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Managers lacking necessary skills, CIPD finds

HR News |  08/05/2012
Managers lacking necessary skills, CIPD findsA shortage of leadership and management skills within UK organisations may be hampering efforts to get the most out of employees, it has been claimed.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), poor managers need to "look in the mirror" if they want to get the best out of their people.

Research conducted by the HR body found that 72 per cent of employers report a lack of leadership and management skills.

But a major challenge for managers in improving their skills is the fact many managers have an inflated opinion of their own ability.

Some eight in ten managers think their staff are 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied' with them as a manager, whereas just 58 per cent of employees report this is the case.

Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, said leadership and management capability continues to be an Achilles heel for UK plc, despite mounting evidence that these are ‘skills for growth’ essentials.

"Our research shows almost three in ten people (28 per cent), equating to about eight million people across the UK workforce,  have direct management responsibility for one or more people in the workplace, and yet only just over half of employees are satisfied with their manager," he stated.

"A small increase in capability across this huge population of people managers would have a significant impact on people’s engagement, wellbeing and productivity."

Mr Willmott claimed 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.

He said managers often fall into a vicious circle of poor management; they don’t spend enough time providing high quality feedback to the people they manage, or coaching and developing them or tapping into their ideas and creativity.

As a result, they have to spend more time dealing with stressed staff, absence or conflict and the associated disciplinary and grievance issues.

"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," Mr Willmott added.

"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."

Posted by John Lynes


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