Do our nation’s leaders need more leadership training?

I work for a leadership and training development company. I am constantly surrounded by best practices on leading a team, leading in a situation, and even leading myself. I am continuously exposed to the skills required to develop an individual into a great leader, motivate a team member, and generate empowerment in a direct report. So when I read reports like The Federal Leadership Challenge from the Partnership for Public Service (PPS), I have to remember that not everyone has the same daily experience that I have. PPS conducted an analysis using the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) 2011 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and uncovered that leadership is the lowest ranking category in the Federal Government. The report states that out of 10 workplace categories, leadership has the lowest ranking, scoring only 54.9 out of 100.

More about the report

The leadership category of the analysis was broken down into perceptions of empowerment, fairness, and senior leaders and supervisors. Out of these sub-categories, empowerment and senior leaders reflected the lowest ratings with government employees.

  • 46.3% of respondents felt personal empowerment
  • 42.6% feel their senior leaders instill motivation and commitment
  • 48.1% are satisfied with the information they receive from management about the state of the agency
  • 50.7% feel they are involved in decisions that affect their work
  • 52.9% believe senior leaders maintain high standards of honesty and integrity
  • 54.3% trust there is fairness within their organization

Making improvements

A particular agency that has made a concerted effort in improving these numbers has experienced a positive increase in their employee’s perceptions of leadership within the organization. The U.S. Mint, an agency that is part of the Department of the Treasury, made some necessary changes on how they communicate and empower employees and it’s reflected in their scores. The agency had a 21.2% increase on the Best Places to Work Index from 2010, empowerment was ranked 34.5% higher than last year and senior leaders received a 41.5% spike from the same time frame. The report states that this positive increase came about from strides taken in increasing communication with employees, working more cooperatively with unions and by fully explaining the challenges faced by the organization and the reasons why decisions were being made. In addition, the Mint has been having regular town hall meetings, giving employees the opportunity to voice their concerns, and responding to those issues.

Researchers at The Ken Blanchard Companies uncovered that strategic leadership directly influenced operational leadership, which in turn directly influenced employee work passion and customer devotion. Strategic leadership indirectly influences organizational vitality. In addition, they found that employee work passion and customer devotion influenced one another and that when employees were passionate about their job and their organization, they tended to interact with the customer in a more positive manner.

Want to learn more on empowering and motivating employees? Register for an upcoming webinar that will show you 3 ways you can create a culture where everyone feels a sense of ownership, empowerment, and ability to make a difference. You’ll learn:

  • The importance of sharing information freely throughout your organization. People without information—or incomplete information—make poor business decisions. People with access to complete information make better decisions and feel more committed to them. Ongoing communication is imperative.
  • How to create alignment and get everyone moving forward in the same direction. Recent research shows that only 14% of people are truly aligned with their organization’s key goals.
  • The role empowerment plays. Drive empowerment as close to the customer as possible. Make sure that reward and recognition practices encourage people to take action. Instill a sense of meaningful work in every employee.

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  1. #1 by kitso on July 23, 2012 - 2:54 am

    very interesting,been a keen reader of lradership issues to an extent of registering a leadership institiution in my country botswana in 2002.very mucg looking to partner with a company like yours.will be very much apprrecistive if you help in developing my country which has one of the lowest productivity levels ever.


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