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Jon Kennard


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Insight: Leaders – are you part of that 43%?


UK employers are failing to provide line managers with effective management and leadership training, even though a huge 43% of employees believe they are ineffective.
Moreover, a survey among 4,500 managers, which includes 550 HR bosses, which was jointly published by the Chartered Management Institute, HR consultancy Penna, and Henley Business School also revealed a clear link between management effectiveness and organisational performance.
Just under two out of five managers in low-performing organisations deemed their line managers to be good at their jobs compared with four out of five in high-performing businesses.
But appropriate management and leadership development activities were found to boost people performance by 32% and increase organisational performance by 23%, no matter what the size or sector of the company concerned.
Christopher Kinsella, the CMI’s acting chief executive, said: “By investing in management and leadership development wisely, you can make a real, measurable difference. The key is not taking a one-size-fits-all approach, but making sure that any development activity is clearly linked to your overall business strategy.”
The research found that, although many employers were investing in up to 26 different types of training - with the average manager having been subjected to six on average over the last three years – attention was all too often focused on the least effective methods.
Although professional qualifications and accredited learning such as MBA courses were rated as having the highest impact on an individual’s performance, particularly at the more junior levels, ‘on-the-job’ experience and short courses were still relied on most heavily.
It also came to light that high-performing organisations spent an average of 36% more on leadership development activities per manager per year than low-performing ones (£1,738 and £1,275 respectively), with the mean organisational investment per manager estimated at about £1,414 per annum.
Public authorities spent an average of £1,515 per manager per year, while private sector firms spent £1,416 and third sector organisations, £1,133.
Nonetheless, financial investment alone was found not to be enough. To truly maximise performance, training had to support business priorities and the skills and behaviours being learned had to be based directly on business needs.
Outcomes also had to be evaluated and development activity backed up by practices such as performance management, while senior-level management buy-in was also considered key.

Author Profile Picture
Jon Kennard

Freelance writer

Read more from Jon Kennard

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