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UK employees want better management

Workers feel out of their depth and aren't sure what is expected of them. Many believe they are under-skilled

UK employees want better management and guidance from their employers, according to research from Robert Half UK.

The poll of more than 2,000 UK employees found that four in 10 (39%) feel they are not well managed at work and are out of their depth in their roles. Nearly one in five (18%) employees said they are not clear on what is expected of them, and a quarter (26%) believed they do not have the right skills or experience to do their job.

The research found a gap between how well managed people feel early on compared with later in their careers. Employees thought they had more support and training early on in their careers, with 71% of 18- to 34-year-olds claiming they are well managed. In comparison, just over half (56%) of 55-year-olds and older felt the same.

When it came to how employees felt about their work overall, nearly two-thirds (63%) claimed that they get a sense of accomplishment from their employment, and four in five (79%) see their work as a collaborative effort to be shared between employee and employer.

Phil Sheridan, senior managing director at Robert Half UK, said that ensuring employees understand how their skills and experience fit within the wider organisational vision is crucial to their happiness at work. “Employers constantly need to be looking for opportunities to better their employees, broaden their skillsets, and develop them into productive, happy workers that contribute to the company culture,” he said. “This will also help boost retention efforts.

“Working with your employees to collectively improve their job satisfaction and overall happiness at work is vital for managing people effectively. Concerns over the skills shortage, employee retention and workplace productivity are all high on business leaders’ priority list today. Ensuring that all managers within your organisation are trained to offer support and guidance to employees in the short and long term can have a significant impact on employee happiness.”