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Managers’ reluctance to invest in growth could hinder efforts to boost productivity, CMI says

PUBLISHED: 09:05 28 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:05 28 December 2017

Photo of office workers, as a CMI survey finds manageres are more likely to control costs than invest in growth in 2018. Picture: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Photo of office workers, as a CMI survey finds manageres are more likely to control costs than invest in growth in 2018. Picture: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

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Most managers are anticipating a tough 2018 due to a struggle to recruit skilled staff and continuing uncertainty over Brexit, according to a new study.

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) said its research found most businesses would focus on controlling costs in 2018 rather than investing in growth – a move which it feels could harbour efforts to boost national productivity.

Of the more than 1,000 managers surveyed, fewer than one in three expected the economy to grow over the year.

Optimism among managers for the 12 months ahead was at the lowest level for four years, while one in four of those questioned said their sense of job security had declined following the EU referendum.

Petra Wilton, director of strategy and external affairs at the CMI, said the decline in optimism was “unsurprising given Brexit uncertainties”.

“Managers are battening down the hatches, prioritising controlling costs over investing in development, particularly in their staff, but this short-termism feeds a vicious downward cycle.

“We need to rebuild confidence and nurture growth through investing in people.

“Now more than ever great leadership and management is needed to lift the nation out of the productivity rut.

“Employers can break the downward cycle by investing in the next generation of leaders.

“Harnessing the apprenticeship levy and getting involved with the national retraining scheme will help school leavers, graduates and workers alike develop the world-class skills we need to make us a global powerhouse.”

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