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March 28, 2024

News media often home to the accidental manager

The pivotal role of management training in bolstering employee satisfaction, productivity and retention.

By Amanda Kavanagh

Fostering a culture of trust and productivity where employees can thrive is the hallmark of a good manager.

However, according to a Chartered Management Institute survey of over 5,500 UK workers, 82% of people who take on management roles have never had any formal management training.

This group is known as “accidental managers” and the difference between the skills and abilities many of these managers don’t have but need is known as the “leadership gap”.

Accidental managers are all too common in media, where limited education budgets are usually reserved for multi-media training and newly-minted managers must figure out the role as they go, often at the expense of their team’s happiness and development.

Though some “accidental managers” do flourish through mentorship, coaching and self-directed learning, or simply by adopting the good practices of their own previous managers, others flounder, and this has a considerable impact on the people they manage.

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Effects of lacklustre leadership

In the same survey, one in three people surveyed said they had left a role due to a negative relationship with their manager (31% of managers and 28% of workers), while others said poor leadership caused low motivation, declining job satisfaction, and increased employee turnover.

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Some 50% of workers who say they have an ineffective manager are planning to leave the organisation in the next twelve months – before October 2024, compared to just 21% of workers who say they have an effective manager.

Clearly, good management is vital for employee retention. And those with formal management training are far more likely to trust their team, feel at ease spearheading change projects, and be confident confronting bad workplace behaviours.

Looking at the why

So why are unqualified people promoted to management positions? Well, 46% of managers agreed that people were promoted based on internal relationships and profile, rather than their ability and performance.

Physical presence matters too. Of those surveyed, 34% agreed that people who spend more time in the office/onsite are more likely to progress, and this is echoed in a number of surveys conducted around the world too.

Depressingly, three out of ten managers (31%) agreed that people with caring responsibilities were less likely to get promoted.

Ultimately, effective managers – whether accidental or not, make employees feel valued and appreciated, motivate teams to do a good job, help to foster a good company culture, and advocate for high-performers when it comes to compensation and benefits. 

If this doesn’t sound like your manager, and a move to another team isn’t on the cards, head to Press Gazette Jobs, where you can browse hundreds of exciting jobs now. Here are three hiring this week.

Assistant Digital Editor, News UK, Glasgow

Join Scotland’s leading news brand and its multi-award-winning website and you’ll be overseeing the day-to-day running of the site, sourcing exclusive stories and delivering breaking news to drive site traffic. This Assistant Digital Editor position means supporting the Digital Editor, overseeing thescottishsun.co.uk homepage, while constantly reviewing and improving the quality of stories by checking for updates, fresh lines and images. You’ll need an instinct for how to “sell” a digital story, an ability to produce arresting headlines, subbing experience, and an understanding of digital media, video and multi-platform. Apply here.

Media Measurement Manager, Dentsu Aegis Network, London

Dentsu is hiring for a Media Measurement Manager to join its Measurement and Effectiveness Team in London. This role involves specialising in incrementality experiments, thus playing a pivotal role in assessing the impact of marketing efforts driving business outcomes. Working closely with cross-functional teams, the successful candidate will develop methodologies, analyse results, and provide actionable insights to inform strategic decision-making. To apply, you’ll need experience in digital media with digital analytics and testing knowledge, strong proficiency in statistical analysis, experimental design, and hypothesis testing, with familiarity of media attribution models and ad-serving platforms. Find out more here.

Start your new year with a new job via the Press Gazette Job Board

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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