How and why you should be measuring leadership success

With team performance often reflecting a leader’s energy and drive, Rose Kelly identifies the best way to measure how your leadership skills are impacting your real estate business – for better or worse.

Leadership in real estate is not just a business journey; it’s also a personal one. Together they are like intersecting rollercoasters: do you strap yourself in, fuel up for the long haul, learn better navigation, get your mind clear of distractions, or stay focused on the road ahead? In fact, you need to do all this and more.

In every business, there are measurable indicators, known as KPIs, that will determine how well the desired results are achieved. Alongside these are the behaviour, motivation and engagement of the employees. It seems that both the quantum results and team engagement are significantly impacted by the leader, and how well that person performs in their leadership role.

It is leadership that underpins how consistently, effectively and efficiently the results are achieved. It creates, stimulates and sustains the engagement and therefore the productivity of team members.

That begs the question: what do high-performing leaders do to champion the success of their teams to achieve results, remain engaged and deliver the highest levels of productivity? How can we determine whether someone measures up in their leadership role?

Leadership performance in real estate sales departments is commonly monitored, albeit mostly through the results achieved. There is often less emphasis on monitoring leadership for the rest of the team – usually a mixture of property managers and administrative staff.

There are some obvious rationales around measuring leaders’ performance based on the performance of their team or individuals within it. However, to go more deeply into why some people perform better than others and how their leader is impacting on that, we need to look at their engagement in the workplace.

Employee engagement can be measured using a tool such as Gallup’s Q12 Employee Survey, which rates individuals according to their connection and commitment to the goals and vision of their company. Gallup maintain that when employees are actively engaged they are emotionally invested and focused on creating value for their employer. The research shows a direct link between employee engagement and productivity.

There is a direct link between employee engagement and productivity.

Gallup’s own survey questions indicate that employee engagement has much to do with the behaviour of their leader: how well employees feel they are understood and cared about, how well they know what is expected of them, how often this is reviewed and whether they receive regular feedback. These are some of the core employee needs described by Gallup.

Employees who are highly engaged are more likely to give ‘discretionary effort’ to their work, featuring alongside a reduction in absenteeism, staff turnover, theft and customer complaints, and a corresponding increase in sales and productivity.

This research shows there are some very real metrics for monitoring leadership performance. At a high level one might be satisfied with taking a snapshot of team and individual performance, but drilling down deeper it is clear that individual engagement is also a good metric. Some of the fallout behaviours of team members who are not actively engaged, or worse still disengaged, provide further insight into the performance of the leader.

We can therefore measure the specific actions that leaders take to maintain engagement and productivity, such as how often they conduct one-on-one meetings, what actions they take to hold employees accountable for their results and give feedback on performance, how often they meet with the whole team in engaging ways, and how and when they review individual performance goals and action plans.

In summary, it seems that a hybrid model of measuring leadership performance makes the most sense. Leadership performance can be measured against both the results the team deliver and their employee engagement score, giving leaders more impetus to develop and apply the full range of skills they need to be a high performer.

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Rose Kelly

As the Director and Coach at Leading Focus, Rose Kelly lives out her passion for excellence and her desire to maximise the potential of all real estate industry professionals. For more information visit leadingfocus.com.au.