The case for management development

New managers generally feel set up to fail. Often because they are. After all, many first-timers have been rewarded with management responsibilities for their competence and proficiency in a non-management role. But the skills and knowledge that come with technical excellence aren’t the same as those needed to be a manager.

So what’s the strategy? In at the deep end? Sink or swim? Or you could try…

…management development

Management development takes many forms but whatever the exact content and format, it is a structured process of learning and application. The goal is to equip managers (especially those new to the role) with the skills, knowledge and experience to be a good manager; i.e. manage their team’s responsibilities and workload efficiently and effectively.

Ideally, it is a continuous process – a programme of development opportunities, staged input, and application in the workplace. A complete management development programme is usually a blend of formal training courses (face to face or virtual), self-reflection, e-learning, on-the-job experience, coaching, and mentoring.

Management development is an investment in your managers; treating them as a valuable resource with an undeniable impact on the organisation’s performance and bottom line.

Benefits of management development – the pay-off

A solid management development programme can:

  • Improve management performance at all levels.
  • Give new managers the best possible start to their management and leadership career.
  • Support existing managers to develop and refine their skills.
  • Link to and support the organisation’s succession planning.

Your managers are also more likely to stay with the organisation when they feel supported – yes, individual goals may centre on higher salaries, career progression, or interesting and relevant work, but it’s hard to deny that being equipped to do a good job boosts satisfaction across the board.

What’s more, employees across the organisation benefit from having more skilled and competent managers (according to People Management, 43% of employees have left a job because of the manager). Management development contributes to higher morale, lower turnover, and a generally more productive workforce.

Then, there’s the external impact. Comprehensive management development is a factor that attracts, retains and engages talented people.

What does a management development programme need to cover?

Different organisations have different specific needs and business objectives, but common themes are:

  • Understanding the manager’s role and impact
  • Time management
  • Communication and feedback
  • Performance management
  • Coaching skills
  • Delegation
  • Change management
  • Presentation skills
  • Influencing others
  • Managing meetings
  • Understanding emotional intelligence
  • Leadership
  • Problem solving and decision making
  • Motivating others

At Maximum Performance, we believe in the value of management development. Unsurprisingly, it’s one of our core programmes and covers all of the above topics and more, using a combination of training events, one-to-one coaching, Aptimore e-learning modules, and the Mindmarker learning reinforcement app to ensure application in the ‘real world’. For more information on management development, and how we can tailor it to your specific organisational and business needs, check out our MDP page or give us a call on 01582 463460. We’re here to help.


This blog post is the first in a series of occasional articles linked to the Maximum Performance Management Development Programme.

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