Employees worried over decision making

A new survey has suggested that almost three out of four employees are taking decisions that they do not feel qualified to make.

According to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), there is a widespread unease among employees about the level of responsibility they are being given.

Three-quarters of those 2,000 employees who responded to the poll said that they are regularly taking decisions at work for which they are not adequately trained.

The report also highlighted that worries over management 'accessibility' are having an adverse effect on morale.

Some two thirds (61 per cent) of employees reported that although they have wanted to ask their boss for help making a decision they have not been given the opportunity.

As a consequence, nearly one in four (23 per cent) of staff regularly worried about making decisions at work, while 10 per cent sought to cover up mistakes that they have made.

Of the 40 per cent of employees who admitted to weaknesses in some areas of their jobs, almost a half (43 per cent) expressed fears over approaching their boss to talk about training to help them address their shortcomings.

Reasons for not broaching the subject include concern that their boss won't take them seriously, embarrassment about asking their boss for help, and fear that their boss will think badly of them for asking.

Anxieties over consulting with managers and bosses were particularly acute among younger workers. Some 39 per cent of 18-24 year olds said they felt awkward about asking for help, compared with just 14 per cent of 45-54 year olds.

Ruth Spellman, chief executive of the CMI, commented: "An engaged workforce means more commitment and higher productivity levels, not to mention lower levels of absenteeism and staff turnover. With the research showing nearly two thirds of bosses are not making themselves available when their employees need help, this ideal is currently far from being achieved.

"It may be that the recession has created a blame culture where staff are scared to ask for help for fear of being seen as incompetent. Managers need to be accessible, help their employees develop and feel confident in their ability to do their jobs well."