Managers are deluded in believing they’re better than they really are, says study

7 May

There is huge ‘reality gap’ between how good managers think they are and how good they really are, says a study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Managers need to take a good look at themselves in the mirror, says CIPD. (pic:

The CIPD’s Employee Outlook Spring 2012 survey shows that managers have no idea just how bad they are at managing people – and their bad management skills is holding back the UK’s productivity and growth.

The research shows that while eight out of 10 managers believe their staff are satisfied or very satisfied with them as a manager, only 58% of employees. This has created a ‘reality gap’ that is affecting workplace performance. The study shows a clear link between staff who say they are satisfied with their manager and are willing to go the extra mile for their employer.

Here are some more stats that show the disparity between what goes on in managers’ heads and what is really happening from the employee’s perspective:

• More than 90% of managers say they coach their staff – but only 40% of employees agree.

• 61% of managers claim they meet their direct reports at least twice a month to talk about work issues, but only 24% of employees say this happens.

• 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, said: “Leadership and management capability continues to be an Achilles heel for UK plc. Too many managers fall into a vicious circle of poor management: they don’t spend enough time providing high quality feedback to the people they manage, or coaching and developing them or tapping into their ideas and creativity, which means they then have to spend more time dealing with stressed staff, absence or conflict and the associated disciplinary and grievance issues. A small increase in capability across this huge population of people managers would have a significant impact on people’s engagement, wellbeing and productivity.”


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