Episode #9: Dysfunction of Neglect
We are noticing a disturbing trend in organizations where leaders think they are supportive of their employees but in fact, they are actually neglecting their needs and issues. We don’t often talk about neglect in the context of organizational life and leadership behavior – but it is so common, with costly results. When leaders don’t see themselves as having needs, or neglect themselves, they extend this same treatment to their employees. Employees are left with the notion that there is nothing they need to develop, they are perfect the way they are. Or everyone is complaining that they are being overlooked and undervalued because they are not being shown that they are worth the effort of the leader to develop them or invest time in leading them. When you think about how extensive the impact of neglect is in any environment, you can see why the Dysfunction of Neglect needs to be understood.
In today’s episode, Anne & Heather explore the Dysfunction of Neglect and share a real client story that illustrates just how common it is to find this type of leadership behavior in organizations today. They’ll also share some practical tips that you can use if the Dysfunction of Neglect is causing the leaders in your organization to ignore their own needs, their team’s needs, and the needs of everyone else they work with.
If you want to know more about Anne & Heather’s work with dismantling dysfunctions in organizations and leadership behavior at Caliber Leadership Systems, check out:
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Are you dealing with an organizational dysfunction you need help with? Or do you have a story you would like to share on our show? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN THIS EPISODE:
- [01:36] Episode introduction and overview
- [02:37] What is the Dysfunction of Neglect?
- [28:35] Our client story experiencing the Dysfunction of Neglect
- [30:07] Root causes we identified that contributed to the dysfunction
- [32:00] Our approach to helping the client overcome the dysfunction
- [37:18] Outcomes and successes for our client
- [39:00] Episode gem & practical takeaway
- [40:39] Episode wrap up
- The Dysfunction of Neglect is caused by leaders who fail to nurture the talents and abilities of their employees and fail to create cultures where employees thrive despite ongoing uncertainties for business. It takes so much more than espousing values like “people first”. Leaders must show their commitment to their values by demonstrating behaviors that build trust, create psychological safety and listening and responding to the needs of employees. It takes so much more than espousing values like “people first”. Leaders must show their commitment to their values by demonstrating behaviors that build trust, create psychological safety and listening and responding to the needs of employees.
- When employees are expected to focus on productivity and decisions to invest in employees are made when there is proof of their impact on the bottom line it contributes to the dysfunction of neglect. Investment in intangibles like training and development, employee engagement surveys, performance development planning are neglected because they don’t have a direct link to improving the bottom line. They also neglect implementing or updating performance management, communication, accountability, reward & recognition systems to name a few, leading to organization-wide neglect to provide the necessities that support a cohesive workplace.
- Under leaders that suffer from the Dysfunction of Neglect, employees are expected to focus on productivity, and decisions to invest in employees are made when there is proof of their impact on the bottom line. For intangibles like training and development, employee engagement surveys, performance development planning that doesn’t have a direct link to improving the bottom line, leaders refuse to entertain even having discussions about them.
- Leaders who neglect their own needs have a tendency to resist the idea that employees need investing in or attending to. A lack of emotional self-awareness and overall emotional intelligence lies at the heart of decisions made to not nurture the talent of their people and invest in their success. It also leads to a collective resistance to do anything about the symptoms of the dysfunction, blaming employees for being unhappy or leaving to work in an environment where they feel valued. To eliminate the dysfunction of Neglect, leaders need to build emotional intelligence, actually listen to the needs of employees, identifying red flags instead of discounting them as complaining; and learn different leadership approaches to keep employees engaged.
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