Although just under half of UK managers are expecting to make further redundancies next year, around 43% believe that their organisation does not have the right skills in place to fulfil its 2011 business objectives.
A survey undertaken among 809 managers in the public, private and third sector by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) revealed that, of those who were concerned about being able to meet business goals, 58% blamed skills shortages, 45% pointed to poor staff morale and 44% a lack of leadership.
The situation was worst in the public sector, however, where 86% of respondents also predicted that redundancies would take place in their employer organisation over the year ahead, while three out of five felt their own jobs were not secure.
Ruth Spellman, the CMI’s chief executive, said: “We started 2010 with high hopes that the economic situation was improving and workplaces would start to feel the effects of recovery. Sadly, it’s evident that this year has been one of the most difficult UK managers have ever had to face.”
What was even more worrying, however, was that managers, in many cases, were trying to cope without necessarily having adequate skills in place and without often being given the right training to deal with sensitive issues, she added.
The study entitled the ‘Future Forecast’ found that during 2010, some 46% of those questioned had had to give staff feedback about their inadequate performance. About 44% had needed to talk to them about redundancy and restructuring issues, 29% had had to tackle inappropriate behaviour in the workplace and 28% to reveal pay freezes.
But only 29% felt that their employer provided them with adequate training to deal with managing the redundancy process and 54% felt it would be helpful to understand how to maintain staff morale more effectively.
Despite the gloomy picture, just under three quarters of respondents said they were looking forward to the challenges of the year ahead. Some 42% were keen to improve their internal communications strategy, 38% intended to boost training and development opportunities and just under a quarter were considering whether to give pay rises or bonuses to staff.