Managers lack skills to make a difference

UK line managers are under increasing pressure to boost productivity, but
lack the skills to get the most out of their teams.

Research by consultancy DDI reveals that only half of line managers feel
they have adequate training or skills in most key management areas, including
driving team performance, inspiring or motivating people and selecting the
right staff.

The findings echo Personnel Today’s own research into line managers
published earlier this year.

The DDI study, based on the responses of 500 managers and 500 employees,
also reveals that six out of 10 managers feel under more pressure to perform
than they did two years ago.

Just under half of the managers surveyed also struggle to manage work and
build effective working relationships.

Steve Newhall, managing director of DDI, believes a lack of management
training is responsible for some of the problems highlighted.

"The first thing that slips off the budget during an economic downturn
is training," he said.

Newhall said HR must be more aggressive in pushing the business case for
management training when resources are tight.

Bob Tyler, HR director at chemical giant Rhodia, agrees that the economic
downturn has put more pressure on managers by cutting training resources.

"There is often an uphill struggle to promote the most modest of
programmes because you do not see tangible results the next day," he said.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development adviser Angela Baron thinks
the survey results show that more emphasis should be placed on promoting people
into management who have leadership, coaching and communication talents.

She said too many organisations still promote people into management
positions because they have good technical ability rather than because of their
people management skills.

The CBI’s recent employment trends survey highlighted management skills as
the top HR factor affecting performance and competitiveness.

By Ben Willmott

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