Request a demo Book a workshop Join us

Predictive Advantage

Calling all CEOs: Could your Line Managers urgently need leadership development?

Posted by: guest_contributor


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 your people to feel happy in their job and to create continual improvement in the workplace. It’s no great surprise that nearly two-thirds of employees give a lack of personal development as a reason to look for a new employer.

Why leadership development is important

Training and development is a crucial part of the growth and advancement of any organisation. Every employee at every level 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 investment in training for your people should be a strategic practice across the board.

This needs to start with the people who are in charge of managing your staff and operations on a day-to-day basis: your line managers. Line managers have a hugely important role to play. They implement HR and business policies and support their team’s development. Expectations and pressures are high.

Yet line managers are often neglected when it comes to development. Leadership skills are not a static entity. A change in economic, organisational and social circumstances often creates new management challenges.

Recent Gallup research found that “at least 70% of the variance in team engagement is explained by the quality of the manager or team leader”. Well supported line managers are more likely to produce high-performing teams.

Senior leadership support is crucial

It’s therefore vital for the senior management at your organisation to give proper thought to best practices around appointing, managing and developing managers. Line managers need a healthy dose of self-confidence and a robust sense of their own role in an organisation to deliver good people management.

This can be fostered under a strong and supportive senior management team. It will enable front-line leaders to be successful in their role and to provide great leadership in all weathers.

In practice, senior leaders need to take into account the responsibilities that a line manager has. They then need to assess how your organisation can help them to provide better support and service to the employees and teams managed by them.

The line manager and the staff need to be considered

When planning leadership development training for individual managers, there are two main aspects to consider: the core behaviours and motivational needs of the line manager themselves and those of his staff. The manager has to be self-aware and aware of others.

Modern managers are often required to provide tailored situational management and leadership. The preferred workstyles of the employees that work under a line manager should be considered.

Employee engagement is more likely to be high when a person is managed in a way that speaks to their core needs. For instance, if a team member needs time to reflect on a topic, there is no point for a manager to push them for their input during an impromptu meeting in the lift. They need some warning.

A management or leadership style that is right for one person in an organisation may not work well for another. It is therefore important for companies to provide line managers with the appropriate tools and training to help them hone their leadership skills and tailor their management style.

An organisation that utilises scientific people data to create a self-aware culture will be ahead of the competition. After all, with the right tools and training, it is possible for a wide range of people to improve leadership skills and 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.