Most organizations are engaged in a continuing search for good managers to replace those who move to other companies, are promoted to senior level positions or retire. While many executives and business owners acknowledge the benefits of promoting from within – current employees are known quantities who already understand how the company works – many organizations don’t have a process in place for developing their middle management ranks from within.
Creating a manager track training program can help organizations grow leaders internally at every level, from entry level team leaders to senior managers. A customized training curriculum tailored to the specific needs and goals of an organization can provide a framework to identify future leaders, assess their competence and help them develop their skills. This process can produce a management pipeline that prepares talented employees to take the next step up the leadership ladder.
A good starting place to establish an effective management training program is to define the qualities of a good manager and then provide employees the opportunity to develop those qualities while they are in their current job. According to Eric Basu, CEO of cybersecurity and IT firm Sentek Global, management skills can be broken down into three basic areas:
- Personal skills – the ability of an employee to evaluate themselves and identify strengths and weaknesses;
- Team-focused skills – the ability of an employee to manage, motivate and communicate with small groups;
- Corporate skills – the skills and drive to make your business more successful.
These key skill areas can then be incorporated into designing a manager track curriculum. Examples of topics that would help employees develop personal, team-focused and corporate skills include adapting to change, assessing your communication style, managing team effectiveness, setting and meeting goals, organizational development, and exceptional customer service.
Developing a management pipeline internally can be a cost effective way to build organization bench strength. Providing employees the chance to build management skills and habits before they become managers can not only enhance employee skills and motivation but also allow owners and senior leaders to identify which employees will actually make the best managers.