How effective are your managers?

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How effective are your managers?

The CIPD reported last week that 43% of managers surveyed for a recent report felt that their managers were ineffective. The research was undertaken by the Chartered Institute of Management and Penna together with Henley Business School and discovered a wide discrepancy between the responses from high performing organisations who felt that 80% of managers were effective, as opposed to only 39% of managers in low performing organisations.
The research compared the expenditure on learning and development by an organisation, and the perceived effectiveness of managers. It found that relatively few organisations are providing managers with the training and development they want to improve their skills. Most survey participants rated accredited learning and qualifications such as an MBA to be the most useful and to have the most impact, but most organisations relied on short courses and on-the-job experience as the most popular training methods.
There was also a wide difference in spend between high performing organisations ( £1,738 per manager per year)and low performing organisations (£!,275 per year) which is evidence of the benefits of investing wisely in effective management development.
I was struck by this research and reflected on the various management training and development courses I have done throughout my career. Whilst I feel that many of the short course programmes I have completed, often related to specific input on technical skills and knowledge, have been useful, the course that really changed the way I looked at things and allowed me to grow in confidence was the MBA which I completed in 2004. This encouraged a more critical and analytical approach to thinking; broadened my knowledge and awareness of different aspects of business, and thoroughly dislodged me from my comfort zone. I don’t think it is any coincidence that this course of study required a very heavy commitment in terms of my time and energy; required me to devote myself to intellectual as well as more practical endeavours and forced me to learn new theories and disciplines some distance from my usual field of human resources. Of course, businesses will find it easy to resist supporting managers with these kinds of programmes because they are expensive, long-term and intensive. The question should be, though, can you afford not to?
For the CIPD report, click here:

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By | 2012-03-05T09:35:41+00:00 March 5th, 2012|Categories: Human Resources, People Management, Uncategorized|2 Comments

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  1. Andrew A 13th March 2012 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    It’s back to that old debate between leadership and management! And of course we have to do both.

    There are two key issues for me: First, the ladder of competence. Managers need to be consciously incompetent before they can progress and learn through both education and experience. Understanding this helps with life long learning; Second, the what and the how of management and leadership. In my experience how managers manage is most damaging to organisations in terms of staff commitment and engagement. Poor behaviour costs millions each year, but this is largely unmeasured.

    Managers are largely measured by outcome in financial terms. If the costs of poor management behaviour were measured and taken into account by more employers they would recognise that management and leadership education and development is an investment with a high rate of return.

  2. Alison Ritchie 27th March 2012 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    I agree! Thanks for your comment.

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