Management skills are the key to solving the productivity puzzle

New research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) claims that recently trained managers use on average 50 percent more of the structured management practices associated with increased labour productivity than those not trained within the last 12 months. The research, involving 940 managers, revealed that managers who received management training in 2018 used an average of 6 management practices, compared to an average of 4 practices for those who had received no management training over the same period. The impact of recent training on management practices can be seen across businesses of all sizes.

Overall, the top 3 management practices for managers are:

  • holding regular meetings with the team and appraising performance (84%)
  • setting targets for the team with delivery timescales (76%)
  • dealing with underperformance quickly (67%)

Based on the options available, the 3 least employed management practices are:

  • using data and customer insight to plan team activities (43%)
  • having a formal mechanism for employees to feed their views to senior managers (31%)
  • using financial incentives to motivate the team in line with company policy (18%)

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Even small improvements in management practices are associated with up to a 5% increase in the growth rate of a business’ productivity[/perfectpullquote]

CMI’s research provides more evidence of the links between management skills and productivity. In its response to the recent BEIS Select Committee Inquiry into productivity, the Government made clear even small improvements in management practices are associated with up to a 5% increase in the growth rate of a business’ productivity. ONS analysis has also shown a significant correlation between more structured management practices and labour productivity.

CMI Head of Policy Rob Wall said: “The latest CMI research is yet more evidence of the links between management and productivity. If we are to solve the UK productivity puzzle once and for all, we need to recognise the critical role that management training plays and turn our 2.4 million ‘accidental managers’ into competent, confident, productive leaders.”

“The Chancellor should use his Spring Statement to reaffirm the Government’s absolute commitment to closing the UK’s productivity gap. This will mean accelerating investment in those things that really make a difference – such as infrastructure, technology and of course management.”