New research published by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) indicates that managers are happiest during the first two years spent at an organisation.

The survey of more than 1,000 managers also suggested that a ‘two-year itch’ experienced by managers as their happiness at work falls is undermining productivity.

The study which asked managers to assess themselves and their teams in terms of confidence, happiness and performance suggested that ‘happiness’ reaches a peak during the first years managers are in post but then it drops off and continues to fall after that period.

It also revealed that 87% of respondents 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’.

Charles Elvin, ILM Chief Executive, said:

“Our research shows that managers’ performance and happiness tend to peak after two years within an organisation, before falling away rapidly.

“Organisations can counteract this ‘two year itch’ by harnessing and retaining managers’ early energy and enthusiasm with timely training over this crucial period.”

‘The pursuit of happiness: positivity and performance among UK managers’ report also said that managers with clear access to progression and development pathways were shown to be happier and performing at a higher level than those with less access.

Elvin added:

“Our survey highlights the pressing need to target training more effectively for front-line managers, who have the least access to development opportunities, and stand out as being less happy, more stressed and performing to a lower level than their more senior colleagues.”