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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Are you a healthy manager?

Figures published last month show that performance levels are suffering in workplaces across organisations in the pensions sector, as overbearing and dogmatic management practices top the list of management styles.

The Quality of Working Life report, which questioned 1511 managers, also found a high rate of sickness and absence levels in organisations exhibiting negative management styles. The report, published by the Chartered Management Institute and Simplyhealth, assessed the impact of differing managerial styles on motivation, health and productivity. Key findings include:

  • Tight reins: the most widely experienced management styles in the pensions sector are reactive (36%), bureaucratic (34%) and authoritarian (31%). Worryingly, all three have become increasingly common; the top two have increased by 6% since 2004, with authoritarian leadership also rising 5%
  • Index-linked: the research shows empowering managerial styles are most associated with growing businesses. More than one in three (37%) of organisations performing well are cited as having ’accessible’ management teams, whereas 56% of declining companies exhibit bureaucracy and 25% create a ’secretive’ environment
  • Sicknote culture: only one in 10 respondents said absence increased in organisations with ’innovative’ and ’trusting’ cultures. This was in contrast to 45% suggesting sickness rates have gone up where employers were ’suspicious’.

The full executive summary may be downloaded at www.managers.org.uk