Three-quarters of employers report a lack of leadership and management skills in their organisation but too many managers have an inflated opinion of their own abilities, argues new research from the CIPD.
Eight out of ten managers felt that their staff were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their management performance, but just 58 per cent of employees said that this was the case, according to the CIPD’s latest Employee Outlook report.
This “reality gap” was crucial, said the institute, as the quarterly survey of 2,000 people also identified a clear link between satisfaction with line management and employee engagement.
As almost three in ten workers – equating to about eight million people across the UK – have direct management responsibility for at least one person, a small increase in capability could have a significant impact on overall staff engagement, wellbeing and productivity, said Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD.
“Leadership and management capability continues to be an Achilles heel for UK plc, despite mounting evidence that these are ‘skills for growth’ essentials,” he explained.
“Too many employees are promoted into people management roles because they have good technical skills, then receive inadequate training and have little idea of how their behaviour impacts on others.”
The research also revealed further contrasting perceptions of management skills within organisations. While 61 per cent of managers claimed that they met each person they managed at least twice a month to talk about their workload and objectives, just 24 per cent of employees said they met with such frequency.
More than 90 per cent of managers also reported that they coached their staff, compared to the 40 per cent of employees who agreed with this assertion.
A further three-quarters of managers felt that they discussed individuals’ development and career progression during one-to-ones, but only four in ten employees said that this happened.
“Good managers value and prioritise the time with their staff because they realise that this is the only way to get the best out of them,” continued Willmott.
“Employers need to get better at identifying and addressing management skills deficits through low cost and no cost interventions such as coaching by other managers, mentoring, online learning, the use of management champions, peer to peer networks, toolkits, and self assessment questionnaires.”
He added that in order to encourage economic growth and the transformation of public services, the government needed to play a bigger role in building demand among employers for investment in leadership and management skills.
03 May 2012