Political promises don’t match bosses business priorities, suggests new CMI research

Tue 16 Dec 2014

Angela Tracey-Brown

Product Manager - CMI

Four years ago it was claimed that business priorities and strategies shouldn’t be centred around the health of the European economy, or even international economies, as these were expected to improve.

The main theme communicated was that the UK government would keep an eye out for factors outside the UK and Europe.  Managers were told ‘Get on with your job and focus on the in-house priorities of improving productivity with whatever resources available’. 

This has changed as indicated by the publication, “Priorities and Expectations for 2015" (the Future Forecast published by the Chartered Management Institute), confirmation that managers are being very careful about displaying their “real” opinion especially about growth. Frankly they are worried, and they have a lot to worry about; the range of problems affecting the various international markets for the world’s main players has a lagging impact which eventually catches up and in the end, all business is affected.   The UK is not immune to this and UK managers are cautious. Many are aware, as revealed in the CMI report, that one solution has been recognised- raising skills for managers helps control costs and manage performance.  But in order to do this, an elevated priority is “people development.”

CMI has been stating this as the necessary tool for success for the past twenty years. However, this has been falling on deaf ears because the current leaders feel the valued systems and processes were the key to success.  What they missed was the added value of people managers in the workforce and how these could be the drivers to determine the success (or failure) of a company.   Managers are now ethically oriented; they need the necessary guidance through stronger policies to assist them in today’s challenges.

Give a manager a challenge.  Tell them the sky is the limit in finding a practical, user friendly, efficient but ethical solution; dip their toes into a network of training opportunities; couple it with some coaching and introduce a useful toolbox of experiential storytelling.

Personal development becomes a motivating factor within a “can do” framework. Linked to it is the professional development momentum which becomes the driving force for training managers to understand the best opportunities and solutions for themselves.  Every good manager has a personal agenda.  What comes with that personal agenda is blurred enthusiasm which is transferred to others.

Formal or informal training of managers increases their knowledge, competencies and awareness, providing a multitude of advantages – including their ability to pass those skills onto to others including their teams. It is a win-win situation yet many organisations, according to CMI, still feel that developing their managers is a low priority.

M Lento, Manager for MOL People Management Programmes, says “Working with companies in the UK, we have found that this predominant attitude exists, due to constrained budgets in the past few years.  As a result, many individual managers studied with one of our People Management programmes which were self-funded.”

Companies need to think wisely about their people investment in the context of the equipping their managers with the tools readying them for whatever comes next in our economy;  MOL’s range of CMI programmes may just fit the bill.” 

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