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Managers experience a 'two year itch'

UK managers are happiest during the first two years spent at an organisation, according to research published by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM).

The report uncovered evidence of a ‘two year itch’ that is harming the productivity of UK plc, with managers’ happiness and performance decreasing significantly across the board after this point.

The ILM study, which asked over 1,000 managers to assess themselves and their teams in terms of confidence, happiness and performance, revealed that stress can actually have a positive impact on productivity in the workplace.

Almost nine out of ten (87%) managers who rated their team’s performance highly also described their staff as ‘somewhat’ or ‘not very’ stressed, compared to just 5% whose staff were ‘very stressed’ and 8% who were ‘not at all stressed’. This highlights the challenge for organisations and managers to maintain the right level of stress, enough to focus and energise, without being so great that it affects wellbeing and performance.

The research also revealed that happy managers are better managers overall. When asked to rate their own performance, the top 10% of managers were also the happiest, with a happiness rating of 86 out of 100, while the bottom 10% of performers rated themselves as least happy at 30 out of 100.

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