Britain's managers fail to inspire

Mar 30 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Only a third of Britons regard their manager as a role model, with many seeing their boss's failure to involve them when developing new ideas or making decisions as a real turn-off.

A MORI survey commissioned by Investors in People has found that nearly a quarter of employees (24 per cent) feel that their line manager takes little or no account of their views or does not consult them when making decisions.

The findings come on the eve of the April 6 introduction of new Information and Consultation regulations which will give employees the right to involvement in key business decisions and will ultimately apply to all organisations with 50 or more employees

Managers in smaller firms with fewer than 250 staff appear to be the worst culprits with only half of employees saying their manager works with other staff when developing new plans or ideas.

Larger organisations Ė which also tend to have better-resourced HR functions - seem to be more effective at communicating with staff. Here, two-thirds of employees said that that their manager regularly shares information and takes feedback on board.

The research adds to the body of evidence pointing to the fact that inspirational managers tend to be those who involve employees when making decisions or developing new ideas, rather than those managers who simply issue orders from the top.

Indeed of those that saw their manager as a role model, eight out of 10 said that they worked with them to develop new plans and even more - 85 per cent - agreed that their boss worked with them to reach decisions.

There are also some regional discrepancies in management styles. In Scotland, only four out of 10 bosses are likely to share information and take feedback on board, whilst in the North West, almost seven out of 10 work with staff to reach decisions.

Ruth Spellman, Chief Executive of Investors in People UK, said that employees' motivation levels made all the difference to the bottom line.

"Employers invest significant time and money in recruiting the right people, but many are then failing to make the most of their skills and experience. Businesses need to realise the impact management styles can have on how employees contribute and ultimately on the bottom line."

Employers who don't evaluate managers' performance within this context are missing a trick."

She added that the new statutory regulations offer a clear business opportunity to employers by creating the impetus for them to improve the involvement and engagement of employees.

"Being a successful manager isn't about dictating from the top. It's about motivating employees and ensuring that their contribution to the business is maximised."