CMI warns that lack of investment in management skills means that many employers are missing out on the business benefits of flexible working.

CMI’s comments follow the launch of a new report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s Flexible Work Commission, which highlights potential routes for increasing flexibility. CMI was a member of the Commission.

Petra Wilton, CMI Director of Policy and Research, said: “The report shows clearly that managers play a pivotal role in making a success of flexible working. It’s a real shame that too many managers are still unprepared to contemplate offering more flexibility, not only to meet individual employees’ needs, but also to get the most out of their teams and ultimately to support growth.

“At the heart of the matter is the question of whether the manager has the skills to manage people based on their output, not just on whether they’re at their desk. First and foremost that means getting the basics right when it comes performance management. However, with only 1 in 5 managers having had formal management training or development, it is not surprising that they struggle. Implementing flexible working can be a big challenge but the benefits can be well worth it.”

“CMI’s own research shows that the best management development can boost organisational performance by as much as 23 per cent, so there are real hard-nosed reasons for investment in developing staff – even in tough economic times.”*

*McBain et al, The Business Benefits of Management and Leadership Development (2012), CMI.