Leadership styles and climate

What does it feel like to work for you?


Nothing saps performance like a bad team atmosphere. And the difference between a good and bad climate comes down to your leaders and how they behave.

Leadership that makes a difference

We know we do better when we’re motivated, involved and clear about the job to be done. It’s easier to give extra effort. But what makes a team productive?

Our research shows that business performance can improve by up to 30 per cent when employees experience a great climate: energizing work, a positive atmosphere, feeling part of their team’s success. And a leader’s behaviour is the biggest factor in creating the right climate for their team. . Improve your leaders’ effectiveness and you’ll improve business performance.

The best leaders create a climate that motivates their team. Our research shows that the world’s top leaders draw on a repertoire of six different leadership styles; they change their approach according to the situation, the challenge and the person they’re dealing with at any given time.

Leadership Styles and Climate are a collection of online tools which give you an accurate picture of the leadership styles your leaders use and the impact that your leaders have on their teams. Based on respected academic research and our decades of experience with organizations across the world, the tools are benchmarked against tens of thousands of managers, so you can be confident that you’re comparing your managers with the best.

How it works

If you want your leaders to sustain the best possible performance from their team, you need to be sure that they understand how their actions and behavior influence climate, and how that climate influences business results. Leadership Styles and Climate consists of two online assessments that measure and report your leaders’ behavior and impact And we provide everything else you need, as an accredited practitioner, to apply the tools effectively in your own organization.

Inventory of Leadership styles (ILS)

The world’s best leaders use a blend of six leadership styles – the styles that are proven to be the most effective in driving team performance:

  • coercive leadership – the ability to get people to do what needs to be done
  • authoritative leadership – the long-term vision
  • affiliative leadership –creating trust and harmony
  • democratic leadership – reaching consensus and encouraging new ideas
  • pacesetting leadership – leading by example
  • coaching – encouraging professional growth.

The ILS is a quick and easy online survey which identifies the leadership styles that your managers and leaders use. It helps them understand how their behaviour affects the team – in other words, what it feels like to be led by them – and how the six styles used by the best leaders make a difference.

The Organizational Climate Survey (OCS)

The OCS looks at the impact your leaders make, giving you an accurate picture of how your employees experience their climate. Based on work carried out at Harvard University by psychologists George Litwin and Robert Stringer, the OCS identifies the six most important aspects of an organization’s climate that affect team performance:

  • clarity – everyone knows what’s expected of them
  • standards  – goals are challenging, but reachable
  • responsibility – people have the authority to do what they’re asked to do
  • flexibility – no unnecessary rules
  • rewards – if you do well, it’s noticed and recognized
  • team commitment – people are proud to work here.

We’ll give you everything you need to operate these world-class tools yourself at an affordable price. We’ll show you how to use our self-service administration website, which gives you full control over the use of the ILS and OCS: creating participants, sending survey links to employees and generating feedback reports. And participants can use our interactive e-learning module, which explains what leadership styles and climate are all about and why they matters.

Become an accredited user

We’ve developed a two-day accreditation program that gives you everything you need to understand leadership styles and climate, the ILS and OCS and how to deliver feedback within your own organization The course is for people with coaching experience, for example:

  • 3+ years business or academic experience in coaching, HR, organizational development or a related field
  • qualified at professional or post graduate level in psychology, coaching, HR, psychometrics, organizational behavior or a related field, or currently undertaking a post graduate program in these areas.

Important note: All applicants for the program must also pass our screening process. Attendance doesn’t imply automatic accreditation; you must be able to apply the tool in a feedback situation. Other restrictions apply in some countries.

After you’ve completed the program we provide our full support to make sure you’re able to apply leadership styles and climate in your organization.

Leadership to go

E-learning modules. Our leadership styles and climate e-learning modules allow your managers to get on with their leadership development wherever they are, at their own pace and in their own time.

The e-learning modules can be used as pre-briefing before a leadership program or workshop, to reinforce learning after a program, or to support one-to-one coaching. They make learning accessible, at the office or at home, and give your leaders the insights they need to make a difference in the workplace. The modules include enjoyable, interactive challenges to help your managers understand how to put what they learn into practice with their teams, and includes reference materials, useful articles and case studies.

Activate Styles and Climate app. With our Styles and Climate app, managers can put what they’ve learned into practice, every day. Available for tablet, smartphone or desktop, the app guides and tracks progress, helping managers to master new leadership styles. It provides relevant tips based on your company's priorities, recommendations from other companies and Hay Group experience. Tips are scheduled into users’ working days and team members can assess how managers are doing using automatic surveys. You can use points, achievements and leaderboard rankings to maintain interest and motivation.


Used in combination, the ILS and OCS give you an accurate picture of how your leaders behave, how your people experience their climate and how it affects the ability to do their job.

These tools will help you:

  • gauge the impact your leaders have on their teams’ motivation
  • develop your leaders using one-to-one feedback and group exercises
  • improve the climate across your organization
  • boost financial performance
  • by helping your leaders to appreciate how their actions contribute to performance
  • create climates that bring out the best in their team members
  • understand and use the six styles of leadership that will help them become more effective

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Organizational climate quiz

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