointment of a new leader, it is imperative that organizations introduce systems to help their entire workforce to participate in and adapt to change. Leaders need to involve their workforce in change, not just impose it. They can be more effective in implementing changes by understanding behaviours that create obstacles. Agile organizations can be trained to embrace change, not only as a one-time event, but on an ongoing basis.”
Key findings from the global study include:
- Best performing organizations manage change nearly four times more effectively. In top-performing companies (defined as those achieving higher revenue and above-average customer loyalty profit results), 60 per cent of employees responded that “change is handled effectively in my organization,” compared to 16 per cent of employees in below-average performing organizations.
- Less than half (43 per cent ) of employees are confident in their organization’s change process. One in three employees believes their organization does not handle change effectively.
- The biggest downfall for senior leaders is the perception that they do not follow through on what they say they will do. Less than half (47 per cent ) agreed that senior leaders communicated change effectively; 54 per cent of employees doubted senior leaders’ ability to respond appropriately to changing external conditions.
- Organizations that do not manage change well are four times more likely to lose talent. Twenty per cent of employees who perceived change was not handled effectively indicated they planned to leave within one year versus only 5 per cent of employees who held a favourable view. The latter planned to stay for at least five years.
- Ineffective change management can lead to lower levels of job confidence. Of the employees who reported that change management was not handled well, 45 per cent expressed favourable feelings about not losing their job within 12 months, while 32 per cent did not. This is in stark contrast to organizations with effective change management, where 80 per cent of respondents had positive feelings about keeping their job versus only 7 per cent who did not.
- Ineffective change management negatively impacts an organization’s ability to attract talent. When employees reported that change was managed poorly in their organizations, 75 per cent of respondents had concerns with their company’s ability to attract talent.
Schroeder-Saulnier notes that employees are not always prepared to successfully embrace change, thwarting the organization’s ability to meet objectives. “Change is often perceived as threatening and can be distracting and disruptive to your organization’s ability to operate efficiently. Employees need to be treated as more than passive recipients of change.”
Right Management surveyed 28,810 employees across 10 industries in 15 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Demark, France, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States). The data was collected between November 2008 and January 2009.
Right Management (www.right.com) is the talent and career management expert within Manpower, the global leader in employment services.