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Firms counting the cost of ineffective leadership

Firms counting the cost of ineffective leadership

A prominent business psychologist says figures showing an increase in stress as a cause of employee absence are a warning shot to poorly managed businesses.

Figures released by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development indicate that stress-related illness is now the main cause of long-term sickness absence in UK industry.

Robert Miller, who has experience in both private and public sector management, said: “There is extensive evidence to show that outmoded management practices are costing firms millions of pounds through lost days.

“It’s some seven years since the Health and Safety Executive published Management Standards for tackling work related stress - the global recession and the increasing pace of change cannot be used as an excuse for ineffective management and leadership. 

“Businesses need to recognise that work to minimise workplace stress should start with effective recruitment processes and extend through positive training and development programme.

“Effective managers will be preventing stress by displaying positive behaviours like monitoring workload and aligning resources with the demands of a job demands, empowering their teams by trusting them and involving them in decisions."

Miller, Director of McAdam King Business Psychology, believes some simple measures can help staff to cope with work pressures including access to feedback, investing in skills and competency development, nurturing strong social relationships within the workplace, and providing role clarity.  

“Becoming more resilient as individuals and organisations is important for our economic recovery and as organisations try to increase their global competitiveness they will need to further increase their capacity to innovate and successfully manage change. 

“This all points to the fundamental need for businesses to ensure that managers are fit for purpose both through the adoption of evidence based selection processes and management development interventions”.


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