Bridging the Management skills gap

Posted: Wednesday, 7 November 2018 @ 09:59

Poor Management is costing the UK economy an estimated £84 billion a year and the situation is only set to worsen as businesses are faced with shrinking talent pools and an ageing workforce looking to retire over the next few years, questions are being asked as to whether younger workers have the skilled required to fill their shoes?

As Leon Quinn of Balfour Beatty put it:  'Quite simply, the skill set of young people and the requirements of employers don't match up. It's like a chef has painstakingly prepared a buffet but has ignored the dietary requirements of the customers.'

Older workers have a wealth of skills and knowledge that lend themselves to managing staff; being able to marry traditional management competencies with the digital working landscape is a hugely desired skill, the worry being that the Baby Boomer generation will have little time to transfer this knowledge to the next generation of managers. 

How to tackle the skills gap?

A survey by Robert Hall, found that many businesses are waking up to the need to train and retain managers, with 45% of respondents reporting an increase in training and development programmes, 27% of firms hiring mid-level talent to develop a skills pipeline. Employers are also seeking to boost their mentoring programmes and knowledge transfer processes (25%), employing senior-level talent to replace retiring employees (22%) and offering flexible and/or part-time work arrangements to attract and retain baby boomers (16%).

Offering staged retirement is a great way to keep Managers in the job long enough to pass on their valuable skills to the next generation. With 1 in 4 Brits returning to work within 5 years of retirement offering flexible working hours provides them with the time to support young team leaders as develop their leadership abilities and top up their pension.

Changing management practices are also something that needs to be considered as organisations strive to bridge this gap. As Richard Branson put it ‘Train people well enough so they can leave, treat people well enough so they don’t want to’. Employees are becoming an increasingly nurtured resource of an organisation.

Providing learning & development opportunities is essential to educating both new and long-time Managers to succeed in this changing landscape. A Team Leading Apprenticeship qualification is a great way to support those new to management positions, building confidence in young leaders. Our level 4 & 5 Management Programmes provide guidance as Managers develop their leadership style and frameworks to aid strategic decision making.

Read our post on Beating Rising Recruitment Costs for some hints & tips on how to train & retain your future leaders.