Managers are over confident and under skilled

View Latest News Publish Date: 2-Aug-2011

Managers are over confident and under skilled

Research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) managers believe that they are better managers than their performance suggests and that this is causing stress for their workers who leave work each day feeling unfulfilled.


The survey of 2,000 workers across the United Kingdom found that 74% are regularly making decisions on issues that they don't fully understand and that just over half are working for managers who do not appear to have either the skills or confidence to do the job. 


Over a third of managers 38% report that they are comfortable with their skills levels, suggesting that there is a skills/confidence gap that could prove to be damaging in the long term for businesses. 


Employees report that the attitude of a manager determines the atmosphere in a working environment and that almost four in ten (39%) think that the management style of their boss causes them stress and just over a third (34%) say that their manager has a negative impact on their enjoyment of going to work.


Increasingly it seems that employees are finding their managers unapproachable with nearly two thirds (61%) not having the opportunity to ask their manager for help when they felt they needed it. This say employees leads to them losing respect for their managers, especially as 10% of employees say that the reason they want to speak to their manager is to rectify a mistake that the manager has made.


Training would boost employee confidence, but 43% of employees said that they would not ask their manager for training, with a fifth saying that if they did their manager would think badly of them. 


The problem is worse for younger employeesaged between 18-24, who are not only more worried about making decisions and asking for training teh research also shows that they are not getting the coaching and basic guidance that they need when starting work or involved in new activities. 


Ruth Spellman, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute said: “It is key that managers demonstrate both competence and confidence in their role if they are to make certain their teams are engaged and reaching their full potential.


Part of the challenge for trainers is that managers reached their position of authority without the benefit of training and so their only knowledge of how to manager is the way in which they themselves were managed. This can only result in the perpetuation of ineffective management practices.


Of course if a manager didn't need training to get promoted their perception is likely to be that they do not need training to keep their position either. Or they may know that they desparately need training but like their employees lack the confidence to ask for it, for fear of appearing weak. It is a situation that creates a tricky dilemma for trainers.


The solution is to provide training that does not feel like training. Something that is learning without being in a classroom. Something that does not mean a manager has to acknowledge a weakness or lack of skills. Something that treats them with respect and acknowledges what they have achieved.


Before a manager can create an engaged team, they themselves first have to be engaged with the company and their employees.


The solution is EDGE the innovative business leadership development programme developed by Bloomberg Businessweek magazine and available from Work Place Learning Centre.


EDGE says Michael Millward, Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development North Yorkshire Branch is ideal for managers who don't want to be trained or don't think that they need to be trained. 


EDGE uses current business issues, which managers are likely to be talking about with colleagues over coffee  as the basis for a faciliated discussion that allows managers at all levels to explore their own behaviour in the context of those real world events and create action learning plans in the context of business improvement.

Members of the Work Place Learning Centre team are available to provide journalists and media organisations with expert comment on all aspects of learning at work.

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