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Middle Managers Series: Developing Management

Management is the vital link between organizational leaders and rank-and-file employees, ensuring goals are achieved efficiently. Managers can ascend through different paths, either internally or externally, and must possess essential knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) to be able to achieve organizational goals and engage employees. Lacking these KSAs, managers will need basic or advanced training, depending on their place within an organization.

Management development is the systematic process of fostering effective managers, involving rigorous academic and practical training. Key competencies include recognizing individual differences, communication, and conflict resolution. It involves providing training, guidance, and support to individuals in managerial roles to enhance their knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) necessary for successful leadership.

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Effective managers translate leadership objectives into actionable plans, playing a crucial role in employee performance and organizational success. Management development is crucial for organizational success as well as the growth and effectiveness of managers. Well-trained managers can have a significant impact on employee performance and morale, help revitalize unmotivated employees, and serve as translators between different levels and groups within the organization. Additionally, in the face of emerging trends such as globalization and demographic shifts, skilled managers are essential for navigating complexities and driving innovation. However, many organizations overlook management development, leading to issues such as unprepared new managers and resistance to development efforts.

Typical issues in management development include the promotion of individuals into managerial roles without adequate training or support, leading to difficulties in transitioning from individual contributor to manager. Other challenges include inconsistency in enforcing company policies, resistance from managers to acknowledge weaknesses and participate in development programs, and organizational discrepancies between stated values and actual practices.

Challenges in management development include the lack of resources allocated to development efforts, resistance from managers to acknowledge and address their development needs, and the perception of development initiatives as punishment rather than support. Overcoming these challenges requires systematic and ongoing efforts to identify and address individual and organizational barriers to effective management development.

Creating a robust management development strategy involves assessing current skill levels, identifying future development needs, aligning development efforts with organizational goals, and providing ongoing support and guidance to managers. This process requires careful planning, evaluation, and adjustment to ensure that development initiatives are effective and sustainable.

Management development programs typically cover a wide range of topics, including leadership and supervision skills, communication, business acumen, industry-specific knowledge, and organizational culture and values. These programs may include formal training sessions, workshops, coaching, mentoring, and experiential learning opportunities tailored to the needs and interests of individual managers.

Careers in management development include roles such as training and development managers, training and development specialists, and industrial-organizational psychologists. Professionals in these roles are responsible for designing, implementing, and evaluating management development programs to enhance the skills and effectiveness of managers within organizations.

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Developing Management

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