Strong Leadership skills needed post-Covid Header

You wouldn’t visit a doctor who hadn’t been to medical school or hire a solicitor who had never practiced law and yet, here in the UK, there are literally millions of people in leadership and management positions who have been given absolutely no guidance or specialised training on how to do it.

This group, known as the “accidental managers”, have been promoted to managerial positions on the back of notable performance in a certain job. Just because someone is a good plumber, doesn’t mean they can run a successful plumbing business. Or indeed a wonderful classroom teacher doesn’t always make a good deputy head. The unfortunate truth is that too many new managers find themselves out of their depth.

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has estimated that as many as four out of five managers are accidental managers – that’s equivalent to 2.4 million bosses without adequate training and their collective underperformance is estimated to costs businesses around £84 billion a year, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 

As organisations deal with a world post-COVID, strong leadership and management – at all levels – will be key to thriving in the new normal. 

It’s time to change how we prepare the next generation of leaders

The Covid-19 pandemic has become the accelerator for one of the greatest workplace transformations in generations. How and where we work, shop, communicate and learn has changed, possibly, forever. Organisations from every sector, through strong leadership and management, need to adapt to stay ahead of the curve and to do this effectively, they need the right knowledge skills and behaviours.

The DNA of our workplaces has changed in many ways. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that leadership matters and for many organisations facing uncertain futures, it may matter now more than ever as the UK faces a perfect storm of rising inflation and a new cost-of-living crisis, which has put employers- and how they support their workforce- front and centre of the public’s mind. 

The good news is that almost anyone can learn to be an effective leader if they are given the opportunity and are willing to try. The barrier seems to be expediency and cost.

Managing people is a complicated skill, and learning it is not a short process. A one or two-day course is essentially the equivalent of dipping a toe in the water, especially as the focus increasingly shifts towards “soft skills” such as interpersonal skills, coaching, active listening, collaboration, and heightened emotional intelligence.

In addition, the evidence of the last two years suggests that poor leadership qualities exert a heavy toll on employees’ mental health. Those who work for a bad boss have a greater risk of high blood pressure, chronic stress, clinical depression, anxiety, sleeping disorders, and a host of other health problems.

Under such conditions, it is obviously impossible for people to perform at their best.

The road to recovery and productivity that the UK currently travels will be far easier if businesses have the effective leaders they need in place. It’s time to offer the right type of leadership and management training to the managers who need it.

The Apprenticeship Levy: Here to Help

The Apprenticeship Levy could prove to be just the ticket for providing the necessary management training that can turn high-flying workers into high-flying managers.

Employers can use funds from the apprenticeship levy to fund leadership and management apprenticeship programmes, and City Skills has been working across a variety of sectors to help businesses do just that.

The levy fund can be used to cover the cost of the Operations/Departmental Manager Level 5 apprenticeship, the Coaching Professional Level 5 apprenticeship or the Team Leader Level 3 apprenticeshipThese apprenticeships are designed to enable new or experienced managers to learn on the job and experience both leadership theory and management practice and apply it to real workplace scenarios along the way.

If you would like to know how a leadership or management apprenticeship can improve your skills or career prospects or what the impact of better management training can be for your business, speak to one of our apprenticeship experts today. 

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