Being a manager is a journey, from our first days as team leader or supervisor through middle and senior roles to director level. The more senior we become, the more of our time should be spend on developing our people. It is easy when we get promoted to keep doing the things we used to do, but as we can see from the graphic below, we should be spending time on our people not just “doing things”.
As a team leader we start to take on people development activities, and as we progress, we do less operational activities, and more long term “value add” activities.
The key being developing our teams to do the job, to improve their performance, and get them ready for any changes.
Classrooms start the process
Training in the classroom, the traditional “off the job” training can help to start the process. The real learning comes from the coaching and support we as managers provide back at the work place when learning is applied “to the real world”.
It takes more to train than knowing the material
Often in business just because someone knows something we assume that can train or coach others. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Coaching effectively is a skill set that needs developing. We need to understand how we absorb information, and how that may be different from others. We need to be able to recognise when our people are not understanding our explanations, and change approach.
We need to take a task and break it down into logical (for the learner) chunks, and what is logical for the learner may not be to our preferred style or preference.
Central standards are important
Whilst the best training often takes place in the workplace, often we need a level of consistency across the whole organisation. We need common approaches. We need to collaborate and share good practice. This rarely comes from a decentralised business model. We all need guides and models to follow, and a central source of reference is a great starting point.
Central but not Centred
It is not about having lots of resources in some central function. But a standard setter, a common reference point. Somewhere or someone that can inspire. The days of organisations having large central training (or learning) functions are long gone. Training and development belongs in the business, BUT, the business needs to have the competencies and skills to take on that task.
Put simply, the better our managers are at coaching and developing people, the more effective our managers and our organisation will be.
World class organisations always ensure that their managers understand a regular program of development which builds on their coaching skills.
What are you doing to ensure your managers and leaders are effective at developing your people? Is is sustainable? Is it continuous? Are your managers and leaders rewarded on the development of there teams or just on the productivity of yesterdays skills?