Disregard for mental health is among the top concerns

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Poor management is endemic in the construction industry, with almost 80% of workers having experienced it. 

This is according to research from YouGov on behalf of HR and payroll specialist MHR, which questioned 2,006 British employees across a range of industries. 

It revealed working under either poor management or a poor manager at least once was an issue for 79% of construction employees, while 71% who have experienced this have considered leaving a job. Of these, 56% quit their job because of bad management.

When asked whether managers are equipped to deal with the human or emotional side of management, 65% of respondents in the construction industry said they are not, compared to 58% across all sectors. 

A number of respondents said they had experienced bullying, micro-management and aggressive and threatening behaviour from their managers during recent employment.

Many also described bad managers as inexperienced, out of their depth, lacking the necessary people skills, expressing favouritism, failing to offer recognition and feedback, as well as failing to communicate effectively.

Julie Lock, service development director at MHR, said: “While managers are commonly trained in company policy and may understand organisational processes and procedures like the back of their hand, most don’t possess the people skills required to handle the human aspect of management and receive no training for this, which, as the research illustrates, can have damaging and long-lasting repercussions when it comes to employee engagement, talent retention and well-being.”

Ignorance or disregard towards mental health issues in the workplace was also a major issue for those working in construction, with a number of respondents claiming they not only felt unsupported but that their manager was directly responsible for causing the decline in their mental health.

Lock added: “Poor management [is] sometimes directly responsible for causing mental health problems. Organisations need to focus on their duty of care for the health and well-being of their staff, including mental health.”

The survey added that poor management practices can have a significantly damaging impact on employee morale, engagement, productivity and job satisfaction.