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Communication Ranked As Top Skill Amongst UK Workers

May 23 2019 - Excellent management is an essential component of any successful business and one of the reasons employees are more likely to stay with a company. A lot of research has already looked into what makes a great manager, and ongoing efforts are being made to understand how management must adapt to the needs of a changing workforce and the changing nature of work itself. MTD Training, management training specialists, investigated how managers within the UK felt about their existing leadership skills to see which areas they're already succeeding in and which ones need improvement.

MTD asked managers across different industries to rate their competency on 12 elements they've called 'Leadership Competencies' alongside further detailed questions to get a comprehensive overview of the leadership skills landscape.

First, let's see which leadership skills the managers reported feeling confident with. Communication came out on top, with an average score of 80 out of 100. Communication is an essential skill that must be possessed by managers if they are to balance client demands with the often-tricky task of people management. The survey asked about open lines of communication within teams to see how managers saw this aspect from a personal perspective - the average score came in at 8.4, one of the highest from the entire survey. Successful communication is not easy to achieve as it's a soft skill that encompasses a lot of smaller elements like active listening, understanding body language, and finding a common language with everyone while soothing tensions, so to see it rated so highly is a definite positive.

Another critical aspect of successful management, people development, scored lower with 73 points highlighting that it needs some work. Unlined communication, people development skills can be taught and improved with experience. Anyone entering a management role, or looking to promote someone into it, needs to be careful with regards to this. Employees want to feel like their manager can help them to grow and achieve their career goals if they are to feel like their manager is unskilled in this aspect, then it might make them lose confidence in leadership and the company. Companies need to provide the right training to their managers to ensure that skills like people development are well-honed.

One of the lowest scores was given to a question about processes; the survey asked whether managers regularly review and audit the work their team does in terms of quality and areas of improvement and the average rating came back at 6.55. What this tells us is that not enough time is devoted to evaluating the team's strengths and weakness and strategies for improving and streamlining processes. However, doing so is essential to any team's success and should be in every managers' agenda. An easy way to achieve this is by booking a weekly meeting with yourself, perhaps after a team meeting, to reflect and strategise about any potential changes that can be implemented.

There's no such thing as a naturally-born manager since many people can learn and develop the skills needed to look after clients and help others succeed. Some employees need a little more help in certain areas over others, but with the right tools and resources, all those determined to become successful managers can do so. Workplaces need to take the results of the survey by MTD into account and evaluate the kind of training it offers its managerial staff to ensure that all the skills that scored lower are developed accordingly.


 


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