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Home > News > August 2007 > 15 August 2007

UK bosses labelled bad decision makers

According to new research, 46% of employees believe their bosses are poor decision makers, with many blaming incompetence and lack of confidence as contributory factors for their indecision.

The research, conducted by YouGov for Investors in People, highlights the negative impact of poor decision-making on employees. Of those who say their bosses are poor decision-makers, 61% report that it leaves them frustrated or angry or causes them to lose respect for the manager.

These employees also believe that poor decision-making is detrimental to the performance of the business 83% claim it damages morale, 51% say it reduces productivity and nearly one in five (19%) say it allows competitors to get ahead.

When questioned about the reasons behind their managers' indecision, half (51%) of employees who think their managers are indecisive point to lack of competence and a third (34%) to lack the confidence. 26% say managers are not sufficiently empowered by senior management and 21% believe that they haven't had enough training.

Simon Jones, acting chief executive at Investors in People UK, commented: "This is worrying problem for UK organisations. Effective decision making is a vital skill for any manager, and critical to the smooth operation of the organisation as a whole. Indecisive managers are a drain on the company and a major frustration for their teams, damaging employee motivation which can in turn undermine productivity and affect the organisation's progress."

According to the research, when managers do make important decisions, employees feel that their views aren't properly considered. Whilst 51% of senior managers surveyed thought that management sought the views of others in their organisation before making a decision, only 22% of employees believe this is true. Nearly half (47%) of employees claim that when bosses make a decision they simply inform others afterwards, and a further 16% say bosses are secretive about the decisions they make.

Simon Jones added: "There are clearly a number of factors which can lead to bad decision making but it is particularly worrying that managers are failing to involve other people as they put plans in place. Without employee input it is difficult to ensure that the team as a whole buys in to what has been decided and is motivated to play their part. Equally, decisions made in isolation are unlikely to take account of the full picture and may well not be in the best interests of the organisation. A participative, inclusive culture is key and presenting 'fait accompli' decisions is not the way to achieve this."

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