July 20, 2024

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The Great Mismanagement Crisis: Nearly Half (47%) of UK Managers ‘too Overwhelmed’ to do their Job

As the economic downturn rumbles on with no end in sight and UK organisations continue to look to do more with less, the impact on front line managers is enormous.

Shockingly, 47% said that in the last six months they have felt too overwhelmed with their routine responsibilities to be able to carry out their role to a maximum efficiency. And, worryingly, 31% disagreed or were unsure whether their company leaders have supported them to be a more effective manager.

Those are some of the key findings in a new YouGov survey conducted on behalf of the leading people management platform, Lattice.


Three Quarters of Managers Want More Support 

73% of the survey respondents are looking for support from HR and company leadership to help them perform better as a manager. The area most in demand (31%) across all demographics was for more training and development on core management skills. This was especially the case for the 35-44 age bracket (41%). This was followed by 27% of all respondents looking for clearer policies and guidelines on issues such as recruitment, performance management, employee relations and disciplinary procedures and then 23% who cited needing more support in terms of specific performance management tools and resources.

When looking at the particular factors that are affecting their ability to be an effective manager in their current working environment, the top overall answer (28%) was a lack of flexibility and managing their work-life balance. Hot on its heels, 25% mentioned communication/team collaboration challenges and 23% cited employee engagement as considerable issues

Interestingly, senior business decision makers in London are significantly more likely to be experiencing overwhelm (64% v 47% national average) and also reported far higher levels of problems with regard to flexibility and managing work-life balance (46% vs. 28% national average) and communication/team collaboration challenges (44% vs. 25% national average).


Commenting on the findings, Stan Massueras, General Manager International at  Lattice, said:  “In a high performance culture, managers are the glue between performance strategy and execution. With their primary role being not to make every employee perform, but to challenge direct reports to be the best version of themselves, they are a critical piece of the performance puzzle. But if organisations expect their managers to drive impact in their performance strategy, they need to get in their corner – and they need to get the high-load tasks out of their managers’ way. For people leaders, augmenting managers with AI will be the biggest lever to accelerate growth, innovation, and performance within their organisations.” 


NB: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 523 senior business decision makers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9th – 12th April 2024.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of British business size and region.