According to the survey, by recruiting experts Hays, just 18% of 1,516 respondents from Australia and New Zealand said training and development had increased by the time they reached mid-management level. The final 34% said it remained the same.
However, a new study shows that even senior executives are lacking critical skills.
The Willis Towers Watson Global Workforce Study, found that only 45% of US employees have trust and confidence in the job being done by their organisation’s top leaders. That’s down from 55% who responded similarly in 2014.
Just under half (47%) believe leaders are sincerely interested in employee well-being, while only 41% think their organisation is doing a good job of developing future leaders.
So could upskilling middle managers in these areas prevent a similar problem from reaching Australia’s senior executives?
Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand, said that while middle managers will end up shaping their organisation, L&D should be ongoing throughout a person’s career – not end at a certain point.
“Employers should develop their middle managers’ technical skills, cultivate their knowledge and understanding of the organisation’s goals, foster a belief in what the organisation is trying to achieve and help advance their leadership skills,” he said.
Deligiannis said this could include opportunities to lead other departments outside their functional skills base for a set period of time, formal training for a set number of days every year or joining a team or group projects across the organisation.
“By being included in more senior level business discussions and receiving the opportunity to contribute ideas, middle managers can experience rapid on-the-job growth,” said Deligiannis.
“Mentoring is also important, as is the continuing development of emotional intelligence and soft skills.”
However, he added that that such development is unlikely to happen without intention.
“Map your career path and know where you want to be in the next two, five and 10 years,” he said.
“Know what skills you need to reach these goals so that you keep your career development on track.”
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A report released in April showed that nearly half of Australia’s mid-level managers say the training and development they receive has decreased compared to the early years of their career.