Yesterday I trained a group of around 20 managers all of whom were members of the Chamber of Commerce.
It was a free ‘taster’ session – a 2 hour glimpse into the power of real management development to improve performance and relationships at work.
Feedback from the group was VERY positive! There was consensus that if we used the ideas discussed consistently and courageously we could probably expect productivity gains in the region of 25 – 40%.
Yet some of those who attended felt they could never put these ideas into practice:
‘Our directors want us to spend less time managing and more time working. They want to see nothing get in the way of production’.
‘Our directors have cut budgets for training and development – we even had a hard time getting away for free training sessions like this one.’
‘I have a member of staff who always hits targets, but she does it at the expense of her colleagues. She lies and cheats and upsets everybody. I have tried to give her feedback and would like to fire her – but because she sell so well my boss won’t hear of it.’
‘In my job customers ring up and often shout and swear at me. My boss says I just need to be more assertive’.
This is the reality of working life for many in SMEs in the UK. This is why so many SMEs erode quality of life and wellbeing rather than contribute to it for their employees.
This reflects the somewhat sorry state of management and enterprise education in the UK today. Why don’t we do a better job of helping more SME entrepreneurs to manage more effectively?
Why do so many businesses avoid learning how to manage constructively? Why do people choose to work for such poor bosses?
Are we turning into The Apprentice on a national scale? Rude, brutish, short-sighted and backstabbing?