Irrespective of company size or sector,the job of managing and leading in the 21st century is becoming increasingly difficult, especially when we are all working in a fast-paced and constantly changing world. AIS FPDC training manager Jeremy Clayton discusses why good leadership and management skills are so important.

The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) believes skilled managers and leaders hold the key to creating productive, engaged, high-performing workforces, which drive business and economic success. Indeed, business success or failure can depend on the quality of leadership and management skills in terms of direction, growth or survival of individual businesses. Yet worryingly, according to The Chartered Management Institute ‘nearly half o UK line managers are ineffective’.

In fact, statistics from a recent report by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) show that bad management accounts for 56 per cent of business failures and costs the UK economy around £19 billion a year in lost working hours alone.

Leaders and managers, particularly in construction, have had a lot to deal with in the last few years. The tough economic climate, increased competition, new technologies and methods of attracting and retaining customers have all taken their toll. Rising consumer demands, expectations and environmental resource concerns are all challenges they must overcome to support business success. Yet many current supervisors, managersand directors in the sector have had no formal management training, having worked their way up from starting in site operative roles.

Effective leadership and management can provide a host of organisational and individual benefits. Specific benefits for the organisation include:

  • Improved organisational performance
  • Integrated working at all levels of leadership
  • Strategic planning which is cascaded as appropriate throughout the organisation
  • Greater ability to anticipate and enable change
  • Increased trust, improved communication, awareness of shared goals and standards of performance and improved team outputs
  • Improved motivation and morale levels
  • Loyalty and reduced absenteeism

Specific benefits for individuals include:

  • Improved resilience and personal performance
  • Increased clarity of purpose and business objectives
  • Increased engagement and job ownership
  • Improved innovation skills, problem solving and decision making
  • More effective change leadership skills
  • Improved personal performance
  • Increased confidence and levels of ownership and initiative
  • Happy working environment

Management development has a positive effect on every aspect of a business, from improving bottomline financial performance to increased innovation and efficiency, to attracting and retaining top talent. BIS studies indicate that best practice management development can result in a 23 per cent increase in organisational performance.

A more skilled management workforce that continuously develops tends to plan and perform more effectively. Better qualified managers are associated with a better qualified workforce. Skilled managers are innovative, more aware of the market they are trying to serve or may move into, identify ways of serving these markets and develop products and services that meet customer needs.

Skilled leaders and managers ensure areas such as high quality, performance and skills are part of the businesses ethos and culture and this is communicated to and understood effectively by all employees, subcontractors and customers. They also ensure that skills are clearly developed to drive business results. They forge good relationships with customers, plan, manage, monitor and evaluate all projects and identify ways of continuously improving business and individual performance in all areas.

Effective managers also have a positive impact on the wellbeing of the people under their supervision. Research has found that excessive workload and poor management style are the top causes of stress at work, leading to poor performance and absenteeism.

As you can see, the skills required by leaders and managers are significant and crucial to all aspects of business success or failure. As our industry comes out of recession, strengthening managers’ capabilities will play a vital part in business success.

AIS FPDC management and development training

With the right training and development, everyone can be a better leader and manager. With this in mind AIS FPDC, working in conjunction with ILM training providers Montpellier International Consulting, has created
a management development course, targeted specifically at owner/managers, site supervisors and line managers.

The course, which is delivered through e-learning modules and workbooks, allows learners to gain an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Level 3 qualification from their desk.

After an ILM qualification:

  • 93 per cent of managers perform better in their jobs
  • 90 per cent of managers improve their ability to communicate and give feedback
  • 90 per cent of managers are better at motivating people

Costing £595 + VAT (AIS FPDC members receive a 15% discount) the course can be purchased via the AIS FPDC training portal at

For those AIS FPDC members who want to improve their management skills but don’t want to go down the qualification route, the individual learning modules (17 in total) can also be accessed free via the portal.


This project is delivered with funding support from CITB