Management needs a spruce-up if the lofty ambitions for UK businesses are to become a reality, warns new research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The survey of 750 of the UK’s top leaders has shown that “many managers lack the expertise needed to steer their organisations to success.”

Managers need to excel by the end of the decade if the UK economy is to grow and hold it’s own internationally, the research has shown. Significant skill gaps were discovered, with many important areas reflected as below-par when it came to managers’ current abilities.

The majority agreed that networking, agile team management and social media were among the most important priorities for the successful future of business. However, when assessed across 20 areas, many were found lacking. Many managers admitted their main area of weakness was their technological skills, with 68% ineffective at using social media and 57% unable to make use of big data.

Ann Francke, CMI Chief Executive, said: “Management shortcomings are already part of the reason why the UK lags behind competitors like the US and Germany, and we could fall further behind if we don’t prepare now for the future…Employers need to prioritise these critical management skills to future-proof their business.”

The workplace is set to change between now and 2020, with particular advancements in the areas of technology, close monitoring of staff and more blurred boundaries between home and work life, as more and more people will work from home. This is a significant opportunity for small businesses to make sure you are at the forefront of the business evolution, that your managers take control of their skill development and approach 2014 with a future-centric, on-point vision of success.