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Elements of a Successful Manager Development Program

Nicole MacLean
Nicole MacLean

The future of how we  develop talent is changing, and so is the way leaders are thinking about creating highly-engaged teams. 

In the past, fostering engagement was an HR-driven project where managers weren’t necessarily bought-in. As a result, the manager would often reluctantly comply with what HR leaders asked, doing what was needed to “check the box” on the initiative.

The  best HR leaders think differently. They seek buy-in upfront and look to foster excellence in managers.

Why is this change occurring? Because HR leaders and executives realize managers are the critical lever point when implementing changes in an organization.

When they don’t engage their managers, companies can struggle in three ways.

First, when great managers don’t have the opportunity to grow, they leave. To a good manager, continuing to learn and develop is essential. Second, when manager excellence is not a priority, an individual contributor might get promoted into management and, despite their best intentions, start wreaking havoc across the organization. Third, when managers can’t access the tools and support they need, their relationships with direct reports deteriorate, which negatively affects employee engagement.

How do you combat these three major challenges? For one, it starts with how you approach developing truly great managers. The first step is to start with data, it’s used to align executives and managers on the most impactful areas of improvement for the organization. At this stage, it’s crucial to have a third party to help facilitate executive discussion and alignment. 

Next, create personalized development paths for managers based explicitly on what showed up in the first step – the data. Finally, provide a coach to help them develop and make the necessary change. Having a coach for your managers is a crucial element to a successful development program. Coaches provide accountability, create better habits, and drive lasting change. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how Emplify is helping companies develop excellent managers, reach out to us for a demo.

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