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Managers admit to having ‘no energy’



Workplace energy is dropping dangerously low, according to a new survey which suggests that volume of work is having adverse effects on employee energy levels.

The Business Energy Survey, by the Chartered Management Institute and Adecco assessed the attitudes and motivations of 1500 managers. It found that:

  • Almost half of managers feel that they are overloaded with work. Around one third admit to having no energy on weekday evenings because of work and 24% of people admit to using the weekend solely to recover from work.

  • 4 in 10 managers admit to missing family commitments because of work pressure

  • 1 in 4 people think their organisation has an ‘authoritarian’ culture with 28% feeling exploited and 30% believe that their organisations responds to change in an ad hoc, haphazard way

However, managers seem happy to work extra hours providing they feel a sense of purpose in their work (61%) and are helped to achieve their goals (56%).

“Despite energy levels being dangerously low,” said Richard Macmillan, Managing Director of Adecco UK and Ireland, “It’s clear that employees are not afraid to work at this level providing their ideas are heard and they can be made to feel valued, empowered and are allowed to work more flexibly.”

Mary Chapman, Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute said that many managers feel that there is a negative management style operating in their organisation with most crying out for open and receptive management but not getting it. 34% believe the prevailing management style is bureaucratic, and 31% believe it is reactive. Less than one third of respondents expressed satisfaction with the communications.

“Part of the problem lies in senior management believing one thing about morale, when those closer to the coal-face have vastly different experiences,” said Chapman. “It’s only when people begin to feel a close, and meaningful, involvement with their organisation that they bring energy, enthusiasm and passion to their work.”

The survey shows that 1 in 3 managers want flexible working initiatives to be introduced, such as compressed working weeks (39%) and career breaks (32%). However, less than 5% believe that these will ever be brought in by their organisations.

“UK businesses need to spend more time talking with their managers and listening to their concerns and new ideas,” added Chapman.

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