Who will do the motivating if we don’t have managers?

While I wholeheartedly endorse Michael Millar’s sentiments about managers and their various foibles (Off message, Personnel Today, 22 May), he is missing an important point.

Any company, no matter how modernist in its thinking, requires some form of hierarchy, hence managers are required.

It is the responsibility of the employer to choose the right person for the time. This can be done using a variety of proven methods, but nothing beats having a robust succession plan.

This ensures that those earmarked for a higher plain are tried and tested. They are not just experts at what they do, but can also accomplish the difficult of managerial tasks: that of motivating individuals.

Managing people is only as difficult as someone makes it. Yes it would be good to have the soft skills required of a successful manager immediately on assumption of managerial command, but these can be learnt over a period of time.

The other important issue Millar has not paid credence to is that people themselves are responsible for being selected as managers. They can always de-select themselves, but this is easier said than done – after all who wants to wave goodbye to a pay increase, rise in status and maybe a company car?

Neil Archibald, talent manager

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