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Technology / Data

UK bosses ill-equipped to manage staff: report

A new survey has revealed that over three-quarters of managers are being asked to undertake tasks without receiving appropriate training beforehand.

The global survey, commissioned by e-learning vendor SkillSoft and carried out by OnePoll, spoke to over 6,000 employees across the UK, the rest of Europe and the US working for private sector organisations of over 500 people.

Respondents working in a managerial role represented more than a third of the total sample.

The survey found that in the UK, 80% of managers said that they have had to perform tasks without receiving proper training. The task they felt least prepared for was managing people, followed by project management and leadership.

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Of those quizzed, 76% of UK employees identified line managers as the group in their organisation in most need of ongoing training and development. This figure was far higher in the UK than in the rest of Europe or the US, suggesting that UK respondents had less faith in their management teams.

Kevin Young, managing director of SkillSoft EMEA, said: “Overall, these results indicate that UK managers have a lack of confidence because they feel ill-equipped to do their job – and, in turn, their employees are picking up on this. Businesses need better managers now more than ever before due to today’s tough economy.  In many instances they must accomplish more with a reduced workforce or fewer resources in a more stressful environment.”

On the subject of businesses lacking in people management training, Young said: “Many companies overlook the need for ‘people management’ skills, concentrating instead on harder-edged business knowledge.  However, this an extremely short-term view, especially when effective strategies for coping with difficult staff situations can be easily learnt.”