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The Biggest Drain on Productivity? Bad Management

The Biggest Drain on Productivity? Bad Management

Written by Gordon Stoddart

Last edited May 3, 2023

The Biggest Drain on Productivity? Bad Management

A recent study from ADP suggests that bad management is one the highest factors which effects productivity in businesses. We look further into how we can remedy bad management.A recent study from ADP (Automatic Data Processing) claims that bad management is one the biggest drains of productivity in the workplace. ADP who surveyed 1,300 employees across the UK found a third of workers(32 per cent) regularly struggle to be productive in their job, with one in six (16 per cent) respondents blaming their manager – ahead of inefficient systems and processes (15 per cent) and staff shortages (13 per cent).

The ADP statement also continues to say that the UK has been struggling with continued low productivity levels for a number of years, consistently placed behind other leading economies, such as Germany and the US in official productivity tables. While recent ONS figuressuggested a recovery is underway, reporting the biggest jump in productivity levels for six years, the ADP findings indicate that UK PLC isn’t out of the woods just yet.

Barriers to productivity also vary significantly based on age, with over 55s the most affected by bad management (20 per cent), while 16 to 24-year olds are more affected by social media (22 per cent) distractions from colleagues (21 per cent) and stress (18 per cent). Meanwhile, over 55s are revealed to be the most easily distracted in the workplace, with 17 per cent saying they are rarely or never able to be at their most productive.“Productivity is vital for organisational and economic success, which is why maximising is a priority for employers. If the attempt to address this takes a narrow, Frederick Winslow Taylor approach, then it can be counterproductive and fail to engage and harness the creativity of their people,” commented Jeff Phipps, managing director at ADP UK. “It might be notoriously difficult to measure and improve productivity levels, but these findings provide a good indication of the factors that are most important. Ineffective management is a major drain on employee output, not to mention motivation and engagement, which is why investment in management training is critical. Processes, systems and technology must also be updated regularly, with the input of frontline staff, to ensure they are consistently helping them to work in the best – and most productive – way possible.”

Read the full report from ADP here.

How do we remedy bad management?

Sometimes bad management simply comes down to a lack of understanding and knowledge on effective management from the manager, we here at The Recruitment Network offer a comprehensive and in-depth course for up and coming billing-managers and management professionals on a journey to get the most out of themselves and their team.


To find more about our Trailblazers programme, follow this link:

Start by looking at yourself

Great management starts with efficient self-management, personal effectiveness, focus, and great delegation. We’ve discussed this very issue in depth with the first part of our three part series:  “How to Balance Personal Billings and Team Performance”.


Read it here:

You then develop the individuals in your team

In the second part of our blog series we look at how to get the most out of the individuals within your team, from hiring the right people, personality profiling, motivations, performance management, support and autonomy.


Read it here:

You wrap it up with a cohesive team

Part three of our series of effective management looks at bringing together individuals and merging them into a team, which turns you into a true leader. We talk about inspiring and animating others bringing the best out of them.


Read it here:

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