Overcoming the accidental management trap 

(the case for proper management training)

It's a common scenario in many businesses today: an employee does their job extraordinary well and is rewarded by promotion to a managerial position. The paradox is that great performance in one position doesn't a successful manager make!

More importantly, employees elevated to managerial status are often left to perform these tasks with minimum, or sometimes no, formal training. Welcome to the era of the 'accidental manager'.  Whilst, in principle, this sounds like a wonderful environment to encourage high achievers and reward hard work, there is a negative impact from this practice which is of growing concern to the government.

According to the Office for National Statistics, foreign-owned medium-sized businesses are three times more productive than comparable UK companies. Over recent years several national business institutions have lamented Britain's 'longstanding productivity deficit' which has seen us fall behind our European counterparts such as France and Germany. The reason for this sustained underperformance and slowdown in growth has been hotly debated.


The Chartered Management Institute's (CMI) Management Manifesto found that companies who have effective management and leadership development programmes record 23% better results and are 32% more productive. Productivity is the main casualty when it comes to failing management standards.

Having positively identified the interconnection between 'structured management practices' and company performance, it appears the management framework that supports UK businesses is falling short in many cases. In fact, 71% of employers admitted they don't train first-time managers, which means there is a tidal wave of accidental managers out there without the supporting skills and processes to lead effectively.

Continuous management training could be the key to unlocking our nation's productivity potential. The great news is 'improving management prowess by only 0.1% leads to a 10% increase in productivity' (ONS).

New government initiatives such as the Apprenticeship Levy have been launched to tackle the issue, aimed at providing funds for chartered management apprenticeships or management training programmes. A wealth of appropriate courses is now available to businesses.

Learning to deal with people, set goals, drive business and cultivate the right working environment isn't a skill that should be expected to come naturally. It takes practice, guidance and support. It's also a technique that needs constant updating.

Here at Sowga, we focus on training and development, not just within industry specific fields but for management positions as well. For our organisation, retaining all of our skilled employees is a priority, and we have a scheme which recognises achievement and offers promotion backed by the right training and support. Our aim is to ensure individuals feel valued and see a long-term career ahead. Placing employees on ILM Leadership and Management courses has helped to empower our team, and the benefits ripple across the whole organisation.   

This approach, backed up with current performance data, has enabled us to amend and improve our practices within shorter timeframes. As a result, our business continues to expand and flourish thanks to the talents and competencies of our staff.

Are you looking for a career supported by appropriate training? We're always seeking talent across our two offices and for our offsite support teams. Visit our careers page for more information on the latest positions available. 

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