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Organisations fail to motivate managers


An Ashridge report has revealed that managers are motivated by challenging and interesting work, and not by high salary (as most companies believe). The report also reveals that most managers think their companies are not doing enough in terms of leadership development. And it paints a worrying picture of an average 60 hour working week, with managers struggling to cope with information overload.

That's the findings of the 2008 edition of the Ashridge Management Index: Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century, which also indicates that whilst most managers (70%) describe a positive leadership environment within their organisations, around half (55%) think the motivational approach taken by their organisations fails to motivate them and colleagues.

The survey reveals a discrepancy between the motivating factors cited by organisations compared to those cited by individual managers.

The factor rated highest for managers is challenging and interesting work, whilst organisations rank performance related pay and incentive schemes as the number one motivator.

Fiona Dent, director of executive education at Ashridge and author of the survey report comments: “A strong theme from managers’ responses is the desire to move beyond a ‘sheep dip’ way of motivating. Managers want to be treated as individuals and for there to be a clear understanding of what types of motivation work best to gain results from different individuals and teams.”

Despite the awareness about the importance of talent management and leadership development, these topics also seem to be neglected by a number of organisations. Only around half of the managers (47%) believe their organisations are doing enough to develop the next generation of leaders through succession planning and talent management initiatives.

The survey also looked at managers’ personal challenges, with two main issues emerging: information overload and work/life balance. Nearly three quarters of managers (74%) said the increasing use of IT means they are often snowed under with voice and emails. The ideal of the European Union 48 hour working week seems distant for the majority - with half (50%) frequently working 60 hours or more per week and nearly two thirds (63%) taking work home with them.


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