Leadership in Difficult Times


The Great Recession and its lingering effects are causing workers around the world to feel down in the dumps, according to a recent survey by the consulting firm rogenSi.

That bit of news probably comes as no surprise. There hasn’t been a lot of reason in the last three years — the length of time the firm has been surveying workers — for employees to feel optimistic.

Buried in the report, however, is a nugget of information in which communicators should be interested:

There are a number of reasons for this general

feeling of apathy across the global workforce.

Prominent amongst them is the fact — borne out

by the Index – that leaders are still failing to deliver

one of the critical elements of leadership: effective

and clear communication. [Survey] respondents from

all corners of the globe have clearly stated this year

that while they have a renewed passion for their

roles and work, and very firmly believe they have

the skillsets and aptitude to effectively do their jobs,

they are lacking a clear idea and knowledge of their

organisation’s vision for the future.

The report cites “an acute lack of leadership communication” as one of the most dramatic findings of the 2011 survey.

One of the best practices of employee communication is that in times of uncertainty and turmoil, leaders step up their communication. Whether the churn comes from within the organization or is caused by external forces, employees want to hear from their leaders. They want to hear their leaders acknowledge the difficulties and the toll it takes on employee engagement and morale. They want to know their leaders have a plan for dealing with the problems and that there is still a vision to work toward. They want the opportunity to express their concerns and to ask questions. They want to know that leaders hear them.

Increasing communication in difficult times is not easy for leaders to do, but it is part of being a leader.

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