Managers to blame for worsening workplace morale, says CMI

Morale in the workplace is getting worse and managers could be to blame, according to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The CMI’s “Spring economic outlook survey” found that 70% of managers admitted that morale in their organisations had got worse during the past six months.

In addition, 45% of managers surveyed said that the number of workers feeling involved and valued in their business had also decreased during the same period.

Leah de Vries, national employment law trainer at Pinsent Masons, comments on the CMI survey.

The CMI responded to the findings by suggesting that managers themselves could be responsible for the decline in morale. It said that in some cases where managers are failing to lift employees’ spirits, it could be because they simply do not know how to, due to a lack of formal management training.

The CMI pointed to its own figures, which showed that only one manager in five in the UK has formal management training, a figure that the CMI wants to raise to 50% by 2020.

Commenting on the findings, CMI CEO Ruth Spellman said: “The phrase ‘people are our most important asset’ has become a corporate mantra, but CMI’s latest figures indicate managers aren’t doing enough to make their staff feel valued.

“These statistics are an indication that not enough is being done by managers at present, but this might well be because they just don’t know how to do better. Government statistics indicate that only one in five managers in the UK has a formal management qualification, demonstrating a skills shortfall which, if not addressed, could have negative impacts on the UK economy,” Spellman continued.

Spellman also suggested that some of today’s managers have not managed during challenging times and are therefore ill-equipped to cope with the challenges of managing in a recession. She said: “We need to recognise that today’s managers are operating in unchartered territory. The rules have changed and many of the old certainties no longer exist. Our members tell us that such an atmosphere leaves them feeling lost and in the dark. They need guidance on how to behave and practical help with the seemingly endless stream of challenges presented to them and the opportunity to find out how their peers in other sectors and organisations are coping.

“At a time when budgets are squeezed to the limit, there is a tendency for organisations to cut back on management training and development. This is both short-sighted and counter-productive. Now, more than ever, organisations should be building managerial capability and making sure their people are well equipped enough to drive and manage change, and exploit new opportunities.”

XpertHR has a line manager briefing on motivation.

XpertHR also published recent research that found many managers want line manager training to be compulsory.

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