Study Reveals Top 5 Leadership Traits UK Workers Value – and 5 That Cause Most Harm

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2020 undoubtedly had a significant impact on work culture in the UK. As the national focus shifted rapidly to fight the pandemic, new measures and ways of working came in to force quite literally overnight.

In circumstances such as these, strong leadership can be invaluable. But what are the traits that people look for in their leaders? And what kind of impact can they have on employees?

A new study conducted by training specialist Hub Events has revealed the most important characteristics that UK workers look for in leaders… and the most concerning.

In a survey of 1,000 UK workers, the study identified honesty (44%) as the most valuable characteristic leaders can bring to their team. Good communication (38%) came in as the second most important, while approachability (32%) came in a close third.

Shockingly, the study also found that 45% of the UK workforce have left a job due to bad management, with 70% of poor leaders occupying a director-level position.

Diving into the results further, it’s not difficult to see why. Unapproachability (38%) topped the list as the worst trait a manager or person in leadership can have. Poor communication (35%) came in second, whilst aggressive behaviour (33%) came in at a very close third on the list.


Top 5 Best Leadership Qualities:

  1. Honesty – 44%
  2. Good Communication – 38%
  3. Approachability – 32%
  4. Decision Making – 29%
  5. Positive Attitude – 25%

Top 5 Worst Leadership Qualities 

  1. Unapproachable – 38%
  2. Bad Communication – 35%
  3. Aggressive Behaviour – 33%
  4. Poor Listening Skills – 32%
  5. Discrimination – 32%

Why Leadership Traits are Important Now More Than Ever
Reflecting on the findings, Hub Events Co-Founder Christine Macdonald suggests: “While these traits would undoubtedly have been something to champion and be aware of respectively before the pandemic, it’s crucial now more than ever, that those in leadership take stock of the impact that their decisions, actions and behaviours can have on those they lead.

“Losing good employees because of poor leadership is a significant problem for businesses today. Organisations can lose potentially thousands from losing skilled staff members, and it can lead to the development of a poor workplace environment, which can have a significant impact not only on the performance but also on the health and wellbeing of staff.”


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    Lisa Carter

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