Leadership & Communication

Leadership skills vital for productivity, survey shows

27 Feb 2014, by Informa Australia

Poor leadership skills are hampering Australian workplaces, a new survey has indicated.

Research from the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Workplace Leadership revealed three-quarters of employees feel good management was lacking at their company.

productivityOf the 2,000 workers polled, 25 per cent claimed they had no workplace role models, while 35 per cent of senior and middle managers said the same.

Under 4 per cent of respondents felt no managerial improvements were needed in the workplace.

Professor Peter Gahan, director of the Centre for Workplace Leadership, believes Australians are losing faith in leadership development at their firms.

“Leadership is the often neglected ingredient in productivity, with studies showing that employees who have greater job satisfaction and motivation create workplaces that have productivity gains of 30 per cent,” he said.

However, many Australians feel they have the know-how to become effective leaders themselves. Three-quarters say they have the potential for leadership, but not the opportunity.

There was also a high level of commitment among employees, with 84 per cent claiming they performed tasks using their own initiative.
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The results were compared with a similar British study in which under 75 per cent of respondents said they were happy to carry out tasks without being instructed.

“While not directly comparable, it is clear that Australians appear more willing to go the extra mile in their jobs,” the survey report read.

The results were released as part of federal minister Eric Abetz’s official launch of the Centre for Workplace Leadership. The facility has partnered with several major organisations including Cisco and Bendigo & Adelaide Bank.

“We want to provide an opportunity for all Australian workplaces, irrespective of their size or location, to access cutting-edge ideas through robust research, and mobilise them in practical ways in the workplace,” Professor Gahan said.

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