UK lags behind in manager development

New
research reveals that the UK is falling behind in developing its managers.

The
study, published today by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), shows that
UK organisations spend less than their European counterparts on training and
development, and are also the least likely to offer sufficient career planning
to employees.

The
results show that while nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) of UK organisations
claim to have a dedicated training budget, the average investment per capita is
only £1,086. This is less than half the amount spent by Germany, the country
identified as the heaviest investor in management.  Of the seven countries studied, only Romania spends less money
than the UK.

Indicating
that employee development is still not always given the attention it deserves,
only 47 per cent of organisations claimed to have an HR representative in the
boardroom, compared with two-thirds (69 per cent) in France and nearly
three-quarters (74 per cent) in Norway. 

Mary
Chapman, chief executive of the CMI, said: "UK organisations need to do
more to recognise the value of management development, through better
evaluation of its results. Unless business priorities are linked to training
policies and practices for current and future leaders, there is a real danger
that other European countries will leave the UK standing still."

When
questioned about policies, almost half the HR managers in the study claimed
their organisations had a formal policy statement on management
development.  However, the proportion
increased to two-thirds for Norway and the UK was below average, on 43 per
cent.

Organisations
were also asked what factors triggered the creation of a development
programme.  Nearly a quarter (23 per
cent) focused on external changes, such as the requirement to comply with
government standards, or the need to face up to competition. Some respondents
also identified key reasons such as individual demand (15 per cent) and the
need to improve internal respect between managers and employees (7 per cent).

In
an effort to create the leaders of tomorrow, more than half of all companies
(56 per cent) claim to use fast-track development for selected managers.

This
approach is particularly favoured in France (77 per cent), Norway (71 per cent)
and Germany (67 per cent).  The UK is
comparatively weaker at identifying and fast-tracking future leaders, adopting
this approach in only 57 per cent of cases.

Only
four in 10 (41 per cent) HR managers across Europe claimed to evaluate
management development in a systematic way. One-third of respondents said  their organisation’s evaluation process is
linked to business measures, such as sales targets.  However, nearly one-fifth (18 per cent) of respondents across the
seven countries said no evaluation took place at all. These findings were
particularly high in France (32 per cent) and the UK (27 per cent).

Chapman
said: "Evidence showing positive links between effective management
development and business performance has existed for some time. Yet this
research demonstrates an alarming lack of acceptance and action, particularly
in the UK. 

"Unless
UK organisations are content to lag behind Europe, there are three lessons that
can be learned. For management development to be effective, it needs to be
fully integrated into the business strategy; and it needs to be thoughtful and
take a long-term view.  And, most
importantly, managers at all levels need to believe that their development is
being taken seriously."

www.managers.org.uk

By Quentin Reade

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