Poor leadership a problem in business, says CIPD

Thursday 27 December 2012

Poor management could be hampering the growth prospects of many businesses and organisations in the UK, it has been suggested.

In a newly published report, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has highlighted some of the most common negative traits among management personnel.

These include a failure to take responsibility, passing on stress, panicking about deadlines and telling staff what to do rather than consulting them.

The CIPD noted that these poor qualities are undermining employee motivation and wellbeing, which in turn impacts upon business productivity, the wellbeing of employees and the length of time they are likely to spend with the firm.

In the report, the CIPD claimed that managers who are calm under pressure, who invest time in talking to their staff, and who get to know them as individuals and discuss their career development are likely to benefit from higher levels of engagement.

This has a positive bearing on the number of days' sickness absence taken by individual employees, it claimed.

The research found managers are more like to motivate and retain their employees if they consult people, check they are ok and take responsibility when things go wrong.

Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, said most people will at some time in their working lives have been managed by a 'David Brent' type character.

In BBC Two's 'The Office', the hapless office manager was famed for his inappropriate humour, favouritism and lack of self-awareness.

Despite believing he was popular among the general workforce, Brent was reviled by employees, who were ultimately delighted to see him leave.

But Mr Willmott said it is the mediocre managers, who too often 'fly under the radar' in organisations, that are even more damaging to staff engagement over time.

Such individuals contribute to increased employee stress levels by failing to take control of situations, he noted.

"Managers who don't find time to talk individually to their employees, who pass on stress, who panic about deadlines and fail to consult and provide advice, erode motivation and undermine employee health and wellbeing," the expert stated.

He said that in tough economic times, how people are managed on a day-to-day basis becomes even more critical for organisations.

If they want to engage people and get the most out of their workforce, it is vital that they manage them effectively, Mr Willmott stated.

"Organisations big and small should take note and ensure that their line managers are properly equipped to get the most out of their people," he noted.

Posted by Sarah Parish