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Bad managers instruct instead of consulting, survey finds

Failure to consult cited as a key reason for staff disengagement  

14 December 2012

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

Telling staff what to do rather than consulting them is one of the worst attributes of bad managers, new research has found.

It found that failing to take responsibility, passing on stress and panicking about deadlines – along with inappropriate humour and favouritism – are some of the key ways in which managers undermine staff motivation and wellbeing.

The research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) indicates that managers who engage with employees prevent and manage stress and get the best out of their teams.

The report highlights how managers who are calm under pressure, invest time in talking to their staff, get to know team members as individuals and discuss their career development enjoy higher levels of employee engagement and lower levels of staff stress and absence.

The research found that managers are more likely to retain staff if they: consult people rather than simply telling them what to do; take responsibility if things go wrong or mistakes are made; and regularly check that staff are ‘okay’.

The findings are based on a survey of more than 500 employees and 120 managers across seven organisations. It draws on joint work the CIPD conducted with the UK’s Health and Safety Executive on the relationship between line managers and stress in the workplace.

In response to the research findings, the CIPD has produced guidance for HR teams on behavioural and competency frameworks for managers, looking at the core people management skills needed and how managers can engender sustainable employee engagement.

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