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UK Managers Are No Role-Models


Only one third of UK employees (34%) see their manager as a role model, with many resenting their boss's failure to involve them when developing new ideas, according to a new MORI poll.

The research, commissioned by Investors in People (IIP), found that nearly a quarter of employees (24%) feel that their line manager takes little or no account of their views or does not consult them when making decisions.

Notably managers working in SME organisations (under 250 staff), are the worst culprits with only 49% of employees saying their manager works with other staff when developing new plans or ideas, compared to 64% in larger organisations (over 1,000 employees).

The research suggests that more inspirational managers tend to be those who are team players, and involve employees when making decisions or developing new ideas, rather than those managers that simply issue orders from the top.

Of those that saw their manager as a role model, over four in five (81%) said that they worked with them to develop new plans and 85% agreed that their boss worked with them to reach decisions.

There are also some regional discrepancies in management styles. In Scotland bosses are least likely to share information and take feedback on board (43%), whilst in the North West, managers are most likely to work with staff to reach decisions (69%).

Ruth Spellman, chief executive of IIP, said the research would make uncomfortable reading for many managers.

"The UK's employees are clearly not impressed with managers who fail to communicate effectively or choose to ignore their opinions and ideas," she said.

"Employers invest significant time and money in recruiting the right people, but many are then failing to make the most of their skills and experience. Businesses need to realise the impact management styles can have on how employees contribute and ultimately on the bottom line. Employers who don't evaluate managers' performance within this context are missing a trick."

The findings are published as employers prepare for the introduction of Information and Consultation regulations next month, which will give employees the right to involvement in key business decisions and will ultimately apply to all organisations with 50 or more employees.

Ruth Spellman added: "The new statutory regulations offer a clear business opportunity to employers by creating the impetus for them to improve the involvement and engagement of employees. Being a successful manager isn't about dictating from the top. It's about motivating employees and ensuring that their contribution to the business is maximised."

These latest findings follow research released last year by Investors in People which found that 56% of UK bosses think substandard management skills are a major contributory factor in the UK's productivity gap.


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