Uncategorized May 3, 2012

Mind the reality gap


One of the reasons people often give for joining Vistage is to improve their management skills. One of the difficult first steps towards improvement is being able to assess objectively how good or bad your management skills actually are. It is not an easy task.

According to a new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), there can be a large gap between managers’ perception of their own skills and how their employees view them. Think along the lines of the woefully misguided David Brent in The Office.

The survey has thrown up some interesting findings:

Eight out of ten managers say they think their staff are satisfied or very satisfied with them as a manager whereas just 58% of employees report this is the case. This ‘reality gap’ matters as the survey finds a very clear link between employees who say they are satisfied or very satisfied with their manager and those that are engaged – i.e. willing to go the extra mile for their employer.

Six in ten (61%) of managers claim they meet each person they manage at least twice a month to talk about their workload, meeting objectives and other work-related issues. However, just 24% of employees say they meet their managers with such frequency.

More than 90% of managers say they sometimes or always coach the people they manage when they meet, while only 40% of employees agree.

Three quarters (75%) of managers say they always/sometimes discuss employees’ development and career progression during one to ones, but just 38% of employees say this happens.

Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy at the CIPD, comments: ‘Leadership and management capability continues to be an Achilles heel for UK plc, despite mounting evidence that these are “skills for growth” essentials. Our research shows almost three in ten people (28%) - equating to about eight million people across the UK workforce - have direct management responsibility for one or more people in the workplace, and yet only just over half of employees are satisfied with their manager.

‘A small increase in capability across this huge population of people managers would have a significant impact on people’s engagement, wellbeing and productivity. However, too many employees are promoted into people management roles because they have good technical skills, then receive inadequate training and have little idea of how their behaviour impacts on others.’

The full report can be accessed from here.

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