L&D demand | A third of workers say 'rookie managers' are the cause of their stress

A third of workers say 'rookie managers' are the cause of their stress

Over a third of workers cite a manager new to their role as a cause of stress and anxiety, new research from Oji Life Lab reveals.

A third of respondents also revealed that as well as causing decreased motivation, a manager without experience causes sleeplessness and is often a reason for them wanting to quit.

40% of women reported feeling anxiety from a new manager compared to 29% of men, insinuating that women workers might be more likely to leave their job due to poor management than their male colleagues.

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Survey participants also outlined that defining characteristics of a bad new manager includes being bad at reducing conflict, making decisions and providing feedback.

In addition to showing the need for more learning and development opportunities for new managers, the survey also illustrates the immense amount of pressure managers are under to raise productivity without the need for more resources, amid economic strain.

Is L&D the solution?

With the war for talent continuing, employers can’t afford to let inexperienced managers be the reason staff are jumping ship.

Despite the pockets of businesses becoming tighter because of the cost-of-living crisis, adequate training and development is important to retain both managers and employees.

In recent times, particularly since discourse around AI has increased, there has been an emphasis on the need for soft skills in managers.

In a Forbes article, coach and advisor Nell Derick Debevoise says that soft skills are the most important thing a manager can obtain. She explains: “Soft skills might be all that matter. Why? Because soft skills are the foundation on which everything else is done. Without the ability to understand others (including customers), build trust, and risk and recover from failure, no action matters.

“Further, these skills are learned through experience, conscientiousness, personal reflection and development, and mentorship. Skill sets and tool sets can be trained, bought, or outsourced.”

It makes sense that as a first-time manager you might not always know what you’re doing. Your sheer lack of experience would mean you are unlikely to know what your ‘manager style’ is, and you’ve probably not mastered the craft of balancing your own workload with actively managing a group of people.

But these don’t need to be things that a manager learns all by themselves. As an employer, you can encourage and enable managers to boost their management skills and step into their role confidently, having a trickledown effect that is likely to increase staff happiness and retention.

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