Rummaging through my in tray, I came across some interesting research by the Hay Group. It claimed that poor working climates are costing the UK financial services industry a staggering £8.5bn every year in lost profits.
It went on to say that as much as a third of an organisation’s business performance is dependent on a positive working climate and concluded that only 20% of finance executives create a high performance climate, according to their employees. Apparently, a lowly 17% manage to generate an energising environment. It gets worse, 46% actually create a demotivating environment for staff.
If ever there was a sector under the cosh, it has to be financial services; one would have thought that there was some low hanging fruit for them to pick here.
The crazy thing is that it’s not that expensive, in the grand scheme of things, to address some of these issues. Development programmes for leaders can make them more effective communicators, show them the impact they are having on culture and contrast this with the impact they would like to have. A coaching programme can then be put in place to bridge the gaps.
What I find really interesting is that both effective and ineffective leaders tend to want a similarly constructive impact on those around them. It’s an issue of leadership style and behaviours which, fortunately, can be learned. And the outcomes are energising for all.
Now I am not claiming that leadership development will rebuild the balance sheets of financial services organisations, but the resulting performance gains will certainly improve effectiveness, efficiency and morale.