Manager development

Developing
the people skills of your manager is the key to unlocking your business’ full
potential

A
company’s manager is potentially its most valuable asset. Yet all too often,
businesses promote individuals into a management role with no effective
training or support.

The
inevitable result is less than effective management, which can cause workplace
stress, employee attrition and poor client and customer communication.

However,
proper training can turn that situation around and fully realise the potential
of each employee.

The
key is to recognise the simple truth that behaviour breeds behaviour, a
workforce takes its lead from the top, and strong inspired managers will lead
inspired and motivated teams. Those
motivated staff are
the key to any successful organisation. They
will think creatively, use initiative, listen to and act upon feedback, and,
perhaps most importantly, stay with the company.

Good
managers can be made as well as born. The skills they need can be acquired
through a well thought out manager development programme, which addresses not
just a manager’s behaviour, but the attitudes and beliefs that underlie and
determine those behaviours.

The
need for such management skills has never been greater. Employee expectations
have fundamentally changed over the past 10 years. In the past, people would
work in exchange for pay, and that was that. Now, they expect to be respected
and valued at work as well.

In
addition, we live in a business environment where demand for top quality staff
outstrips supply, making retention of good staff a vital factor in success.

To
maximise employees’ contributions to the workplace, they have to be in an
environment where they are motivated to participate to the best of their
ability.

At
the moment, many UK
businesses are facing unprecedented international competition with the
shrinking of the global community, with things such as outsourcing contact
centre work to India
becoming relatively commonplace.

What
is the competitive edge that our companies can bring to this marketplace? The
answer is our people, and the simple truth is, if a company’s people are happy,
they will deliver a better service.

So
what makes employees happy? There are lots of statistics out there to show that
it is no longer primarily pay. Instead, it is determined by the work
environment, the work culture and the relationships at work, and the key
responsibility for monitoring and influencing employee satisfaction lies with
the manager.

Another
element in the modern business environment that is placing an ever-greater
premium on effective management is the increasing requirement to allow for more
work-life balance. With flexible working hours, dependency leave and part-time
work requests now a feature of most workplaces, the demands of the workforce
require imaginative and sensitive managing.

Effective
communication is at the heart of good management – without it, there can be
none of the rapport and trust needed to build a motivated and inspired
workforce.

A
comprehensive manager development programme will develop the communication
skills and motivational behaviour and attitudes of a manager. It will challenge
their most deeply held beliefs, the bedrock elements of their personality that
drive their behaviour, and influence the way they regard those around them.

Once
managers understand what drives them, and how their own behaviour influences
that of others, they can begin to understand what drives employee behaviour.
That perspective can provide them with a key tool for motivating staff.

This
kind of management development programme, which looks at the entire employment
relationship, represents a dramatic break from previous ‘sticking plaster’
approaches. Without it, companies will fail to realise the full potential of
their greatest asset, and will pay the price in today’s fiercely competitive
marketplace.

By Emma Bell, partner, MacRoberts Solicitors, and director of Potential, MacRoberts‘ Management Development arm

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