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Managers dramatically over-estimate how much they think they know their staff

Managers do not understand the skills and motivations of their staff, according to workplace psychologists.

According to research commissioned by workplace psychology firm OPP, 98% of managers claim they "know their people well". Yet only only 28% of healthcare employees agree with this, while it is even lower among IT staff (19%); sales and marketing staff (18%) and professional services staff (17%).

Robert McHenry, CEO at OPP, said: "Most worrying is how managers are completely ignorant of the situation. There is a massive misconception they know all there is to know about their employees."

The research also exposes flaws in management decisions. Two-thirds (66%) of managers say they would change past decisions if they could, while almost half (42%) say their people decisions are based on gut instincts.