Skills analysis is the key to making management work

Stephen Overell is right to point out that an increase in managers does not necessarily lead to greater productivity (Personnel Today, 18 January).

Investors in People knows from recent research it carried out, in association with the Future Foundation think-tank, that 56 per cent of senior managers believe poor management skills are actually a drain on the economy. However, waging “a war on the fetish of occupational hierarchy” is a little extreme.

What employers really need to do is analyse the structure of their organisation and the skills of their workforce against the requirements of their business strategy. This will help them assess whether managers (or indeed other groups of employees) are really delivering what the organisation needs from them.

Investors in People recognises the importance of matching managers’ skills to the needs of the business. This is why our revised standard, which was launched last November, now requires organisations to be clearer about management capabilities and their responsibilities in the leadership, management and development of employees.

A headcount of managers cannot in itself reveal whether an organisation has the wrong employee profile to support its aims. Skills analysis in the context of business goals will.

Carolyn Smith
Director of development, Investors in People

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