Research Digested: Taking responsibility – why UK PLC needs better managers, Chartered Management Institute

A snapshot of useful research for L&D and workplace professionals . . .

Why read this report

Managers are key to unlocking the performance of individuals and teams. And that’s why they are a key stakeholder group for L&D teams. This report helps L&D teams understand the challenges managers face and the impact they can have if well supported.

About this research

The Chartered Management Institute surveyed 2,524 managers between 8–14 June 2023. On top of this the institute surveyed 2,018 employees with no management experience and 1,030 CMI accredited managers.

Standout stats

This report includes lots of data that helps understand why learning might not be having the desired impact in your organisation. If managers are key to motivating and supporting teams to learn and work more effectively then this research will help understand what stops that happening. Here are some of the stats that stood out for us:

  • While one in four people in the workforce have management responsibility, very few are trained for the job, with 82% becoming managers without any formal training – these are ‘accidental managers’.
  • Workers who rate their manager as ineffective are significantly more likely to be planning to leave their organisation in the next 12 months than those who say their line manager is effective (50% vs 21%).
  • Female managers are also more likely to be in post with no management qualifications (55%) compared to male managers (48%)?
  • Managers from lower (57%) and intermediate (59%) socio-economic backgrounds were significantly more likely than managers from higher socioeconomic backgrounds (48%) to say that they didn’t have management and leadership qualifications.
  • Three out of ten managers (31%) agreed that people with caring responsibilities were less likely to get promoted
  • And 46% of managers agreed that people were promoted based on internal relationships and profile, rather than ability and performance.

The report shares a powerful chart (see below) that compares the extent to which effective managers spread positivity across an organisation versus ineffective managers. The differences are stark: for example, 21% of employees with an ineffective manager would recommend the organisation as a good place to work as opposed to 68% of employees with an effective manager. Theses results show the huge effect managers have on an employee’s experience of work.

Final word

Building a learning culture has been one of the top priorities for L&D teams for quite some time. This research shows that ineffective managers cause employees to feel that their company does not have a good company culture. Considering a learning culture cannot develop without a positive company culture, managers are pivotal in enabling the type of culture that can support learning. This research provides plenty of data points to reflect on with your managers and the wider organisation. There is a lot of scope to improve the quality of management and therefore the quality of employee support and development.

Report reading time: 30 minutes

Media: PDF