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Having the right management in place matters – otherwise there wouldn’t be so many darn inspirational quotes about great leadership. There also wouldn’t be so many alarming statistics about bad leadership, like:

  • More than a third of Americans report that poor leadership is the most stressful part of their jobs.*
  • Sixty-five percent of employees say they’d take a new boss over a pay raise.**
  • Only 18% of managers demonstrate a high level of talent for managing others – meaning 82% of them aren’t very good at it.†

And the side effects of bad leadership are even more staggering for your bottom line: lower productivity, higher turnover, poor morale, reputation damage and ultimately, less profit. Ensuring you have strong leaders in place right now within your organization is important, but it’s just as critical to create a pipeline of future managers as well. Here’s three key strategies to help you do both:

Know the red flags of poor management – and address them quickly.

Among the most common problems employees report about their managers are:

  • Failing to keep promises
  • Not getting credit for hard work
  • Poor communication
  • Making disparaging comments to coworkers/other managers
  • Being blamed for their boss’s mistakes

Signs of poor management manifest in a variety of ways, from an increase in mistakes, to customer service taking a nose dive, to a lack of direction/communication among your team. Negativity or decreased morale, inconsistencies and problems with quality control can also be red flags.

Don’t blow the candle out after the house has burned down. Be aware of patterns developing, and have a plan in place to address challenges quickly and efficiently before your business takes a hit with revenue, attrition or reputation.

To do that, make sure your internal communication channels and checks-and-balances processes support uncovering problems early. Provide ongoing development and collaboration opportunities for your leadership team, to ensure they completely understand organizational goals and company culture, and are aligning their own actions with both. Create regular check-in opportunities with individual managers to open up dialogue about the challenges they’re facing in their day-to-day work, and provide support for those challenges.

Don’t hang your leaders out to dry – they need ongoing support and training too.

There’s a reason that 71% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs.° It’s because they actually work – and not just for onboarding programs or frontline employees. Mentoring and coaching is an extremely powerful tool for leadership as well.

Not only that, mentor programs are also a key stepping stone to developing a future management pipeline, allowing you to identify early on which employees may benefit from further leadership development. Learn more about establishing an internal mentorship program:

Similarly, coaching can also benefit current and future managers, helping to determine strengths and developing a plan for improving performance, addressing challenges and growing as a leader and asset to the organization.

Help them be prepared – especially for a crisis.

There’s never a more critical time for strong leadership than during a crisis. Whether it’s a major production screwup and the potential loss of a customer, a PR nightmare, an unforeseen disaster or one of a hundred other challenges that can surface in a business – having well-prepared management in place can make all the difference.

Crisis training is a key way to make that happen, giving your team confidence that no matter what happens there is a process, and a plan, in place to tackle it. Make sure your crisis preparedness efforts include communication channels and processes, as well as an escalation plan. To get started, you can download BOLD’s crisis communication toolkit for free here:

Whatever stage your businesses is at – expanding, struggling, staying the course – having strong leadership in place now and in the future will be the key to success. Discover more leadership development strategies by contacting BOLD.

*Barna **Inc †Gallup  °