If employees are your most important asset, then leadership development is your most important tool to help them succeed. How much time, energy, and money do you put towards training your leaders?
Developing managers is like growing an investment account. Great investment accounts get personal attention, are diversified, earn compound interest, and periodically receive significant one-time investments.
Let’s look at how to make manager development personal.
Make It Personal
I don’t personally manage my investment portfolio but I do make sure it gets personal attention from my advisor. When training managers it is important that they also receive personal attention.
If it’s personal and meaningful, the training will be memorable. In consulting with businesses, I work with every manager one on one and I am available for follow-up questions and input.
When developing in any area of our lives, we excel when specific attention is given to our strengths and limitations.
In your manager development program, do you have a coaching or mentoring system in place? This is one of the best ways to catalyze growth and development.
But one on one isn’t always available (or realistic). Diversifying development is key.
Make It Diverse
Successful investments are diverse investments. The same is true of manager development. Diversifying how you grow and develop your managers provides a much higher chance of growth and long-term benefits.
What does it look like to provide diverse development opportunities? There are many ways but here are several to think about. Let me know in the comments below any other ideas you may have.
- Build a culture where leadership clearly values growth and is modeling it.
- Provide a mentor or coach to help with growth (especially for new employees).
- Develop a culture of listening and asking questions.
- Use cross-departmental collaboration.
- Give challenging assignments.
- Provide encouragement for little successes.
- Offer half-day to full-day communication courses.
- Share learning experiences at weekly meetings.
Make It Weekly
Investment accounts grow primarily through compound interest. The equivalent in manager development is weekly learning opportunities. This keeps the professional development at the forefront of people’s minds and emails :).
This looks like team development exercises on a monthly basis. Or having team members share what they learned from the most recent project. It can also be as simple as a managers meeting with other managers to discuss projects and solve problems cross-departmentally.
With our clients, we provide weekly emails about topics such as getting people to engage in groups, confrontation, how people make decisions, etc.
Finally, there is the once a quarter or even just once a year investment.
Make A Big Investment
After building up some savings, my wife and I recently did a lump sum investment into a couple of our accounts. This big investment serves as a catalyst for more growth and financial gain. Had we left our money our savings account, we’d be earning interest at a whopping 0.05%!
When developing managers, there comes a time where a big investment in the process is necessary. Employees are growing and progress is being made but a new energy and new investment are needed.
The half-day or full day training programs provide the excitement needed to continue the growth process. Sure, a half-day or full-day communication training may seem like a huge commitment, but when you look at it as an investment into an already growing portfolio, it serves as a catalyst to continued growth and development.
How does manager development happen in your workplace?