Have you ever heard the saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”? This was a saying that I didn’t fully comprehend until I was an adult. This proverb means that you can have the best intentions and go into a project dedicated to success, and come out on the other side with destruction and consequences you didn’t see coming.
Businesses face these situations all of the time, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you can spot the signs of impending doom ahead of time, you can get your leadership together and course-correct before too much damage has been done. You just need to know what to look for.
Here are the six red flags that your company or business needs leadership training.
When your employees are going in and out of the door like a carnival ride, it’s time to take a look at what company leadership either is or is not doing that’s chasing people away. Turnover is a symptom of a deeper problem. Whether it’s problematic managers, a toxic culture, or your people feel stifled because they’re not being developed—it’s your job as a leader to suss it out and correct it.
If your employees are spending more time checking their Facebook statuses than completing client projects, you’ve got a problem that’s headed toward Quitsville. Here’s the thing, leaders often think that employees that aren’t engaged are lazy, inept, or just don’t care. That’s rarely the case.
More often, these team members don’t understand their place in the company, they don’t perceive what they do as making a difference, or boredom has set in because they aren’t being challenged and developed. All of these things can make employees feel like replaceable human capital, and if you treat them that way, you’ll ride the hire and fire cycle right into nose-diving profits.
The truth is when your employees can see the impact of what they’re doing and how it’s affecting the company, client, and the world at large, they understand how to better do their job. On top of that, when you invest in developing them personally and professionally, those team members are more likely to develop stronger loyalty to the company.
Constant Questions or Late Deliverables
Do you have a team member who’s consistently coming to you with questions or turning in projects late? If you’ve had to give your team a deadline that’s two weeks ahead of schedule just to make sure the client will receive their deliverables on time—you’ve got a leadership problem.
Leaders are responsible for identifying what their team needs to support their productivity. What are the systems and processes needed to make sure everyone is on the same page and rowing in the same direction? Questions and late deliverables point to a lack of communication and systems.
If your team is struggling to complete things on time, you need to learn what’s holding them back and how to implement what they need so they can succeed at their tasks. This is where leadership development comes in to teach you how to identify where the cracks are and how to set up the proper processes to turn it all around.
People Often Calling Out Sick or Requesting Remote Work
Yes, there is an increased demand for people wanting to work from home. But if you’re noticing there’s an increase in your people taking sick days or requesting remote working options, there’s likely a leadership problem.
Some team members will bring problems to your attention. But if there’s someone in leadership that your people don’t trust or are afraid of, they’re likely to avoid coming to work at all so they don’t have to deal with potential confrontation.
If this symptom is just starting at your company, this is the precursor to increased turnover rates. If your employees are looking to get away, they’re looking for somewhere else to go. Luckily, this is something you can turn around quickly by identifying where leaders are dropping the ball with your people and get your leadership team trained up to better serve the company and the employees.
Increased Employee Write-Ups
Every company runs into their fair share of problematic team members. But if you’re noticing there’s an increase in write-ups and consequences, you likely have a team that’s either rebelling against their leader or a team that is dedicated to following the rules with a leader that’s consistently asking them to break protocols. This is one of the most important symptoms to take note of and act on as soon as you recognize it.
This is one of the symptoms that comes with increased liability. If the leader in this situation has weak leadership skills and has lost control of their team, the company is likely to see team members not working or doing their job, while collecting a paycheck.
If the leader in this situation is asking your team members to go against protocol or work in a way that’s harmful to the employee for the sake of production, the company is more likely to see things like unhappy employees, increased retirement from long-standing team members, and increased turnover from previously loyal employees.
This is also breeding grounds for lawsuits, strikes, and other forms of employee rebellion.
Leadership development training can help your company avoid this altogether, and if the situation does arise, it’ll be much easier to identify and handle.
Employee Burnout or Health Issues
It’s one thing for your people to call out sick. It a new “oh crap!” level for employees to turn in doctor’s notes, fall asleep at their desks, or have to take FMLA or other long term leave for health-related issues. If your employees are burning out, leadership is failing.
It’s leadership’s responsibility to make sure that the environment your employees work in and the processes in place actually support the health and wellbeing of your team. If you have managers or other leadership representatives working employees past exhaustion to the point where it’s affecting their health, your team will become unable to produce at the level you need them to. Not to mention, it’s an ineffective and unethical way to operate.
Hard work is important. But fostering the wellbeing of your team members is vital and more conducive to productivity and profitability than hard work will ever be.
If you see your company reflected in this article, it’s time to look at leadership development training. All of these things are symptoms of leadership issues that can be course-corrected, but only if you take action.
If you want to make sure your company doesn’t travel too far down this road to begin with, implement a leadership development program that every employee goes through, with advanced leadership training for managerial and executive-level positions.
Your company has an important mission and vision to achieve. You don’t have time to deal with these avoidable detours to your goals and success. Choose differently by putting leadership development as a priority in your business.