A new UK study has revealed the vast majority of managers believe they need training on being compassionate and understanding toward their staff.

The study led by Dr Fiona Beddoes-Jones, an occupational psychologist, reported that eighty percent of managers felt a need for training on how to genuinely care for, and respond to, their staff more appropriately. This revelation was presented at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology Annual Conference, in England.

Over 300 managers/leaders were interviewed and the majority of respondents were dissatisfied with the level of warmth and care they displayed to their staff and believed that staff well-being and their job satisfaction would be improved if there was more ability learnt to care and empathise with staff issues.

Managers may be wonderful at managing a business, but no training is undertaken by the majority in managing people. Managing people includes the ability and skill set to listen, hear, understand, empathise and respond appropriately and correctly.

Findings also revealed a dilemma between the sort of environment people wanted to work in and the management style of the manager managing them.

Most workers reported they preferred a “collaborative & supportive” working environment, against only some who preferred a manager who was “nurturing and kind” or “unconditionally supportive”.

Staff need intelligibility from a rational manager and want to feel their manager and organisation genuinely care about them. In the drive for performance and improved productivity, management can forget about the human element required in managing a team.

The research was conducted with over 300 manager/leaders recruited via many business social media groups (including CIPD, IoD, and BPS).

What this is telling us is that managers need to learn the skills staff require to enable the workplace to be efficiently run, with staff feeling valued and recognised. Communications training is essential for managers to learn how to connect with staff. Once staff feel understanding and empathy with their manager, the workplace can indeed feel like a warm, supportive environment. It is recognised when staff feel this unity within their work environment their productivity increases, sick leave declines and contentment intensifies.

We all want to enjoy our work and attending our workplace; the problem is the majority of workers reportedly hate their job. Is it their job or the work they hate? It seems the work is fine; it is the workplace that creates this anxiety and it is usually the management that is responsible. Management, while great at setting goals and meeting targets do not normally have any training in workplace communications to create and foster a supportive, valued environment for all staff. Speaking, listening and understanding staff is essential for a healthy work atmosphere for all members. Learning these skills is crucial.  There are few courses available to teach individual communication styles or learn language sets so managers can easily speak their staffs’ individual language. Once they learn this they can open up communication avenues to understand their staff, allow staff to feel heard, recognised and appreciated. The values all staff and workers need to create a productive, happy and inclusive work environment.

Communication occurs in everything you do or say, or do not do or say.

Ensuring a good communicative climate, and disabling barriers to communication are essential. To communicate effectively is to be understood and understand others, it is a set of skills to be learned and practiced.

These skills are not only essential for professional proficiency but also crucial for life in general. Daily lives demand flexible and comprehensive communication ability. Professional competence involves the development of cognitive, technical and communication skills. Most training places emphasis on the first two at the expense of the third, communication skills training.

Learning a range of essential communication skills enables each person to speak directly to the recipients’ language style.  This then permits the other person to clearly and quickly understand what is being said, allowing you to move on to other tasks quickly.

When working in a team, you are working towards a common goal and set of objectives, so your work becomes more efficient. A new training approach has been developed by Dr Karen Phillip, Lifestyle Doctor and Relationship Authority. Dr Karen once Managed Aquatic and Fitness Corporate centres and understands the problems managing 100’s of staff and managers entail. She found a lack of good quality communications training based on practicality instead of theory.

This training approach is different from other communication programs because it provides specific skills and techniques designed for each person individually. It very practical based training as opposed to the academic style of communication techniques in courses such as ‘conflict resolution’ or ‘negotiation skills.