Leaders are considered to be consistent when their communications and actions match up and inconsistent when they don’t. So the question is why is leadership consistency so important?
Leadership consistency can motivate employees to exhibit the desired behaviours.
Employees whose leaders exhibit consistency will evaluate the leader’s behaviour positively and therefore emulate it. This result is employees can project their evaluation of the leader’s behaviour as being the organisational culture and consequently if they wish to affiliate with the team they are more likely to exhibit the behaviours required. Furthermore, trust in the leader is developed as a result of leadership consistency and consequently employee’s display organisational citizenship behaviours (i.e. they go beyond the call of duty !).
Additionally the need for affiliation results is group cohesiveness; multiple employees will demonstrate the desired behaviours in order to belong to the team. Leadership consistency also serves to validate the employees’ behaviours and make clear what behaviours are accepted, or not, within the organisation. Ultimately, leaders who display leadership consistency will motivate employees more effectively.
However, leadership inconsistency can have a negative result on employees’ motivation. Specifically, leadership inconsistency can be viewed by employees as hypocritical and is likely to result in a disillusioned work force. The negative emotions produced by leadership inconsistency results in employees under performing and being unaware of the firm’s priorities.
The table below details the link between leadership consistency and employees motivation outlined here.
Metrics are the data and information that can help to track the performance or progress of our business. Effective metrics not only provide key data to support business decision making but can also be used to demonstrate the impact that the workforce is contributing to your business performance.
With this in mind a suggested approach may be;
1. Understand your business strategy
Most organisations will operate with a number of parallel strategies – for example, cost control, new product innovation and improved customer service may form part of your business strategic imperatives. For metrics to be most meaningful there must be a direct line of sight from any measure to business strategy. Your first step is therefore to be clear on the strategies that mean most to your business or department.
2. Identify key business outcomes
First of all you have to work backwards from the business outcomes. For example, if production volumes or service quality are the key business outcomes in your organisation or business you need to establish your (personal or departmental) relationship to these business outcomes. Reducing absence for example may increase production volumes in which case you need to report on absence and demonstrate the impact in relation to production volumes.
3. Know your audience
Boards, committees and senior managers – typical recipients of workforce metrics – will each have their own standards, expectations on how and what data is presented. Review previous reports to identify personal preferences as you will need to know what hits the mark i.e. a monthly one pager, daily colour coded status document, or a quarterly detailed recommendations report.
4. Devise metrics and build your scorecard.
Many senior people want “headlines”, with the ability to analyse more deeply if required, so metrics should be organised accordingly. A scorecard of top level metrics is usually the best way to present key performance indicators and progress towards crucial business outcomes. Metrics should bring out the key messages however the interpretation is usually more important that the numbers themselves!
Supporting commentary should present implications, including recommendations on any actions or decisions required. Supporting detail should be collated but may not always be presented.
5. Publicise and refine your metrics
There is no value in keeping metrics to yourself!
Whether they demonstrate excellence or reveal major issues, the data is valuable to present progress and enable business decision making. Over time the data collected and how it is analysed and presented can continuously improve the measurement process and the insight and the value delivered from these metrics.