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‘Shock proofing’ causing bosses to neglect staff

Bosses are too busy ‘shock proofing’ their business against sudden impact events to focus on important internal business issues, which is leading high numbers of dissatisfied employees to hunt for new jobs.

Following on from the devastating effects of the GFC, business owners are now so concerned with shock proofing they’re neglecting workplace issues, according to a new survey by Leadership Management Australia (LMA).

The report found an alarming gap between boss and employee business outlooks, with employees believing their increasing work pressures are being ignored by “out of touch” bosses. Some 70 percent of managers and 63 percent of employees believe they’re under more pressure now than three years ago, while only 49 percent of business leaders believe this to be the case.

Managers reported feeling similar amounts of pressure to employees, with feelings of “being continuously in demand” featuring heavily and with many reporting an increase in personal workloads. As a result, many managers now job seeking, with one in three actively looking to change jobs and one in four having actually applied for a new job in the last six months.

LMA executive chairman Grant Sexton believes the concerns of employees and managers need to be placed ahead of shock proofing procedures.

“The danger for organisations here is that implementation of the shock-proofing plan is in jeopardy because organisations can’t afford to lose their good managers who are overseeing the shock-proofing processes,” Sexton said.

The survey showed significantly differing opinions viewed by bosses and employees when it came to sources of work place pressures. Finding a healthy work/life balance was ranked by employees are the biggest source of pressure, while bosses ranked work/life balance as the third biggest source of pressure placed on employees.

“The big gap in the awareness of the both the amount and the source of pressure being experienced by managers and employees is because leaders are rightly feeling pleased with their shock-proofing strategy against external issues. However, they have neglected the internal risk and their most important resource, their people,” Sexton added.

Differing business outlooks were also uncovered between bosses and employees, with 70 percent of employees believing their organisation is growing, while just 47 percent of boses and 45 percent of managers shared the same level of confidence.

Sexton noted this was the biggest gap in perceived business outlook uncovered since the survey began in 2000, also commenting that in order to bridge the gap, bosses need to reconnect with senior management, address their concerns and engage them in the shock-proofing plan.

“At the same time, they must listen to their managers and find solutions to their major pressures which could be jeopardising the organisation’s productivity and progress,” he added.