HR · 2 December 2019

Key signs that your business is lacking energy

lacking energy

Once you get the energy for a workforce right, then it’s not long before the extraordinary happens within a business. But the converse is also true: dysfunctional energy can manifest itself in some truly terrible symptoms.

1. Splintering

If teams have conversations but don’t engage in formal meetings, you have a clear misplacement of energy. This will quickly evolve into low morale and a host of other issues. The first step is to understand the reasons for the team putting its energy elsewhere and then address it. Quickly…

2. Group thought

Businesses need teams but teams of individuals. Group thinking is a clear indication that the individual energies are not being nurtured in business and that a uniform perspective has taken over. To drive individual energies and still harness them, tools like daily feedback are critical.

3. Gossiping Folk…

Disagreement – even passionate argument – are not actually signs of poor energy. But unfinished conflict is. If staff haven’t pushed through to resolution, chances are it is because of a lack of energy to finish discussions. If you have a gossipy, divided workforce that is not finishing its fights, then as a leader you need to intervene.

4. Lack of engagement

A real alarm bell is staff that are withdrawn in the work environment. Typically this will be seen in a lack of creativity, quality-consciousness or enthusiasm. These have their roots in the alignment of employees energy to the tasks they are involved in. Get these elements realigned and employees will re-engage with energy.

5. Decision dithering

If your team is not making clear, strong decisions (even the wrong ones …) then dysfunctional energy is to blame – specifically, that staff are not confident in the exercise of their energies within the workplace. This can kill productivity and progress. It may need a short term fix where leaders step in but longer-term, businesses must invest it the confidence and creativity of their staff…

4 signs that a leader is lacking energy…

Robot boss
Are you lacking energy in your leadership role?

Positive energy is the fuel that gets managers jumping out of bed every morning excited by the prospect of another day where they can be creative, inspire others and make a difference. Energy dictates whether a day is great or a total downer. And everyone knows a downer – a grim workplace where duties are ground out amidst a system of process and fear.

1. Invisibility

One of the most immediate signs managers or leaders are lacking energy is that they won’t be there. Or if they are around, they exist only to issue orders and then retreat into the background.

2. Micromanagement

Following on from a manager’s absence is a presence that is defined by managing tasks according to tightly defined processes that can form a crutch for the manager, rather than them engaging with team members. New ideas are shot down, and if a leader lacks energy they will resist new ideas and fight against the development of different points of view. This quickly grows into a company culture of ‘not asking questions’.

3. Perfectionism

A leader lacking energy will demand perfection from everyone around them in order to minimise the demands on them fixing problems. Which is, of course, a fast track to stagnation and a lack of growth.

4. Impulsiveness

Leaders lacking energy blow with the wind and lack consistency. As a result, they cave in to impulses and create a pattern of unpredictability.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Chris is a British author and entrepreneur. He is best known for his books “Free! Love Your Work Love Your Life”, “Wake Up!,” and “Shine”, and was Penguin’s bestselling author in 2014. His work has also been covered in mainstream press including BBC, The Guardian, GQ, The Sunday Times, and various other publications. In 2010, Baréz-Brown established the consultancy Upping Your Elvis. UYE collaborates with Nike, Unilever, Britvic, Diageo, The Guardian, Mediacom, ITV and a host of others to supercharge the energy and creativity of workers. His tone is very personable and we have a range of material on energy, talent development, retention, reward and a host of other stuff.

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