In tough times, employees feel they have to work harder and that to get ahead in their careers they must go the extra mile, says a major survey published today by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) writes Tim Hoare for HR Magazine. Means of getting ahead listed by employees include working overtime on a regular basis (44%), taking on additional responsibility for no extra money (37%) and studying during spare time for a professional qualification (45%). The CMI survey polled 2,000 UK employees. It says that “while individuals are blaming their slow progress on those around them, some have accepted that they have the power to bring about change”. Patrick Woodman, the CMI’s senior public affairs officer, told HR magazine “there is pressure on organisations” and “there is no doubting it is a tough environment out there”. Des Benjamin, chief executive of health insurance company Simplyhealth, commented: “It is increasingly difficult to chart a secure future in the world of employment.” Philippa Williamson, chief executive at the Serious Fraud Office and CMI Companion, commented: “Good managers need to be a bit like a sponge. They absorb issues, distil and contextualise them to try and keep external pressure at a distance from staff focused on delivery.” Echoing Williamson, Woodman said: “Good managers can act as a sponge and keep pressure away from productive staff.” He continued: “HR needs to ensure managers are competent and qualified to carry out the roles they are employed for.” Commentators have posited that in addition to employees accepting they have the power to bring about change, as the CMI asserts, sheer pressure is also playing a major role in their realisation of the need for increased efforts. The survey of 2,000 UK employees was carried out for the CMI by OnePoll in August, 2011.