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3 min read

A Missed Opportunity: Manager Development

A Missed Opportunity: Manager Development
A Missed Opportunity: Manager Development

Neglecting the development of managers is a high stakes game. Developed managers contribute to improved team performance, higher employee engagement, and overall business success

The Cost of Poor Leadership

A great leader can turn a team around. They manage, motivate, and inspire. Great employees stay to work with them. A poor leader will do the exact opposite. 

How can you be sure you have great leaders at the helm? 

Develop them. Invest in their growth and learning. Leadership is a skill not a title. A newly promoted manager will likely learn the skills necessary to effectively lead a team. But it will be at the cost of the team they’re leading, productivity, and potentially the bottom line. 

Are you actively nurturing your managers' growth, or have you fallen into the 'leave it to chance' camp? In this camp, you assume managers will be able to quickly adapt and flourish by learning as they go. This approach is common, but that doesn’t make it the best practice. It overlooks the pivotal role that intentional development plays in a manager's effectiveness and, by extension, the success of your business. 


Why it Matters 

The laissez-faire attitude towards manager development is not just a missed opportunity; it's a gamble with high stakes. Without structured growth plans, managers may struggle to handle complex leadership challenges, directly impacting team performance and organizational health. This passive approach will lead to a leadership vacuum, where managers are unprepared for the demands of their roles, leading to increased turnover, lower employee engagement, and stunted business growth. 

Identifying the Signs of Neglect in Manager Development  

How do you know if your organization is neglecting manager development?  

Look for these signs: 

  1. No Scheduled Developmental 1-on-1s: A clear indicator is the absence of regular, dedicated meetings focused on managerial growth. 

  2. Lack of a Development Plan: Without a structured plan, manager development is sporadic at best. 

  3. Uncertainty and Awkwardness: Not knowing where to start with manager development is common, but it shouldn't be an excuse for inaction. 

  4. Indifference: Perhaps the most concerning sign is a disguised apathy towards manager growth, often unspoken but evident in actions. 

The Importance of Intentional Growth  

While learning on the fly will happen and has value, it's not enough for comprehensive manager development. Intentional growth strategies are crucial. They provide managers with a roadmap to develop essential leadership skills, adapt to change, and effectively guide their teams. This proactive approach not only enhances a manager's capabilities but also boosts team morale and productivity. 

Relying on an ad-hoc, unstructured approach to development can be detrimental. It leads to inconsistent leadership quality across the organization, creates gaps in managerial skills, and often results in misaligned business objectives. 

Effective managers are the heart of high-performing teams. Without the necessary skills and knowledge, managers can't lead their teams effectively. Managers might find themselves ill-equipped to tackle the challenges they face, leading to poor decision-making and suboptimal team performance. this lack of training will impact everything from employee satisfaction to customer experience and ultimately, the bottom line. 

Strategies for Effective Manager Development  

To cultivate strong leadership within your organization, consider these strategies: 

  1. Coaching: Personalized coaching can be a powerful tool for manager development, offering tailored guidance to enhance leadership skills. 

  2. Professional Development Programs: Structured programs provide managers with the necessary training to hone their skills and stay abreast of industry trends. 

  3. Personalized Development Plans: Creating individualized development plans for each manager ensures that their unique needs and career aspirations are addressed. 

  4. Mentorship: Establishing mentorship programs where experienced leaders guide newer managers can be invaluable. It allows for the sharing of insights, experiences, and best practices in a more informal, yet impactful way. 

  5. Books/Articles/Podcasts: Encouraging managers to engage with a variety of educational resources like books, articles, and podcasts can provide them with diverse perspectives and innovative ideas relevant to their roles and responsibilities. 

  6. Peer Advisory Groups: Facilitating the formation of peer advisory groups where managers can discuss challenges and share solutions with colleagues fosters a collaborative environment for growth and problem-solving. 

The ROI of Investing in Manager Development  

Investing in manager development isn’t another expense item; it’s an investment with substantial returns. Effective manager development leads to stronger teams, improved employee engagement, higher productivity, and, ultimately, increased business profitability. It's an investment that pays dividends in terms of a more resilient, agile, and successful organization. 

The development of your managers shouldn't be left to chance. It requires intentional planning, investment, and commitment. By prioritizing and actively engaging in your managers' growth, you not only enhance their capabilities but also contribute significantly to the health and success of your entire organization. 

Next Steps 

As a business owner, reassess your approach to manager development. Embrace intentional strategies that support and cultivate your managers' growth. Remember, the success of your managers is intrinsically linked to the success of your business. Start today and see its positive impact on your team and organization. 

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