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The Accidental Managers

The Chartered Management Institute has released the results of a new UK workforce survey that are as fascinating as they are worrying.

What the data reveals is that nearly half of the 3000 employees quizzed have left a position because of what they perceived as bad management. In the UK there appears that people simply don't trust their bosses. Over 50% believe that they could do a better job if asked to fill their bosses shoes. Evidence supported in another poll conducted by Badenoch & Clark, which discovered that 85 per cent doubt the information given to them from above.

Abroad, trust seems less of an issue. A Blessing White survey of 7,500 by workers carried out across four continents last year found 75 per cent said they trust their immediate boss.

What appears to lie behind a lot of the problem is a lack or recognised training amongst management. An estimated two thirds of management find themselves in positions, often of great influence, in spite of, not because of their management training. It seems that business in Britain is led by 'accidental managers', untrained and without appropriate qualifications.

CMI Chief Executive Ruth Spellman says. 'Management is pretty broken. The credibility gap that managers face is not just a hiccup. The UK’s behind the game on developing managers and leaders as professionals.' Is it any wonder then that, also according to the CMI survey, half of workers quit jobs due to bad management?

Spellman attributes the failings to an over emphasis on technical skills instead of leadership and communication skills. Unaccountability and a distorted rewards system also play their part.  “We invest less in our managers than our global competitors and it shows. The majority of individuals never set out to manage people, and have not been trained to do so.”

In an attempt to address the problem the CMI has launched a Manifesto for a Better Managed Britain that demands urgent action. Already, more than 1,500 Industry leaders have pledged their commitment to the Manifesto that calls for the Government to prioritise the development of effectively trained managers – a case of the public sector leading by example.

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