The UK’s managers are disillusioned and ready to quit their jobs, according to today’s Management Agenda report from leadership institute Roffey Park, its annual survey of 1,800 senior managers from a range of companies.
The picture is of increasingly fed-up managers, with nearly half considering a move. The most common reasons are a lack of promotion opportunities or prospects (49 per cent), poor management (48 per cent) and a lack of appreciation (43 per cent).
Michael Jenkins, Roffey Park chief executive, says: “Our research seems to forecast a concerning exodus of senior talent. It is these leaders who are needed as a constant in order to deliver the change agenda that is foremost in everyone’s priorities. With all the short-term pressures caused by economic conditions, retaining talent is not afforded sufficient attention.
“Providing opportunities for development and improving the quality of leadership appear as two key actions that could forestall the potential loss of talent.”
The cost of losing talentIt could pay handsomely to try a bit harder to hang on to those managers. A study by Oxford Economics and the insurer Unum suggests the cost of staff turnover in the UK is more than £4bn a year, made up of spending on hiring and the time it takes a new recruit to reach full productivity. Must try harderThis column has called several times for businesses to put far more effort into creating the skills they complain are in such short supply – and my feedback suggests others agree.
The most recent example comes from Adrian Ringrose, chief executive of Interserve, a support services and construction company, who has written about the importance of developing workplace skills in good times as well as bad.
He says: “Out-of-work young adults have a challenging road ahead, as many lack the skills to get on to the career ladder, and vocational routes are often underfunded and difficult to access. It would be naïve to think that youngsters will be carried along by the tide of any recovery.”
He applauds government initiatives in support of apprenticeships and traineeships, and adds: “It is in our interests to build and develop a better workforce that has skills that are relevant to the business we do. “We also believe that large businesses have a responsibility to support the communities in which they operate, and we recognise that apprenticeships can help provide an alternative route to employment for young people.”Accountants’ pay riseAccountants and finance professionals are optimistic about pay: a salary guide by recruiter Hays shows 68 per cent expect their salaries to increase this year, with 18 per cent expecting an above-inflation rise. Three-quarters of employers agree salaries will go up this year.
Mark Sheldon, director at Hays Senior Finance, says: “It is great that pay prospects are looking up, but employers shouldn’t focus solely on salaries to attract, retain and motivate staff. It is the overall package that determines whether a company secures the right talent – and demonstrating that the role offers challenging work and a clear career path is vital.”Coping with retirementIs retirement “an inescapable descent into hopeless senility or a new phase where opportunities for happiness and personal development beckon?” This is the question raised in the press release accompanying a book called The Psychology of Retirement, by psychologist Derek Milne, that has been on my desk at the FT for about a year.
I might now be able to answer that question myself as I begin my own retirement on Saturday after working for the FT since 1987 and for other publications before that. It could be semi-retirement if interesting projects come along but I will certainly find time for making music and playing sport – and even reading that book on retirement. With luck, all this will put me in the “happiness and personal development” camp.