Line managers have again been criticised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) after research showed they were only interested in managing employees to further their own careers.
Research by development consultancy Cubiks revealed the main reason managers wanted people management responsibilities was to help them get involved in company decision-making. Less than half of the 137 line managers surveyed from international companies said they spent less than 10% of their time discussing and developing staff performance.
Mike Emmott, CIPD employee relations adviser, said the findings “were no real surprise”. He pointed to CIPD research that revealed the quality of line management still leaves a lot to be desired.
The Cubiks survey found that four in 10 UK organisations believed their line managers were not very effective in supporting learning and development.
“Many discussions about [line managers’] performance are on an individual’s technical competence, rather than their ability to lead teams,” Emmott said.
“Line managers need incentives to manage well. Pay systems do not remind managers of the need to develop the people they manage,” he added.
More than half of the respondents believed that criticising their manager, even when encouraged to do so, could be harmful to their career prospects.
Emmott said it was “sad” that the quality of leadership was a “constantly neglected area”.
“There is a failure on the part of line managers to create that sense of reassurance that individuals can and should come back to them with any workplace issues,” he said.
“Managers need to listen to what their employees have to say. It’s not brain surgery.”