Executive Summary This paper reports the findings of numerous sources regarding leadership and its positive impact on employee performance and productivity. The impact of leadership on productivity is explored through numerous sources cited in this paper which include case studies and expert analyses. The findings of this paper reveal that effective leadership does indeed have a positive impact on productivity in the workplace. With leadership comes the responsibility to influence employees in the best way possible in order to improve their work experience, as well as increase employee productivity. When employees feel a sense of value to their organization, it results higher efforts to improve. Leaders who create effective communication channels get to know their employees and can use their strengths to the organization advantage. In todays work environment, a laissez-faire approach to leadership will result in employee dissatisfaction so it is import that leaders make an effort to be there for their employees. Lastly, it is advised that leaders use strategies that put the employee first, and use their influence to motivate and lead by example. When this is done, the organization will surely thrive and productivity will follow. Leadership and its impact on positive productivity in the workplace Introduction It is said that the quality of leadership in the workplace can either make or break the success of an organization. With leadership comes the responsibility to actively contribute to the success of an organization or group of people. In today’s increasingly competitive market every decision matters. In the face of setbacks and difficulties, good leaders have an idea of how to attack the situation and what plan to use. The responsibility for others is one of the most important roles of a leader. Having the power to influence employees and better their work experience is a privilege leaders hold. It is through the employee’s workplace experience where productivity either has the ability to increase or decrease. Aiding the internal needs of an organization, such as the needs of employees, will have major benefits. By planning ahead, taking initiative, and improving employee satisfaction, productivity will increase due to effective leadership dynamics.Literature Review In the section below the reader will find numerous sources that pertain to leadership and its impact on positive productivity in the workplace. Each source is explains different aspects of successful leadership through case studies, polls, and expert analyses. The impact of managers on workplace engagement and productivity: By James Foster In the workplace, the role of the manager is considered the most influential and significant role. Managers play a vital role in not only influencing employees but shaping organizational culture as well. The title “manager” is often used to describe a position that holds multiple responsibilities. World renowned management consultant Peter Drucker states that there are five “primary functions” He claims it is a managers role to set objectives, to organize, to motivate and communicate, to measure and to develop people. It is through these functions that managers can lead and create room for not only growth but productivity. When discussing productivity, author of the article James Foster states it is important to start with the relationship between employee and manager. In a poll where employees where asked which benefits would improve their relationship with their manager 49% of employees believed “ongoing effort recognition” would do help, where 32% favored “above and beyond performance recognition” and a “5% salary bonus” was chosen by 20% of employees. That being said, it is apparent that managers should push to motivate his or her employees and recognize their efforts in the workplace consistently. Communication can make or break workplace productivity and it is clear that a functional communication channel is needed in any organization. It is interesting that only 15% of employees say the companies they work for are efficiently fostering communication throughout the workplace. Employees who feel their manager is invested in them as a person tend to increase productivity. It is through the appreciation of workplace diversity and the ability to deal with employees on a personal level where companies succeed. Focusing on employee’s strengths and building upon these will allow them to produce a higher quality and quantity of work. The focus of leadership through the manager position of any organization emphasizes the importance they have on organizational performance. Drops in efficiency and productivity in the workplace can have terrible repercussions and could weaken business performance. When an organization or workplace has strong, competent, and capable leadership, many will benefit and profit will grow. Ethics & Workplace Survey Finds Transparency by Leadership Makes a Positive Impact on Employee Productivity: Deloitte 2008 In a survey conducted by Opinion Research on behalf of Deloitte, it was found that 72% of participants agreed that transparency between employee and boss would create a more productive and engaging work environment. It starts with an open and effective communication channel between employees and upper management. Chairmen of the Board, Deloitte LLP Sharon L. Allen believes that promoting honesty and openness in the workplace is critical to retaining top talent and that it starts at the the top. The study also found that men and women would be more productive and orderly at work when they balance their work schedule and personal priorities. Allen states that the survey findings exemplified the importance of customized work arrangements. It is through these formal flex policies which productivity, efficiency, and job satisfaction improve. It was found that 81% of working adults take advantage of customized work practices. It is important that leaders are transparent because when they are, problems and tasks are solved faster. Engaging with employees and being honest about company problems and objectives will not only build a sense of trust in the workplace but the opportunity to find solutions. The Business Benefits of Positive Leadership; Finding the connection between productivity and positive management behavior: By Jennifer Robison Jennifer Robison is a senior editor for the Gallup Business Journal and in her article she sets out to see if positive leadership practices improve productivity. In 2005, a study conducted by Jerry Krueger and Emily Killham with the Gallup Management Journal found that supervisors play a crucial role in employee engagement and employee well being. Their study showed that engagement ultimately leads to the success of a business or organization. In that study, there was a flaw. It didn’t cover what exactly those managers did to spark such positivity. Greenberg and Arakawa started a project in order to find the answer. They made the assumption that: “Positive managers use a strengths-based approach, maintain a positive perspective when difficulties arise, and provide frequent recognition and encouragement.” Essentially that means that working with people’s strengths, giving credit and acknowledging success, and staying positive and motivated when the going gets tough is what makes a smart and efficient leader. The study found that positive mangers who focus on employees strengths use this method to benefit the employee and the organization. Experienced and competent managers tend to understand that their behavior correlates with the performance of employees. As for performance recognition, the study found that waiting until the end of a project to give praise isn’t nearly as efficient as frequent recognition. Exceptional leaders are able to control their emotions and maintain calm when problems or difficulties arise. Taking problems and making them learning opportunities adds to growth of the employee. Helpful and positive managers who make themselves part of the solution rather then handing the issue to employees to deal with see organizational growth. Through positive management behavior, leaders in the workplace have the ability to influence employees through positivity, optimism, and motivation.The Impact of Leadership Upon Productivity: By Donna McNeese-Smith There has been a recurring theme that many organizations have been implementing an excess of managing and a shortage of leadership. Author of this article Donna McNeese-Smith is an EdD, MN, RN and a faculty member at the University of California at Los Angeles graduate program. She addresses makes numerous points regarding leadership and its effect on the health care sector and nursing. To start, management focuses on the “ins and outs” of any business such as keeping track of inventories as well as managing hours, salaries, and cost. Leadership focuses on the ability to effectively improve the organization through a key focus on improving employee productivity. The article focuses on the need for leadership in health care, improving patient care, and following a mutual organization goal accomplishable by teamwork. The research of productivity and its relation to employee satisfaction has been followed since productivity has been researched. This correlation is seen visible especially in the health care industry where the quality of care relates the satisfaction of the employees, and in an industry were replacing workers can be is extremely costly. In regards to healthcare and leadership, Kouzes and Posner believe there are five attributes that exemplify excellent leadership. The first behavior is “Challenging the Process” which focuses on changing nursing practices, trying new things, and using innovation to train their staff. Leaders aren’t scared to take risk and experiment in order to benefit the organization. Leaders are more often than not innovative seekers who never misses out on the opportunity to learn and improve. The second leadership/behavior is “Enabling Others to Act”, which essentially is motivating and empowering employees through transparency, trust, and encouragement. Leaders in health care who provide support, facilitate relationships, and give constant credit recognition will see success. These leaders focus on teamwork, respect, and trust. The third behavior mentioned is “Inspiring a Shared Vision” which emphasizes guiding team members/employees toward a common goal while providing direction to achieve it. For example, famous leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King and President John F. Kennedy were said to be masters of this behavior. Competent health care leaders that are visionary tend to be future oriented, help others share this vision, and put the organization first through commitment and support. The fourth leadership behavior mentioned is “Encouraging the Heart” which discusses celebrating the hard work and accomplishments of employees and staff. Since the early 1950s, psychologists have stressed the importance of employee consideration. Herzberg and McGregor mentioned in 1959 and 1961 that effective leaders support their employees and step up to help in times of crisis and difficulty. When employees in health care are appreciated and recognized the workplace feels very welcoming and efficient. The fifth and final behavior mentioned is “Modeling the Way”. Being a leader in the health care industry or any other industry requires emphasizing organizational values, and leading by example. These leaders values are consistent with their actions and they put other before themselves. A research study of 41 department managers and 471 hospital employees found that there is a positive correlation between these leadership behaviors and increased productivity. The Impact of Leadership & Culture on Productivity: By Sattar Bawany Many companies in recent years have fallen due to lack of leadership in the workplace. Sattar Bawany, author of the article and CEO of the Centre for Executive Education (CEE) claims that many of todays leaders struggle with a business environment that is VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous). With that being said, now more than ever are companies in need for good leaders. Today’s business environment is far from traditional organizational models and it is important to ignore the assumption that passed experience and leadership models will be effective in future leadership success. In regards to emotional intelligence competency, top notch leaders hold strengths in self awareness, motivation, empathy, and relationship management. These emotional attributes in particular make great leaders stand out over poor leaders. The mantra to put the customer first has been the priority of many companies for decades, but up until recently it has fallen second to one group of people: employees. The results show that when employees are placed first and are engaged, content, and motivated, the organization succeeds. Bawany states, “Organizations with cultures that focus on their people and that invest in their future will in the long-run, be more competitive than cultures that view employees as mere costs to be reduced in times of trouble.” We are quick to forget that organizational productivity and economic rewards or (profit), are direct results of employees. When employees are placed first by the organization and by its leaders it increases the bottom line and also ensures customer satisfaction. It is up to leaders to use versatile management practices in order to meet the needs of all employees. Organizational commitment, productivity, and job satisfaction all are affected by the actions of leaders and it is critical that the few leaders there are in the todays work environment strive to forge leaders out of employees.The Art of War: By Sun Tzu Sun Tzu describes in his very first chapter the affects of good decision making. He stresses that in order to be successful and victorious we must be aware of the decisions at hand and the effects that follow them. A plan is always the first place to start when deciding how to approach a particular situation. The more time put into implementing decisions, the more favorable the outcome. When problems are met, they should be faced with fire and fury. Preparing and strategizing a plan is crucial to winning a war or solving a problem. In The Art of War, Sun Tzu stresses the importance of being self-aware. Whether if it’s in battle, the workplace, or on the field/court, strength overcomes weakness. In order to be successful we must know what makes us strong and want makes us weak. He states “the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy” (Griffith & Tzu, 1971, ch. 4). Being aware of the power and faults of not only ourselves but of our enemy’s can allow for the sheltering of our weaknesses and the use of our strengths to exploit our enemy’s and their faults. It is clear that The Art of War is the most renowned book regarding military strategy and tactics; however, it is much more than that. Its principles stated by master strategist Sun Tzu have been taken and implemented in many aspects of modern life. By merely reading and genuinely capturing his teachings, one can develop a sense of leadership that is desperately needed in today’s world. Whether if it is on the battlefield or in the workplace, The Art of War is an essential read in order to maintain and achieve success. Synthesis of Literature In my research I have found that employee satisfaction is at its highest when they are regularly recognized for their efforts in the workplace. This satisfaction motivates employees to not only exceed the norm, but to go above and beyond (Bawany, S. (2017, April 1). The Impact of Leadership & Culture on Productivity. Retrieved November 30, 2017, from https://www.executivedevelopment.com/the-impact-of-leadership-culture-on-productivity/). Employee performance correlates with the behaviors of their leader. As a leader, routinely checking up on employee progress and efforts make it know to the employee that you care about their success and that they play an active roll in the success of the organization. As for performance recognition, waiting until the end of a project to give praise isn’t nearly as efficient as frequent recognition, so it is advised leaders make it a priority (Robison, J. (2007, May 10). The Business Benefits of Positive Leadership; Finding the connection between productivity and positive management behavior. Gallup Management Journal. Retrieved from http://bi.galegroup.com.online.library.marist.edu/essentials/article/GALE|A163723247?u=nysl_se_marist=summon). When employees are happy productivity increases, therefore leaders should not only motivate and lead by example, but give credit when credit is due. This particular research finding was found in more then one source which exhibits its effectiveness. Conceptual Model When high quality leadership is made the goal of an organization internal service quality improves tremendously which has a major effect on employee satisfaction and commitment. With a headstrong and determined leader, there is an enhancement is people outcomes. Employees are satisfied with not only their efforts but with the organization. They feel empowered and driven to not only surpass the minimum requirement but to go above an beyond. These employees feel part of the organization which increases employee retention. As a result, productivity almost always follows. Finally, impactful leadership has an enhanced business impact. In this new work environment, placing employees first produces job satisfaction and increases motivation which has a direct result on the companies bottom line. Customers are satisfied and through this satisfaction the customer base not only remains loyal but grows. Revenue growth follows and profits rise. This conceptual model is a visual representation of the positive impact leadership can have on any work environment. Recommendations for Management After extensive research, it is apparent that effective leadership does indeed have a positive impact on work environments and especially a positive impact on productivity. I would recommend leaders in the workplace start off by making employee satisfaction a necessity. When employees are satisfied by the work they are doing and by the help and confidence given by their leaders, employee retention will increase. When senior management and leaders have a vested interest in their employees, they will start to see an increase in efficiency and productivity. Acknowledging employee success consistently rather than periodically or at the end of a project will show the employee that their work is valued and part of the organization common goal. Finally, focus on the existing strengths of the employee and work to make those strengths even better. It is ideal that leaders set a foundation for communication channels in the workplace. When the leader and employee are connected towards a common goal, productivity will increase. The suggestions above are just a handful of recommendations that can help leaders in the workplace see results in higher workplace productivity. Conclusion To be a leader in the workplace or organization, one must have certain characteristics, and implement effective plans in order to help employees be more productive. Through extensive research, when leaders are honest, transparent, motivating and determined, employees benefit and productivity increases. Being able to establish and implement a plan will lead to a higher rate of success. Leaders who institute a strength based approach, remain positive and upbeat when difficulties arise, and regularly give positive feedback and credit to employees will result in organization growth. Positive productivity is a result of exceptional leadership abilities, but it should be addressed that negative productivity may be a result of terrible leaders. Moreover, it is up to leaders in todays society and in workplaces across the world to lead by example and establish a strong communication channel between employee and supervisor/leader. Being an effective leader starts with understanding the employee. When employees needs are met (satisfaction, value, development), revenue growth, profitability, customer satisfaction, and productivity all follow. That being said, success in the workplace can be solely linked to the effectiveness of leadership.