Bad management costing business billions

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Bad management could be costing UK businesses more than £19 billion in lost working hours every year, according to a survey published today by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The CMI’s report suggests that three-quarters of employees waste almost two hours of their working time every week because of their managers’ inefficiency.

The CMI claims that, by taking the average hours wasted in a week across the average working time of 48 weeks per year, this equates to a loss of £900 per employee and a total loss of £19.3 billion, calculated at a median value rate.

The report found that the worst management practices include unclear communication, lack of support, micro-management and lack of direction.

Christopher Kinsella, CMI acting chief executive, said: “This survey highlights some disappointing – but not necessarily surprising – numbers. With only one in five UK managers holding a professional management qualification and many organisations not properly investing in management training, it’s not surprising that some managers are making mistakes in how they work.

“Yet we are in one of the hardest economic climates we’ve faced in some time, and business bosses need to understand the financial impacts of not having properly trained and qualified managers. Improving the skills of the management workforce is absolutely key in terms of individual business success, in terms of delivering effective public services and in terms of helping the UK deliver on a world stage.”

The research also found that 13% of respondents have witnessed managers exhibiting discriminatory behaviour towards employees based on gender, race, age or sexual orientation and almost one-third have witnessed managers bullying or harassing their employees.

Responding to the findings, Ashley Ward, director at talent management organisation European Leaders, said: “Reality tells us the cost of bad management in terms of time lost is a great deal more than that indicated in today’s CMI report. A great deal of time is lost as employees discuss the lack of communication from, and the behaviours of, management.

“An efficient working culture stems directly from the very top of an organisation. If a business leader actively promotes a happy work culture based on openness, transparency, good communications and gender diversity, the organisation will be far closer to the top of its game and employees will view it as a good company to work for. The successful high-growth organisations we see today all train their managers to have increased awareness of subjects like bullying and gender discrimination.

“In our experience, the ‘macho’ management style of the 80s and 90s no longer has a place in modern high-performing businesses. The aggressive approach we see on programmes like The Apprentice and Dragons’ Den is incongruous with modern entrepreneurship.”

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