Shell-shocked managers feel the pressure of recovery

The Chartered Management Institute's Economic Outlook report identifies trends and predictions in the marketplace, calling on Government to take firmer action to help managers and employers on the road to recovery

Economic Outlook also calls on the Government and employers to ensure the UK’s 4.6 million managers and leaders get the support they need to cope with the pressure of turning their organisations around.

The survey paints a bleak picture of workplace conditions post-recession, with morale worse than earlier this year in 65 per cent of organisations and the vast majority of UK managers (82 per cent) feeling negative effects of the downturn.  A combination of recruitment freezes (50 per cent), compulsory redundancies 33 per cent) and pay freezes (44 per cent) are all partially responsible.

Although numerous bodies have recently declared the recession to be at an end, the report revealed almost three quarters of managers believe it will be a year or more before they see their organisations start to recover.

Lord John Eatwell, chief economic adviser to the CMI said: “The expectation by many is that now the economy is showing signs of recovery, managers will begin to turn things around.  However, our research suggests there will be a substantial lag between recovery being officially declared and when conditions will start to improve for the people at the sharp end. Employee engagement is also suffering with most people losing colleagues, facing increasing workloads and seeing their efforts go unrewarded because of pay freezes.”

Ruth Spellman, CMI chief executive added: “Our second Economic Outlook report shows that employers are overwhelmingly in favour of tax breaks for skills and, while spending cuts are very much on the Government agenda, everything possible should be done to protect investment in this area. The fact that morale is so low is yet another reason for the Government to take action to give British businesses a badly needed boost.”

Spellman went on to say that managers needed to feel that employers and the Government are behind them. 
The Economic Outlook report makes a number of recommendations for Government including protecting investment in skills, simplifying regulation and ensuring businesses have the financial resources they need to invest in key areas such as equipment and staff development.

The full Economic Outlook report, including recommendations can be downloaded at

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