What Is Management Development?
You Can Do a Lot of Management Development On-the-Job
Management development is the overall concept that describes the many ways in which organizations help employees develop their personal and organizational skills, either as managers in a management job or with an eventual management job in mind.
Organizations need a process for developing the skills of their managers as these employees direct and organize the work of all of your other employees. Additionally, if you want to retain your best managers and potential managers, most significant among their needs from work is the opportunity to continue their personal and professional growth and the growth of their careers.
When employees think of management development they are likely to think about university classes and MBA programs, consultant-led external training, and attendance at conferences, trade shows, workshops, and seminars. These are frequent ways in which employers invest time and money in developing their managers.
Most Management Development Does Not Involve External Class Attendance
However, most management development does not involve outside classes or professional trainers. It involves the employee's daily work, skill stretching assignments, leadership roles played, mentoring by a more senior manager, cross-training, and other developmental opportunities on-the-job.
Building the skills of managers through management development options is critical to the effective functioning of your organization. This is because of the power of a manager to impact the organization through his or her oversight of the work of other employees.
Especially middle managers are expected to communicate the company direction, goals, and vision to their reporting employees. Only comfortable business communicators are likely to perform their needed communication tasks effectively.
Yet senior company leaders depend on their communication because these senior leaders can't easily communicate with every employee themselves.
It is not surprising that the managers in your workplace are the single most important factor in employee engagement, employee motivation, and building a productive workplace. Managers are the key to employee retention and the main reason employees cite when they leave their current employer.
So, the need for management development is significant and can provide a significant payback.
Internal Management Development Advantages
Internal management development has advantages over external seminars and classes. It presents and reinforces needed skills and management techniques. It speaks a common language that people in your organization will understand—and gives them a common language that they can use with each other.
Internal management development is presented around your challenges and problems so it is customized for the people who attend. It is offered on your terms at your preferred times and at your preferred length.
Internal management development reinforces the organization's culture and addresses the norms and expectations of the manager's workplace. It incorporates familiar workplace examples and reinforces desired organization direction, values, and goals.
Done with care, internal management development also reinforces the application of the skills learned in training back in the workplace.
This significant ability to do the activities needed for training transfer to the workplace before, during, and after the training is all the justification you need to offer internal management development.
It can require weekly assignments, reading, and on-the-job training. Employees can work together in study groups outside of the actual training. You can also provide management development training as part of an ongoing, regularly-scheduled management meeting.
Management Development Options
An employer's training options are widespread and encompass many possibilities.
Management development can include such external opportunities as university classes, seminars, workshops, courses, conferences, and field trips. Employers can assist employees to pursue these options by paying for classes and seminars.
They can also offer tuition assistance for employees attending college or university classes and who plan to earn a degree.
Internal management development options abound and can include the following opportunities for employees' growth and ongoing development.
- Employee training
- Employee career paths
- Job rotation
- Performance management and development
- Succession planning
Management Development Content
These are the areas of content that management development training, either internal or external, should contain for your organization to function effectively. Your managers will benefit as will their reporting staff members and the organization as a whole.
In addition to skill development, management development is also an opportunity to teach your organization culture. The norms, rules, and expectations in your workplace are uniquely yours. Even experienced managers will benefit from training reminders in the expectations of your workplace culture and policies.
The focus of all aspects of management development is to enable managers to more effectively accomplish their job as managers. Don't miss your opportunity to have an impact on one of your most critical resources.
Your middle managers are the spokes that hold the wheel of your organization together. Help them become the best that they can be.