Headlines: June 30th, 2004

Managers in central and local government are overworked, they put business ahead of family, and they work within a negative culture, according to a study by the Chartered Management Institute and Adecco.”The Business Energy Survey” questioned more than 1,500 managers across and found businesses were failing to understand their needs. As a result workplace energy was dropping dangerously low. The study, conducted in May 2004, assessed the attitudes, motivations and aspirations of managers.

Its key findings show that one in 10 managers in central and local government work an extra 14 hours more than they’re paid for – effectively putting in a seven-day week – and 56 per cent feel that they are overloaded with work. They have no energy for family life and 40 per cent admit to missing family commitments because of work pressure. Almost a quarter of those questioned think their organisation has an ‘authoritarian’ culture with 33 per cent feeling exploited. Almost as many believe that their organisations responds to change in an ad hoc, haphazard way

Managers in the public sector appear to be happy to work long and hard if they are given a sense of achievement and almost two thirds classed a sense of purpose as their biggest motivating factor. Just 5 per cent believe pay is their main motivator, compared to a national average of 12 per cent. More than a third wanted flexible working initiatives like compressed working weeks but fewer than 9 per cent believed this would ever happen.

The report shows that the volume of work has an adverse effect on employees’ energy levels. Of those surveyed, 41 per cent admitted to having no energy on weekday evenings because of work – the highest across the UK – and 26 per cent said they used weekends solely to recover from work.

The report also found that many managers in central and local government feel that there is a negative management style operating in their organisations with most wanting open and receptive management but not getting it.