Management Training Key to solving UK's Productivity Puzzle

Ahead of the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, CMI research shows the critical role that management training plays in closing the productivity gap.

The latest research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) shows that recently trained managers use on average 50% more of the structured management practices associated with increased labour productivity than those not been 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%)

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.

Rob Wall, Head of Policy, CMI

- Ends -

Data on the career prospects in 2019 for women is taken from CMI’s Managers Voice Survey. This is a survey of 940 UK based CMI practising manager members and was undertaken between 6th November and 4th December 2018. We asked managers about their use of 9 management practices, and whether they had received management training in the last year. The 9 management practices were:

  • Targets for your team with delivery timescales
  • Regular meetings with your team and appraising their performance,
  • Dealing with underperformance quickly
  • Using financial incentives system to motivate teams,
  • Managing talent in line with company policy,
  • Having continuous improvement processes,
  • Offering training days to improve skills,
  • Using data and customer insight to plan your activities and
  • Having a formal mechanism for employees to feed their views to senior managers.

ONS analysis shown there is a significant correlation between more structured management practices and labour productivity from their Management and Expectations Survey (2016).

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Notes to editors

About CMI

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is the only chartered professional body for management and leaderships, dedicated to improving managers' skills and growing the number of qualified managers.

Our professional management qualifications span GCSE to PhD equivalents, including the unique Chartered Manager award, which increases earning potential and improves workplace performance. We have been registered as an apprentice assessment organisation by the Skills Funding Agency.

CMI has led the way in developing a suite of trailblazing management apprenticeships with a 40-strong group of employers. These start from Level 3 (team leader) and Level 5 (operations manager) through to Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship. The Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship gives employers the option to upskill up to executive and C-suite level. CMI is a Skills Funding Agency-registered apprentice assessment organisation.

We provide employers and individual managers with access to the latest management thinking and with practical online support that helps them to embrace change, create high-performing teams and keep ahead of the curve.

With a member community of more than 157,000 managers and leaders, we promote high standards of ethical practice through our Professional Code of Conduct, and help managers to build their expertise through online networks, regional events and mentoring opportunities.