The Case for People Manager Development

Did you know only 1 in 10 people possess the natural ability to be a people manager?

Most organizations do not invest nearly enough in their people manager's development.

Its is absolutely true that managers matter. As a matter of fact, our relationship with our manager is second in impact in our lives only to that of our spouses and children!

Google did one of the most extensive internal studies on managers and found that they were definitely valuable. As a matter of fact, managers were the leading factor in employees satisfaction with the company overall!

The facts are overwhelming that organizations really do rise and fall on leadership, specifically leadership at every level within an organization.

A recent Korn Ferry article pointed out that “weak people management practices have been attributed as the primary causes of (organizational) failure in a number of notable cases.”

So if you are an organizational leader, invest in your people managers.

If you're a people manager, invest in yourself.

And it's not either or, but both.

Ok Sold, But Now What?

There are a ton of resources out there. And I agree with Lazlo Bock, former SVP of People Operations at Google, when he says to start internally.

For Organizations

  • Look for the experts and best performers in your team and have them help train everyone else. Yes its an investment, but you will reap the benefits exponentially if they can make the rest of the team perform even slightly better.

  • Or if there is a specific topic or skill needed for a team member or team as a whole then send them out or bring in a trainer.

  • Finally, if you want to build ongoing training and development, either hiring a specialist to manage it for you or go outside to have a facilitator or trainer help you get a program kickstarted.

For Individual People Managers

  • You can sign up for classes and may be even able to have your company pay for all of some of it.

  • Attend conferences.

  • Listen to podcasts (The Higher Purpose Podcast, Follow My Lead Podcast, Work Life, Google Partners, Manager Tools)

  • Follow blogs (like this one, or other great ones include Leadership Freak, Learn Loft, Korn Ferry, Gallup)

  • Read lots of books (I have a library on my site with the best leadership and development books I've used and my friend turned me on to the Overdrive app where I listen to tons of free books through the library).

  • And most importantly, get feedback in whatever form you can from your team, peers and boss. Ideally directly, but in case of fear masking honesty, have them take a survey about you. Many companies already have this and you can sign up for it. Or you can use Survey Monkey and their basic account is free.

Good luck to you on your growth journey!

References and Resources

  1. Confronting Toxic Company Culture with Servant Leadership, David Marshall

  2. Are You Invested Enough in Training Your People? (The answer is often "No."), Greg Welch

  3. Work Rules by Lazlo Boch

  4. Why CHROs are really CEOs, Alan Guarino

Devin W. Craig

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