It’s a well known fact that management training and development can have a major positive impact on the performance of an organisation.  But with the budgeting season upon us, how much time and money should you invest, and therefore budget for?

Ultimately the investment needed depends on the organisation and the particular managers concerned.  This is because what is needed is governed by what the organisation is trying to achieve and how capable their managers are in delivering it.  Our own research at Developing People suggests good practice to be around 10-12 days per year, with about 50% of the time spent on ‘externally directed’ development (training courses, coaching, mentoring etc), and 50% on ‘personally directed’ development (reading, research, project work etc).  This equates to around an average of about £1200 per manager per year.  However, It should be noted that averages can mask a wide range of spend, particularly where 1:1 coaching is concerned, which can bump up the investment needed to £3000-4000 per person per year.

These figures are not dissimilar to the Chartered Management Institute’s findings from their research on Developing Managers in European businesses in 2004, a summary of which is provided below.

Investment in Management Development*
UK France Germany Spain
Number of Days 10 7 8 13
Spend – € 1625 2674 4438 1803
Investment/person per day – € 163 382 554 138

* Developing Managers: A European Perspective, Chartered Management Institute, 2004.

Ultimately however, the amount that an organisation budgets for Management Training and Development will be dependent upon what it can afford.  Ironically, organisations that are struggling probably need to invest more in the development of their managers (and staff), to enable them to turn business round.  During tough times those responsible for training and development need to be as creative as possible and ask themselves some searching questions such as:

  1. Who are the key people whose performance disproportionately affects the performance of the organisation?
  2. What do these people need to do to add real value to their performance?
  3. How many different ways can I support these people to develop what they need without spending any money?

Just because the organisation doesn’t have the budget, it must not mean that all development grinds to a halt.  We can think of 100’s of ideas that either don’t cost anything or cost just a few pennies – how creative are you?