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Businesses lacking leadership skills

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Shortages of leadership and management skills have had an adverse effect on business growth and productivity, according to the report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Just under half of all UK start-ups fail in their first 3 years and the UK currently has the widest productivity gap in the G7. Poor leadership and management skills are held up by many as a leading factor behind this.

The FSB report found that 59% of business owners update their business knowledge at least once a year, but fall short on skills and management training.

25% of business owners had undertaken management training in the last 12 months and 19% pursued external management training for their employees.

The cost and availability of training were identified as key factors in the fall of leadership and management.

43% of businesses listed the cost of training as a major factor while 34% listed availability of training as a problem.

FSB has recommended the following to improve leadership and management growth:

  • leadership and management taster courses which are flexible and available online
  • more involvement from finance providers and professional associations
  • business supporting business through peer networks.

Mike Cherry, policy director for the FSB, said:

“The UK is well known as being a great place to start a business, but we need to get better at helping small firms reach the next level. A key aspect of this is making sure the right management and leadership capabilities are in place, and that these grow in line with the business.”

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