Lack of support for managers leads to leadership problems

Research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) reveals that 36 percent of line managers have not received any training for their role, and time for effective line management is too often squeezed or lost in favour of more immediate task-orientated priorities.

In light of recent corporate crises in the health care and banking sectors, CIPD is urging businesses to reinforce the messages of line manager training with clarity of roles and expectations, rigorous assessment processes and relevant incentives.

The institute’s new survey, entitled Real-Life Leaders: Closing the Knowledge-Doing Gap, reveals that efforts to foster positive manager behaviours are being undermined by the lack of a consistent message of what organisations expect of managers. The research also found that 28 percent of companies have not taken any action when they have received poor feedback on line managers.

Ksenia Zheltoukhova, Research Associate at CIPD, says we hear organisations lamenting the lack and quality of leaders, but we aren’t seeing evidence of their commitment to drive good leadership and management practices:

“For 29 percent of managers in our survey, other priorities stand in the way of ensuring that the interests of team members are supported, raising questions about the priorities that managers – and the organisations – attach to the well-being of their staff. These findings are a wake-up call for businesses to re-align the systems and structures in place in their organisations to support leadership development.

“Businesses address issues such as poor customer service or faulty machinery straight away, whereas bad management across organisations is tolerated to a shocking degree. We found that 28 percent of organisations failed to act upon poor feedback on line managers, and nearly half (48 percent) confessed that individuals were promoted into managerial roles based on their performance record rather than their people management or leadership skills.

“It’s time for business to identify and address the roots of bad management, recognising that a more consistent approach to training and supporting leaders at all levels is needed to drive sustainable performance.”

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