At least a third of senior managers and executives surveyed at British businesses have slammed their organisations for the poor training provided to them in new research* published today from executive mentors Rutbusters.

Its research into 1,000 senior managers and executives, conducted on its behalf by accredited research agency Censuswide (full details about the research on page 4), found that:

  • 34% reported* “there is no training programme for senior executives here”
  • 41% reported* “the older you are, the less my organisation wants to spend on you”
  • 40% reported* “once you have been here a few years the will to train you stops”
  • The sectors scoring persistently the worst were IT & Telecoms and Banking & Finance.
  • The Legal sector was consistently the most positive. (Details on pages 2 & 3)

This is in stark contrast with training for younger employers, with senior managers reporting:

  • 62% reported “the training programme for younger employees (such as apprentices) is generally very thorough” (only 11% disagreed)
  • 54% reported “The training programme for graduates is generally very thorough” (13% disagreed)

Ms Kedge Martin, CEO of Rutbusters, said: “It paints a bleak picture of the training of the UK’s 10 million professionals and senior executives, with our research finding at least a third reporting their organisation has little or no programme and another third seemingly damning theirs with faint praise.

“On the positive side, at least a third of executives and senior managers were upbeat about the training for them. And the effectiveness of training for young people such as graduates and apprentices was reported much more positively, with only just over 10% reporting negatively on it.

“It is particularly worrying that there are such high levels of dissatisfaction with the low provision of training at banking, financial services and tech businesses – core areas for the future of our economy.  It can be no coincidence that our research found these sectors are also those where executives are most likely to report being burnt out and unhappy, which is hardly surprising if they are getting insufficient training for such demanding roles.”

She added: “Ongoing training for employees is essential, yet at many businesses there is the paradox that the more senior people get, the less they are seen as needing training.  In fact, it is quite the opposite.

“Providing suitable high quality training and mentoring to senior executives and managers is especially important in today’s business environment, with the UK in the midst of a productivity crisis, and many businesses facing both the huge challenges of Brexit and ongoing technological disruption.

“Effective training provides benefits for both the organisation and the individual.   Each and every employee needs to be an asset to the business; skills and knowledge need to be updated to ensure that every member of the team can perform their tasks in the most efficient manner.

“Besides making people more effective in their role, ongoing training has been shown to improve work satisfaction, motivation and employee loyalty.”

About Rutbusters:

Organisations are increasingly acknowledging that how their staff feel (physically and mentally), has a huge impact on their performance.  Employee assistance programmes are becoming more common place – but these tend to focus on physical health (eg gym memberships, private health), and financial awards eg discounts and freebies.

There is an urgent need to support the senior professionals, those at the top of the tree, who no longer get fulfilment from their demanding role and have come to hate it.  Their view to an alternative future can look deeply uncertain. So they get stuck. The trouble is when they get stuck, the whole organisation does too.

That’s where Rutbusters comes in. Our programmes, delivered by senior people who’ve done re-invention and big change themselves, understand how to re-energise, recalibrate and explore alternative routes – replacing fear and inertia with confidence and control and contribution

About the research:

* The research was conducted on behalf of Rutbusters by accredited research agency Censuswide in May 2019 into 1,001 full-time employees with management responsibilities aged 40+.  It included 100-person samples from Finance, Accountancy, IT & Telecoms, and Legal, and a 91-person sample from the Creative & Media sector.