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Employees think management standards are getting worse, according to ETS survey

Employee confidence in management is falling with almost half of employees believing themselves to be better people managers than their own boss.

Research from employee survey firm ETS also found 23% of employees think that management standards are getting worse.

Nearly a quarter of employees (22%) don't think their boss has adequate people management skills.

Employees highlighted the need for managers to receive formal feedback from direct reports. Despite 91% saying that this would be valuable, just 42% of employees are currently invited to provide feedback to their manager as part of their appraisal or through 360-degree feedback. Asked to highlight what single thing would improve the quality of management where they work, almost half of employees (45%) picked clear, honest communication from managers.

Hannah Stratford, head of business psychology at ETS, said: "Line managers play a crucial role in the success of any business by driving the performance level of teams. One problem is that often high-performers are promoted into management positions without the skills, desire or support to manage a team.

"Communication skills and the ability to provide constructive feedback are widely recognised as key development areas for managers. Companies that fully understand the importance of a manager's role in driving performance prioritise training and development to help managers be more effective."

Broader survey data from ETS, encompassing the views of over 450,000 employees, shows that managers are adept at praising their teams: over three quarters of employees (76%) say they receive recognition from their manager for a job well done.

Stratford added: "There is still work to do to improve the quality of management and reap the performance benefits that this brings. Hopefully this research will provide food for thought as to how this can be achieved."

The data is from an opinion poll of 500 employees working in HR and was carried out in May 2012.