One manager in four has a "catastrophically" bad style of leadership and could be damaging
productivity in their teams, a study has warned. A survey by management consultancy Orion Partners
found that 24% of employees thought their bosses were over-stressed, poor communicators and lacked
empathy - a combination judged to be counterproductive and in some cases destructive by the report.
Just 5% of workers said that their managers led in a way that: meant they were empathetic;explained
why organisational change was good to staff members as individuals;created workplaces in which
employees felt rewarded for their efforts;and were self-aware. Overall, 35% of respondents said
that, when their organisation needed to change, their boss personally made them aware of the
benefits. Just 33% said that their managers demonstrated self-awareness. However, almost half (47%)
of the 2,000 workers surveyed said that their managers made them feel threatened, rather than
rewarded, and 85% said that their managers cared more about what they did than what they were
feeling. Jan Hills, the partner responsible for talent and leadership at Orion, said: "By not
managing these feelings of threat, leaders are creating limitations on people's ability to perform
and are, in severe cases, increasing the risk of employees suffering from anxiety and depression."
She added that improving the quality of leadership was a good way to tackle the current
"productivity gap" in the economy. "We've got the strongest labour market of any G7 country other
than Canada, but economic output is lower than expected because the workforce is not firing on all
cylinders," she said.