Ultimately the answer to the question ‘what benefits can I expect from developing my managers?’ lies in the answer to two other questions:
- What is the business/organization striving to achieve?
- How do managers need to think and act for the organization to achieve its goals?Management development can only help to improve an organization’s performance if the development activities are directed in the right way and aimed at achieving a measurable change. For example, the outcomes required from the development activities may be around:
- Developing managers with more impact and influence to increase sales revenues.
- Improving the performance management skills of managers to improve the productivity of staff to increase capacity or reduce costs.It should also be remembered that there are a range of less tangible business benefits associated with development activities. For example, investment in training and development is often seen by individuals as a sign of being valued by the company as well helping to create a positive business and professional image. Businesses that are seen to invest in staff development will not only find it easier to recruit quality personnel, but also enjoy lower rates of staff turnover.
However, it is important to recognize that individual development is not just about going on a course. While training courses will enable a manager to address a specific skills gap, there are other alternatives to consider, for example:
- Secondments into other roles within other teams or departments can also improve business understanding and team focus.
- Project work
- Reading (this list is not exhaustive!)
Whatever the reason for investing in management development, the impact on individual performance and the company’s bottom line should always be measured and evaluated to ensure that the investment has been worthwhile and the full benefits gained.