Increasing responsibility for T&D rests with line managers, but how much time do they put into it and how effective is their involvement? Sue Clark asks a cross-section of organisations for their experiences
Programme director, Roffey Park Management Institute
Our survey of 180 line managers and team members in 1999 showed that the majority recognise development as an effective way to improve performance, increase motivation or bring about change.
The key types of development interventions most commonly used are coaching, feedback, counselling, on-the-job training, mentoring, help with the selection of courses, work shadowing and arranging visits to other organisations.
However, the survey revealed that nearly 30 per cent of line managers spend less than eight hours a month developing others, while 47 per cent spend between eight and 16 hours on development.
Time was cited as a major barrier to effective coaching and development, while feedback was hampered if the culture in the organisation did not encourage openness.
There was also a mixed response to the idea of reward for developing people. Some see developing others as a normal part of their job while others believe they should get a financial reward linked to team performance.
Evaluating the development of others also appears to be a significant challenge and line managers clearly need more help with this.
Training and development manager, Boots the Chemist, Ireland
I’m not surprised by the figures from Roffey Park, but you have to focus on the other aspects of development beyond the recognised training and development that goes on between the individual and his or her line manager.
At Boots development is one of the key elements of their job, but it is often done indirectly, for example by facilitating learning through buddy systems where individuals meet with their peers and share information. The line managers will set these groups up and monitor them but they won’t actually take part.
More directly, line managers provide coaching and leadership, and they cascade learning down.