Calling All CEOs: Could Your Line Managers Actually Be The Ones Who Need Leadership Development Most?

One of the most important things for your business to bear in mind is that your employees should never reach a point where there is nothing new to learn, or there are no skills left for them to develop.

Personal development and growth is a key component of helping people to feel happy in their job and to create continual improvement in the workplace. You value personal development, so why shouldn’t your staff?

The fact is, training and development is a crucial part of the growth and advancement of any organisation, and every employee at every level in a company should have training and development opportunities made available to them.

It’s not always easy to pinpoint the right kind of “sideways” opportunities for each individual, but make no mistake: Investment in training for your people is a strategic practise, and not just a HR-folly.

One of the most important areas, where development is not as strong as it should be, is with respect to the position of line manager. Line managers are seriously neglected when it comes to development.

When people are positioned as line managers, there is often an assumption that they have all the leadership skills and experience they need to do the job successfully; otherwise they would not have been given the role in the first place.

This is seldom the case.

An in-depth study by the UK Chartered Management Institute in the first half of 2013 shows how wrong this opinion is. The report indicated that 43% of all managers reviewed believed that their line managers were ineffective.

In total, close to 4,500 managers were interviewed, a number which includes 300 CEOs and over 500 HR managers.

With this in mind, it should be your priority to look at the responsibilities that a line manager has and how your organisation can help them to provide better support and service to the rest of the employees, especially the ones that are working under them.

Line managers without leadership skills: a formula for failure.

The line manager and the staff need to be considered

While considering leadership development training for individual managers, there are two main aspects to consider. Firstly, the personality and motivational needs of the line manager themselves are key factors.

There are many different management and leadership styles required from a 21st century manager, and what is right for one person in one organisation, may not work well for another.

Equally, the personality and nature of the employees that are working under the line manager have to be taken into consideration.

If these employees have an overlying nature that needs to be managed in a certain way, it is important to train a line manager in this particular style or find one that can properly carry out their responsibilities as a manager.

This is where an organisation that utilises personality assessments and behavioural assessments will be in a strong position to provide the right sort of training.

The notion that great leaders are born and not made may be a romantic way to look at life but it is certainly not the case in real life.

With the right training and development, it is possible for a wide range of people to develop leadership and skills and to perform effectively as a line manager.

Leadership training and development will bring benefits for the whole business

Leadership development and training can be a great way for line managers to develop their skills and the benefits will be felt throughout an organisation.

While the immediate strengths of a line manager are to focus down the chain to the employees below them, line managers need to engage with fellow line managers and department heads to ensure that businesses are working effectively.

There is also a need for a line manager to take note of the instructions and requirements from management levels higher up the business model.

The fact that there are pressures and demands being placed on a manager from all directions in the business model can bring about a new pressure for a person in this position.

Being able to manage time and communicate properly and effectively are amongst the best ways to develop leadership. A leader should be an inspiration to the employees in their charge and this is why they should be aware of the strengths that they hold.

No line manager is going to have strengths in every area of the workplace or in their personality but this shouldn’t be a concern.

Any company that provides line management training to their line managers will be able to focus on their strengths and will provide them with the knowledge and the tools to best utilise these strengths in the workplace.

One of the worst things an employer could do was to assume that line managers had all of the tools needed to be a success in the post.

Providing leadership training can help every line manager to perform better and to get better results from the team they are responsible for.

Question for you: How do you support your line managers perform better? Leave your answers in the comment section below.

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