The suits aren’t satisfied

The Chartered Management Institute says managers in the engineering sector are extremely ambitious, but believe their careers are being held back by organisational red tape and a lack of support.

Managers in the engineering sector are extremely ambitious, but believe their careers are being held back by organisational red tape and a lack of support from their employers. However, according to data revealed by the Chartered Management Institute, managers in the sector are also determined to achieve recognition for the impact they have at work.

The findings show that a quarter of managers in the engineering sector want to achieve promotion within the next five years and another fifteen per cent intend to set up their own business by 2012. Nine per cent admit they look to the future without wishing for career progression.

Asked what drives performance, 56 per cent said they relied on self-motivation. Twelve per cent said that the ‘support of their boss’ was key to their career development. Highlighting areas that have a negative effect on their work, 38 per cent of managers in the engineering sector blamed bureaucracy within their organisation and 24 per cent cited a lack of strategic direction.

Despite facing these barriers to progression, 59 per cent of managers in the sector admit they ‘reflect on their ambitions’ at least once a month, with 91 per cent determined to take on new responsibilities. Many suggest that success will follow if they can make an impact in the workplace, ‘create something new’ or influence others.

However, the impact that this lack of support and recognition is having on managers in the sector is beginning to have an effect on organisational growth. More than 38 per cent admitted they are not fully using their skills and expertise in their current role and 44 per cent admit they have not yet achieved their potential in their working lives.

Jo Causon, director, marketing and corporate affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, said: ‘Managers in the engineering sector are clearly determined to succeed but they lack recognition for their efforts. In an era when the pace of change is the only constant at work, harnessing the support of ambitious employees is critical for long-term business success. Unless these individuals are supported and developed, they will leave creating a bigger void and exacerbating the current skills shortage.’

In an effort to respond to this desire for recognition, the Chartered Management Institute is offering managers in engineering free access to a new online diagnostic tool that identifies individual leadership and management skills. Connected to the Institute’s Chartered Manager programme, which recognises individual impact in the workplace, it has been designed to highlight strengths and reveal where skills development is needed. Individuals who use the tool can use it as a guide towards future professional development needs and as a route towards achieving ‘Chartered Manager’ status, the nationally recognised accolade for successful managers.

The free tool is available at