In my last blog I questioned the sanity of anyone who was ignoring the obvious (in my opinion) fact, that new managers need all the help they can get if they are to be successful in their new role.
I reflected afterwards that it is not always new managers that need management development. It is a skill to successfully manage a team and it takes quite a bit of energy to sustain a high performing team. At various stages of their career a manager can gain bad habits and not perform as well as they once did. That is not about commitment but actively applying techniques. Often, in new circumstances or with change, new approaches are required and the manager themselves needs reinvigorating.
I work with lots of organisations who are at the top of their game and intend to stay there. They pride themselves on having high performing teams and leaders and proactively lead, support and challenge their people to achieve that status. They openly recognise the importance of training and development.
They know that they always need to be on the lookout for dips in performance and signs that they might be losing traction in some way. That led me to think about the signs that a management development programme might be worthwhile. There are lots of hard facts that organisations collect that could be sounding alarm bells already, but for one reason or another they are not paying attention to them. For example:
- Sick absence
Has it gone up lately or perhaps has been creeping up over the last year or so? Is it one region, or department? What is the nature of the sickness? This data can be very revealing. It tells you the temperature of your whole organisation and highlights pockets of unrest, stress or disharmony.
- Staff retention
It is a well-known fact that more often than not people leave an organisation because of their manager, not because of the organisation itself. What are your staff retention figures looking like? Are they telling you something about the managers in your organisation?
- Customer feedback
We all use that old adage that feedback is the food of champions, but how often do you look at your customer feedback data and really do an in-depth analysis of symptoms and causes to identify underlying trends? Quite often mismanagement is at the heart of customer issues.
- KPI measures
Are teams hitting their targets happily and easily? Do you get stuff done or do you fail to deliver or just miss targets again and again?
Have you ever seen “Undercover Boss”? It is a TV programme where the Chief Executive of a large organisation goes back to the coalface and actually works with their teams on the ground. It is simply staggering the information they gather, especially about how people are managed on a day to day basis. I cannot encourage you enough to keep your ear to the ground and talk to people informally. You will quickly find out where teams are struggling to deliver, or which teams are dysfunctional. You’ll even find out who the managers held up in high esteem are.
In my experience the signs are usually all around us that a management development programme would make a difference to business performance, but sometimes we need to remember that we have to stop and look at it.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help reinvigorate your managers to continue delivering to a high standard.
Stephanie Morgan FLPI, Director of Learning Solutions, Bray Leino Learning
Sharing ideas and observations to help improve performance.
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