Firms urged to invest in management training as study reveals business worries over lack of leadership skills

UK businesses have been encouraged to invest in management training after a study revealed that 90% of the country's firms fear being held back due to a lack of skilled leaders.

Some 750 organisations were studied by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), and it was found that most thought low levels of management skills were impacting negatively on their business.

Fewer than 29% of those who were asked said they expected managers would be given management training before gaining a promotion.

Chief executive of the ILM, Charles Elvin, said of the research: "The UK needs to address the current shortage of management and leadership skills revealed in this survey in order to compete on the international stage."

He added: "Now more than ever, businesses should be investing in leadership and management development at all levels to ensure strong business performance and effectiveness.

"They need to consider the personal qualities of managers as well as their technical skills, helping them become more innovative, inspirational and emotionally intelligent in order to prepare them for the demands of 21st century leadership."

Speaking recently about the areas which managers could look at in order to respond to challenges currently being thrown at them due to the economic situation, the institute's chairman, Peter Cheese, said: "Innovative processes and flexible, open thinking can help managers respond to changes in the marketplace, seek out new business opportunities and generate new ideas."

The body's research comes after a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) report last week, which suggested that the nation's managers could benefit if they offered more support to their staff regarding their personal finances.

According to the CIPD's study, three in four people overall are not offered any advice or support by their employer to help them understand financial issues.

This finding emerged even though it was suggested that this form of support may be able to combat the dangers of stress and anxiety-related under performance among workers who have debt worries to deal with.

Copyright Press Association 2012