Headlines: February 7th, 2007



Managers working in local government believe there is a difference in the way that individuals and their organisations judge success. A survey by the Chartered Management Institute has found that while managers see personal success as making an impact at work and developing their colleagues, they believe the organisations for which they work are more focussed on market leadership and profit margins.

The results come from research projects over the past 15 months and also show more than half the individuals in local government believe enjoying work is crucial to success but only 3 per cent believe their employers share that view.

A similar number of individuals – 54 per cent – claimed they judged their own success by the extent to which they developed their teams but again fewer – only 28 per cent – felt organisations saw this as a priority. The Institute believes this raises concerns in view of the growing recognition of skills shortages and because of the apparent lack of communication within bodies. There were more discrepancies when it came to the role of ‘achieving a flexible lifestyle’, with 24 per cent of individuals seeing this as a mark of professional success while 7 per cent thought their employers would agree.

Of the more than 1,800 managers asked to identify the key factor driving them to succeed, almost two-thirds named having a ‘sense of purpose’ in their work and almost one in five talked about making a difference to society. Just 11 per cent were seeking status with colleagues and fewer than 1 in 10 believed success should be judged by public recognition.

The Chartered Management Institute says the research highlights a worryingly gap between how individuals define success and how they see their employers measure achievement, believing market share and long-term growth are given higher priority than employee welfare. Only a little over half of those in the study felt they had actually achieved their full potential.

Jo Causon, the director of marketing and corporate affairs at the Institute, said, success clearly meant different things to different people. “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 added.

As a result of the findings the Institute has created a series of downloadable resources to help individuals and organisations achieve success. They are available at www.managers.org.uk/active and offer guidance in six key areas, delivering results; making it happen by managing change; meeting customer needs; making an impact; inspirational leadership and getting the work-life balance right.