Think you’re a good manager? Your staff might disagree

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A UK report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) shows that three-quarters of employers report a lack of leadership and management skills in their organization, but too many managers have an inflated opinion of their own abilities.

The institute describes the gap as “crucial”, with the survey showing a clear link between satisfaction with line management and employee engagement. Eight out of ten managers believed their staff were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their management performance. In comparison, just 58%  of employees agreed.

Even 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,” he says. “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.”

Managers not only overestimate their own abilities, but also the amount of contact they made with workers. Almost two-thirds (62%) of managers claimed that they met each person they managed at least twice a month to talk about their workload and objectives – just 24% of employees said they met that often.

The gap doesn’t end there. More than 90% of managers reported that they coached their staff, compared to the 40% of employees who agreed.

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 this happened.

“Good managers value and prioritize the time with their staff because they realize that this is the only way to get the best out of them,” says 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.”


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