Are managers lacking the people skills they need to get the most out of staff?

A survey which took an in depth look at management in and amongst some of Britain’s leading businesses has found that leaders are often lacking the crucial social skills needed to best engage with their staff.

By Karen Credie, KMCHR.

The Commission on Management and Leadership, run by CMI with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Management, found that the skills associated with good communicators were largely absent amongst managers; leaving businesses open to a future ‘slowdown’ of economic performance.

The report investigated senior management at a number of Britain’s flagship businesses including Thomas Cook, Unilever and John Lewis. It found that British managers widely exhibited weaknesses in management and leadership, and particularly the collaborative, ethical, and flexible approach to dealing with staff that is required in order to inspire and engage a productive team.

Commenting on the lack of so-called ‘soft skills’ in managers, the report said: “It is crucial that we address them – because underlying weaknesses in management and leadership are holding back our economic performance.”

One of the major criticisms in the report is ‘short-term thinking’; saving time and money in the early stages of a career in management as opposed to spending the necessary time and investment in proper management training. Furthermore, a culture of short term success in British businesses was described, with cost cutting exercises which may show short-term improvements in profitability warned as potentially causing long-term growth and development that falls short of its potential.

A consistent, well trained and well executed approach to managing staff is paramount to being a good manager. Employees that have a manager they can talk to – to identify problems, suggest improvements and have an honest and open dialogue with regarding work matters – are far more likely to deliver for the business than those that cannot engage with management.

The results and recommendations from this report confirm exactly what we think about managing people:

Better managers = more engaged staff = more profitable business So if managing staff is something you find problematic and you would like to make your business more profitable by getting the most out of your employees, contact us. KMC HR offers a free one hour consultation to any business new to us.