UK falling behind in ‘management skills’

7-in-10 UK employers are not providing ANY management training for first time managers* so it’s no surprise that when it comes to management skills, Britain is falling well behind its counterparts in other leading economies. A 2004 Research by the Chartered Management Institute showed that the UK employers’ average spend on development per manager was half the Danish average and almost one-third of the German average. 

Productivity is becoming more and more of a buzzword in the workplace, and even though British workers are becoming more productive, they are still on average 20 percentage points LESS productive than workers in the rest of the G7 economies. The 2015 UKCES Employer Skills Survey reported that while 58% of employers believe that leadership and management skills are lacking, only 37% of employers were actually investing in management training programmes. 

The tendency to promote people with good technical skills but poor people skills is an alarmingly common problem in the UK, as well as failing to provide training until people have been in a job for years, according to what David Pardey of the Institute of Leadership and Management said to the Financial Times. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has estimated the cost of poor management and leadership to the UK economy at £19bn a year through lost productivity.

Management Training

Why is good management essential?

Good leaders are essential for effective business operations. When managers are able to understand how to best supervise and support their team, productivity increases, employees are happier and everything runs more smoothly. However, being a good manager is not easy, as it requires a broad range of skills – not just technical skills, but people skills. Managers are expected to master these skills: they have to be empathic, team players, strategists, advisers… and the list goes on.

Not many people are lucky enough to be born with all these qualities. Sure, there are naturally talented people that are just born to be leaders; but virtually everyone can become a good leader if we take the time and effort to develop these skills. The best way to do this is a combination of on-the-job experience and training and development programmes. That is why companies are increasingly willing to develop training courses specifically aimed at increasing the capabilities of their managers: management training is an investment that pays off in many ways.

Why you need to train your managers

Great leaders are able to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds, they constantly ask for feedback, they are not afraid to hear different opinions, they know how to reinforce others and how to build trust and community – these are just some of the qualities that are essential for a manager, and that can be learned with proper training. Managers that are able to motivate their employees are a true asset for their company – but the opposite is also true: if managers are not effective, or if they are not adequately trained, the whole company can be negatively affected.

People that take over a management role for the first time require training in how to deal with people, how to delegate work, how to solve conflicts. Employees trust their managers to take care of these issues and can become disillusioned when this support is lacking. More alarmingly, often while unhappy employees leave the company, ineffective managers stay, and they never get the chance to reach their full potential and become excellent supervisors. Low production, unsafe work environments and possible loss of business are not the only negative consequences of poor management training – low employee morale and ineffective teamwork can have a subtle, but major, impact on your business operations.

Management Training

How do I offer effective management training

So, what is the best way to tackle this issue and avoid the aforementioned negative consequences? Truth is, Management skills can be developed in a number of ways. But there are a few recommendations that can make a real difference:

  1. Look for qualified people. High-quality qualifications are a good starting point to become great leaders. They require an investment of time and money and provide individuals with a broad range of skills that are ready to be exploited in management roles.
  2. Recognise and share best practice. A UKCES survey reported that only 37% of businesses are investing in management training – that means 63% of businesses don’t! Not only we need to recognise the importance of training: to improve the overall availability of skills, we should also try and inspire others to follow our lead.
  3. Offer a blended approach. The benefits of online training have been widely touted by a number of researchers. They include cost-effectiveness, flexibility, mobility, easy implementation and accessibility, good retention of information – just to mention a few. Combine online training with face-to-face and you’ve got a truly effective solution. You can discover more here.
  4. Make sure training is pedagogically sound online training. Digital training modules can implement a range of tools that substantially increase learning retention – immersive virtual reality, storytelling, gamification are just some examples. By exploiting the power of digital you ensure that training is engaging as well as effective.

Our brand-new Management Training suite has all of these benefits, and more. Discover more here or get in touch below to find the best solution for your training needs. 

Source: *Skills First: Connecting employers, further education and training providers - CMI


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