Most organisations recognise the value of a robust management development programme and the figures speak for themselves:
However, in our experience, fewer organisations appreciate the early stages in which this development should start to take place.
In the first 6 months of a job, values are established that can stay forever. A good management development programme should be designed to help good individual contributors move from being managed (doing only what they are told to do) to self-management (engaging their brains to get the job done).
Self management may be exactly where some contributors are best suited. Note that the best technical people are often the least likely to become effective managers. In fact, given a promotion ultimatum and the responsibility of managing others, many are more likely to quit and go to a competitor, where their technical prowess is continued and rewarded.
Similarly, a great sales person will be good at closing deals but because they’re so commercially focused, they may not see the value in managing people. This can lead to line management responsibilities being nothing more than a box ticking exercise. This will often result in low levels of employee engagement, and disillusionment with management in general.
Individual contributors shouldn’t be promoted into management positions unless there is clear evidence of management capabilities and an interest in managing others has been demonstrated.
Effective management development recognises that some personalities are not suited to leadership and creates a path where these people can continue to grow their earnings, and still increase their value to the business. At the same time, the programme needs to progress those who demonstrate evidence of leadership capabilities, and ensure they have the knowledge and skills to handle the next level of management. More on this subject in our next blog post…
Organisations need to recognise the value of all their people, whether they’re destined for senior leadership roles or making a solid contribution through their own efforts. Just because someone isn’t cut out for management, or has no interest in it, they still have a valuable role to play. A path needs to be found for these people, where they can continue to add value to the business and still get satisfaction from their role. Why let all that initial investment in training and induction go to your biggest competitor, when a poorly engaged team member does?