It’s not what you say but how you say it that may cause judgement from your work colleagues, research has found.
A poll by hearing campaign Heal the World found that 15% of 4,000 respondents would take a work colleague less seriously if they had an accent, while 11% said an accent would influence whether or not they did business with them.
One-quarter of respondents said the Brummie accent was the most annoying, with a Scottish accent perceived as the most aggressive.
People who spoke the Queen’s English were thought to be the most intelligent, while seven in 10 respondents said it carried the most authority.
The Scouse accent was found to be the most untrustworthy according to one in three respondents, followed by Cockney, which received 22% of the votes.
Dr Glenn Wilson, a psychologist at Kings College, London, said: “Accents can play a huge role in our initial attitude towards others. This explains why some people are more likely to adapt their accent to avoid being stereotyped and to encourage a particular impression.”
“There are essentially two components to an accent – location and strength. The location of someone’s accent encourages particular stereotypes and we presume people with stronger accents are less intelligent and are educated to a lesser degree,” Wilson added.
This story was first published by Personnel Today
Training and development experts have championed the importance of talent management after a new report found more than half of UK businesses are failing to develop their top people.
Research by recruitment outsourcing provider Capital Consulting and Cranfield School of Management, found that only 49% of UK businesses had implemented talent development programmes.
Having questioned 608 HR directors, the research pointed to a lack of financial investment and insufficient senior management support as the main obstacles to talent development.
It found that while six in 10 respondents said talent management was essential to increasing profit, only four in 10 strategically managed their star talent. One in five did not link the strategy to their business plan, while only 15% measured the return on investment.
Victoria Winkler, training, learning and development adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, told Personnel Today she was not surprised by the findings. However, she believed that skills awareness was growing, and was not only on the agenda of HR departments, but also chief executives and finance directors.
“HR teams need to put a talent management structure in place to get the most out of their employees,” she said. “It can have a major impact on the bottom line and retaining staff.”
Jeremy Tipper, group managing director of Capital Consulting, said: “Creating an effective talent management framework has the potential to make HR directors organisational heroes because of the ever-growing impact it will have on business performance.”
Dr Emma Parry, research fellow at Cranfield School of Management, said the report should serve as a wake-up call to employers. “The disconnect between what senior managers are saying and what they are doing is very worrying,” she said.