New research reveals business leaders are wholly misaligned with their workforces when it comes to understanding and decision making

A poll by business consultancy, GAIN LINE, has revealed a major disconnect between organisational leaders, and their employees. When asked whether employees have an input into critical decisions that affect them, three-quarters of ‘owners’ and 90% of ‘directors’ said ‘yes’. However, when asked the same question, over half of ‘junior’ staff (56%) responded ‘no’, they do not feel they have an input into critical business decisions.

This suggests the more senior a person is within a business, the more likely they are to believe employees have valid input into the decisions that affect their daily worklife. While the more junior they are, the least likely they are to feel they have a say in company decision making.

Tom Mercer, Commercial Director, at GAIN LINE, said: “For a workforce to be engaged and productive, it’s vital they feel listened to and empowered to do their best work. At a time when companies are competing for strong talent, this survey suggests that many are falling short when it comes to supporting their teams, with a complete disconnect between what junior and senior employees feel when it comes to important decision making.

“Not only does this put staff satisfaction and retention at risk, it also jeopardises the outcomes of the decision making process.”

The survey also showed the majority of junior staff believe management are unaware of the challenges they face on a daily basis, which is at complete odds to the owners and directors, who overwhelmingly believe they are. When responding to the question ‘do you feel like the management team is fully aware of the challenges that people face in your business?’, 53% of junior staff answered ‘no’, while 100% of owners and 95% of directors replied ‘yes’.

“Our data suggests that leaders making critical business decisions are unlikely to be aware of the challenges they’re actually trying to solve, which raises serious questions about the effectiveness and robustness of those decisions,” explained Tom Mercer.

“Organisations that are run top down, without considering the input and views from the people that actually see these challenges every day, risk basing their decisions on inaccurate or unrepresentative data and insights. The result could be wrongly prioritising budget allocations, making unnecessary changes or adapting processes that actually hinder rather than help their team and the operational aspects of delivery.”