Is toxic leadership causing employee sick days?

Is your organization struggling with the number of sick days your staff take? Is it focused in one department or division? If so have you considered that it may be the person leading that department or division that is the problem?

Toxic leadership is a real threat to your work force. The number of employees taking sick days caused by work related stress continues to rise. In fact according to The Telegraph newspaper; “In 2013, 131 million days were lost due to sickness; for a workforce of 31m, this is almost four days per worker. While many long-term absences are due to very serious health problems, there has been an alarming rise in the number of preventable illnesses that are keeping people from going back to work.”.

In her new book, Corporate Brand Personality (published Jan 2016), Lesley explores the impact your leaders have on your employee brand. What your employee base looks for in your leaders today is a high degree of honesty, integrity and fairness and a feeling that they are genuine and not trying to be somebody that they are not. Your customers are also looking for something similar. Authentic leadership means being aware of your strengths, limitations and emotions and behaving in a way that demonstrates this self-awareness. When leaders appear to put on ‘an act’ it will dramatically dilute the levels of trust their teams have in them and therefore the effectiveness of taking people with them. The knock-on effects of this are obvious.

You cannot lead productively today if your teams don’t know who you are. They need a solid direction from a leader who is self-aware, genuine, is clear about what he stands for and is prepared to stand up for this. No one can be authentic by trying to imitate someone else. You can learn from others’ experiences, but you can’t be successful if you are trying to be just like them. People trust you when you are genuine and authentic, not a replica of someone else.

Employees can be inspired to do the best job by the personal brand their leader projects. Feeling proud of the company you work for is a key element of employee engagement and feeling pride in senior management is a part of this. A manager who is authentic and responsive to their team and deals consistently and fairly with them is less likely to have large numbers of sick days in the team.

To find out more about Walking TALL’s leadership brand programs and executive brand coaching get in contact.