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.