A different view

According to the results of surveys conducted by the Chartered Management Institute, managers within the engineering sector believe there is a discrepancy between how individuals and their organisations judge success.


Managers within the engineering sector believe there is a discrepancy between how individuals and their organisations judge success. According to the results of surveys conducted by the Chartered Management Institute, managers achieve personal success by making an impact at work and developing their colleagues, but think their organisations are more focussed on market leadership and profit margins.



The findings, taken from research projects conducted over the past 15 months, also show that the majority of individuals in the engineering sector believe that ‘enjoying work’ is crucial to success, yet only nine per cent believe that their employers share this view.



Thirty five per cent of individuals claimed to judge success by the extent to which they develop their teams but felt that only 32 per cent of organisations mark this as a priority. This raises concerns not only in view of the growing recognition of skills shortages in the UK, but also for the lack of communication within organisations.



Just over 35 per cent in the engineering sector also believe that ‘achieving a flexible lifestyle’ is the mark of professional success but think only nine per cent of their employers concur with this. The perception of differing opinions comes against a backdrop of 32 per cent of individuals resolving to spend more time with friends and family this year and 26 per cent planning to change jobs.



Of 1,864 managers asked to identify the key factor that drives them to succeed, 64 per cent spoke of having a ‘sense of purpose’ in their work and almost one in five referred to ‘making a difference to society’. Only 11 per cent sought status amongst colleagues and less than eight per cent claimed that success should be judged by ‘public recognition’.



The research highlights a worryingly large gap between how individuals define success and how they believe their employees measure achievement, with market share and long-term growth thought to be of higher priority than employee welfare.



Only 15 per cent of managers are concerned with ‘ensuring the organisation is market leader’ but 68 per cent thought that their employers made this a priority. Similarly, just 24 per cent of managers believe securing ‘sustainability’ is important, but thought that 65 per cent of their organisations perceive this as a priority.



The findings also show that fewer than half believe they have actually achieved their true potential. However, it is clear that the sector’s managers are unhappy with this situation, with many taking action to ensure success.



Forty three per cent have planned to undertake development courses or further education during the next twelve months and 15 per cent intend to improve their language skills to cope with increasing global business needs.



Jo Causon, director, marketing and corporate affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, said: ‘Success clearly means different things to different people, but the disparity between the aims and objectives of the individual and how they view their company’s priorities reveals a need for better internal communication.



‘Managers should voice professional needs so their definition of success is known while the organisation needs to create a clear understanding of its corporate objectives to ensure employees and future employees feel an alignment to the corporate culture” she concluded.



Reacting to the findings, the Chartered Management Institute has created a series of free downloads available at www.managers.org.uk/active.

The resources offer guidance and diagnostic tools covering six key areas including: delivering results; making it happen by managing change; and making an impact.