Cost Of Poor Leadership

The Cost of Poor Leadership on Your Recruitment Agency’s Culture

5 min read
Lynsey May Sutherland
Lynsey Sutherland

We all know how valuable a good leader is, but what happens when you don’t have those leaders in your organisation?

The quality of leadership within a recruitment agency significantly impacts its ability to attract and retain top billers, build strong client relationships, and achieve sustainable growth. 

Poor leadership can have consequences that extend beyond the organisation’s internal workings. Ineffective, muddled or substandard leaders can zap the motivation of your recruiters and make work a hostile place to be – which significantly impacts your bottom line and overall culture. 

How do poor leaders end up at the top?

Sometimes, people are promoted into management because they are great billers, but being good at what they do doesn’t mean they are suited for a leadership role. 

The best recruiters are meticulously organised, socially minded, strong communicators and have an excellent eye for detail. All are very valuable skills, but good leaders need even more. Other essential talents and traits include the ability to lead empathetically, people management, a strategic mindset, emotional intelligence, and long-term thinking.

If the organisation isn’t assessing and nurturing leadership potential, then those with the potential to become effective leaders will be overlooked, and those lacking the necessary skills will be promoted. This oversight then leads to the ascension of ill-suited individuals for the role. 

The agency’s culture can also significantly influence emerging leaders. Leaders with negative traits like micromanagement, lack of transparency, or focusing only on personal gains will rise to the top in toxic, dysfunctional working environments. This can create a cycle where poor leadership is perpetuated and reinforced within the organisation. 

What’s so important about having a strong company culture?

Your agency’s culture is the values, beliefs and behaviours embedded into how you function on a micro and macro level. It provides the backbone for everything you do and greatly impacts how your recruiters feel and operate daily. 

A high-performing culture can improve everything from productivity to innovation.  

How poor leadership impacts your company culture 

Having poor leaders in place may cost you in ways you never imagined. Here’s how. 

Lack of vision

A clear vision is integral to creating a recruitment agency that can hold its own. When a company has a vision and knows exactly what it is and what it stands for, it operates more cohesively and commands more loyalty from its recruiters than ones that don’t. 

The entire agency loses out when leaders can’t embody or share a company’s vision. It’s a common problem, a survey by Leadership HQ found that only 29% felt that their leader’s vision for the future always seemed aligned with the organisation. 

Lack of synergy

Good leaders help teams pull together. Poor ones leave them to fragment and work separately.

Synergy can be a powerful tool for businesses, allowing teams to pool efforts and create more efficient and considerate working methods. When leaders aren’t looking for ways to promote collaboration and good communication, recruiters can quickly find themselves siloed, frustrated, and feeling like they aren’t part of a team. 

A culture of mediocrity 

The last thing you want your recruitment agency to fall into is a culture of mediocrity.

In The Culture of Mediocrity, Joseph C. Hermanowicz described the process of rewarding average members rather than celebrating the high performing, eventually leading to more mediocre performances all around. 

Low morale

One of the biggest and most pervasive problems caused by poor leadership is low morale in recruiters.

When you can’t trust your manager or direct superior to look out for you, recognise your achievements or help you achieve your best, it’s only natural that morale levels will drop – which can significantly affect your bottom line. After all, low staff morale and low motivation can negatively affect competitiveness and productivity.

Can poor leadership be saved?

It’s entirely possible that someone who is performing poorly in a management position can turn it around with the proper support and training. 

The first thing to do is sit down with the individual and chat about their goals, performance and how they enjoy the role. There’s always the chance that you’ll find out they were happier in their previous role and would prefer to return to what they do best. 

On the other hand, you may find that they are keen to improve their skills and that further training and a solid employee development plan could help you get back on the right track. 

How to create a strong organisational culture through leadership

The good news is that there are many ways to turn things around. Creating a strong organisational culture is possible, even if you’ve been struggling with issues caused by poor leadership. Here are a few ways to get started. 

Know what you want your company culture to be

Deciding on the kind of culture you want to embody is the first step. It should be different for every agency as every company will have unique styles and goals – but choosing your core values gives you a solid base to start from. 

Fully communicate your cultural goals and expectations

Once you have an idea of your culture tied down, you must create a strategy for fully sharing and communicating your values. 

Every recruiter on your books should know precisely what’s expected of them as an individual and as part of your agency.  Not only does this help employees reach their goals, but it can also help reduce stress and create a better working environment for everyone. 

Promote balance and wellbeing

Recruitment can be a tough sector, with a big focus on figures, deadlines and revenue, so it’s imperative to make sure your agency works on maintaining a healthy work environment

Burnt-out recruiters can’t function at the best of their abilities, and poor leaders can make it feel as though there’s never time to rest or recuperate.  

Reward and recognise your recruiters

Celebrating the achievements of your employees is a surefire way to help create a happy and harmonious culture. Everyone enjoys being praised for a job well done or having their talents recognised, and this is especially true in such a fast-paced and bottom-line driven sector. 

Let our rewards and recognition software make achievements easy to celebrate, and be sure to mark personal milestones as well as big wins for the agency. 

Transform your culture with Mo

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Mo is an employee recognition and engagement platform that can help leaders improve collaboration and morale, reduce employee churn and drive change. 

Our platform creates a vibrant culture by developing team habits, encouraging people to celebrate success, recognise results and appreciate colleagues.

Your complete toolkit for connecting and motivating teams in the new world of work. Book a demo with our team today!

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