British workers rate the standard of their managers as “significantly below” leading countries…so why does the cult of the gifted amateur prevail?
We’ve made no secret of the dangers of bad management, or the risks of being promoted into a managerial role…and it seems a lot of us are becoming sick and tired of working for so-called ‘superiors’ who lack the proper skills to do the job.
A study by the London School of Economics recently validated this, by surveying 14,000 employees around the world. Their findings suggest that British workers score their managers lower than those in the US, Japan, Germany, Sweden and Canada.
So do we really take management as a vital skill that seriously in Britain? Consider the approach for developing new managers in your own organisation: when your managers make that leap, are they encouraged to develop themselves further and are they given the support to do so, or is it assumed that they were good at their job, therefore they need to sink or swim without further training? We fear it’s the latter for all too many.
It’s reassuring to see this issue in the spotlight, and it’s not all bad; many larger organisations lead the way with effective onboarding programmes and the introduction of government-subsidised degree apprenticeships in management is a positive change. This is only the tip of the iceberg however; more needs to be done by the majority of organisations and new initiatives such as apprenticeships require testing and will only apply to a small percentage of new managers.
If we believe the adage “people leave managers, not companies” then we must continue to drive the issue for increased productivity, effectiveness and engagement. Managers, new and existing, must understand that it’s the skills they learn and develop from their own professional careers that are the most important; be it on-the-job, from coaching and mentoring or from traditional courses.