There are many facets to being an effective leader. According to Harvard Business Review, leadership is a conversation. That’s why companies need to make sure that their leaders or the top management are fully equipped with the right values. There are lots of disturbing incidents that successful companies are facing now because of “mismanagement.” One good example is what happened to UBER. CEO Travis Kalanick resigns as CEO because of people’s outrage about the company’s sexual harassment issues, discrimination and lack of respect to its employees. There are several ways in reinforcing the right values to their leaders or avoid issues like this that can wreck your company’s success, and here are some of it:
- Avoiding Negligence and Misconduct
One good attribute of a leader is to know how to escalate an incident through proper communication. If there was a team that focuses on coaching in the workplace, negligence, and destruction of the public image would be prevented. Implementation of executive coaching programs is a great way to combat this especially when an issue or a complaint reaches Human Resources so that employees will feel valued.
- Battling Improper Exercise of Power.
There are proper ways to exercise power, like making complex decisions. According to a UBER employee, “On my first official day rotating on the team, my new manager sent me a string of messages over company chat,” and that is not really a good welcome message for a newly hired employee. Part of an effective leadership is maintaining a respectable and harmonious relationship with your staff. Being one of on the top means practicing professional effective communication skills to workers, and not taking advantage of it.
- Avoiding Sexism
According to Forbes, women work longer hours than men, but this doesn’t mean they are better or worse employees. Men and women have their own skills and capabilities that make a successful company. Being sexist doesn’t count in authentic leadership; it’s actually a bad attribute that kills company reputation or public image. A former employee of UBER noted in her blog: “Women of UBER just needed to step up and be better engineers.” This alone can basically define what sexism is.
- Building Workplace Respect and Integrity
Emphasis on respect and integrity is part of effective leadership skills. The employee who wrote the blog made sure to put an emphasis on how the women and men involved in the sexual harassment suits have integrity because they consistently updated HR about it. Not only CEO’s or leaders deserve respect even employees too. Prevention of the incident that between the CEO and the UBER driver could have been prevented if this was clearly discussed on all ranks level.
- Restraining Indecent Workplace Culture
Tolerating misconduct, disrespect, bullying, and discrimination are sure-fire ways to destroy a company. In her blog post, the Uber employee clearly noted that nothing was happening despite all the reports and evidence. “The situation was escalated as far up the chain as it could be escalated, and still nothing was done.” Leaders can prevent incidents like this by restraining such practices. Companies with management training programs need to make sure that leaders are aware of complex issues like this and make sure to discuss them properly, shares Inc.com.
“The leadership team should be the ones driving the values of the company, and setting and recognizing good examples. They should be the first ones to address and correct issues that come up.”
- Discussing Codes of Conduct or FAQ’s Regularly
There are leaders who don’t talk about company incidents and turn a blind eye to it. Business Insider made summary of UBER’s core values and noted that the company doesn’t meet all of them because of their strong will to succeed. It’s necessary to discuss core values among all staff employees of all ranks with management coaching.
- Discouraging Discrimination and Promoting Diversity
According to the blog post an HR staff told her,
“She recounted a story about how sometimes certain people of certain genders and ethnic backgrounds were better suited for some jobs than others, so I shouldn’t be surprised by the gender ratios in engineering.”
This doesn’t promote diversity at all and technically, this is a discriminatory statement. Companies should make sure that leaders should never have this mentality. One way companies can make sure this doesn’t happen is through certified coaching programs to make sure that everyone has the same level of understanding when it comes to diversity.
Uber has faced serious charges and other companies with similar problems. It all boils down to leadership and management practices and how those in place handle their staff and issues like this. When those at the top have integrity and values it usually shows in their subordinates. Global leaders should ask themselves what kind of employees they have and what kind of leader they are. What recently happened is a call for reflection which the industry sorely needs.
The clients that hire RMW International, understand the importance of not only building a winning culture, they also know the importance of maintaining and protecting the culture. Many companies spend a lot of time establishing their company’s mission and vision statements. They go on retreats to decide what their company’s values will be. However, this is NOT enough if your organization is not intentional about holding everyone accountable to bringing them alive daily this includes everyone – from the CEO, Senior and Mid-Level Managers to your Frontline Employees.
Learn from UBER’s mistake and examine and evaluate your culture. And remember…We respect that which we inspect!