Why Your Company Needs Management Development and How to Start

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Investing in management development is a great way to help an employee become a high-quality leader for your company. Learn the benefits of management development and how to get started with a management training program.

[Featured Image] Manager standing in an office.

Many companies face a shortage of workers and high turnover rates. Still, some organizations have discovered that internal recruitment, or hiring and promoting employees from within, can help relieve some of those issues. A study from Mercer reports more than a third of American employees plan to promote internal talent assessment and skill development in 2024 [1].

Management development can be a considerable part of your internal recruitment strategy. A management development or management training program can help you find untapped talent in your workforce and provide the skills, knowledge, and experience needed for them to become a great leader. When the time comes for you to hire someone for a manager, supervisor, or other leadership role, you'll have a pool of talent right there in your organization, ready for the opportunity. Management development can also help your current managers and leaders improve in their jobs.

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What is management development?

Management development is the process and training that creates successful and efficient managers. Management development programs may help employees gain or hone human and technical skills and gain knowledge and experience in areas needing more expertise. The process is typically personalized to meet the needs of unique individuals, and you can implement it over some time with continuous training. It also usually has a specific plan and goals, which, upon being met, are often reevaluated.

Management development can be a tool for turning lower-level employees into management material and for assisting current managers in becoming more effective. You can implement management development internally, formally, and informally, or employees can take part in it through third parties, such as colleges, universities, and private coaches and trainers.

Benefits of management development

The ultimate goal of management development is to create effective managers, but it can do so much more than that. When your company implements such programs, it benefits your organization and its employees in many ways. It provides employees opportunities to expand and grow their careers, change career paths, earn a higher salary, seek new roles, and learn new skills. It can also help with their overall sense of well-being because when an organization invests in its employees, it makes them feel good about where they work.

This is also a benefit for the organization itself. Employees who feel good about where they work tend to stick around. So, programs like management training may lead to higher retention rates. Here are some other benefits of management development:

  • Upskilling current employees

  • Improving communication throughout your organization 

  • Increasing employee engagement 

  • Creating more competent, versatile, and confident managers

  • Maintaining a pool of talent for when managers retire or leave their jobs

  • Increasing productivity

  • Developing a better understanding of the role of a manager 

  • Improving decision-making across your company 

  • Setting yourself apart from your competition when attracting new hires 

  • Focusing on internal recruitment, mobility, and promotion

Benefits of internal recruitment and promotion

One of the most important benefits of management development is internal recruitment or promotion, which means that when you need a manager or leader in your organization, you can recruit or promote from your current talent pool. Some of the reasons for choosing internal recruitment rather than hiring from outside your company include:

  • Saving money on recruitment expenses

  • Boosting engagement among other employees who want to move up the career ladder

  • Filling an opening immediately rather than reviewing external applicants

  • Increasing retention rates

  • Conducting easier onboarding

  • Taking less risk when you hire someone you know versus someone unfamiliar with the company

  • Spending less time learning the company culture, something current employees already understand

Types of management development and training programs

You typically have two options when it comes to management development and training. First, encourage employees to seek it out independently and offer perks like tuition assistance or reimbursement. Many colleges, universities, and private companies provide this type of training.

You can also implement a management training program internally. Some ways to do this might include:

  • Mentoring or shadowing: This allows employees to gain insights and knowledge from current managers and leaders.

  • On-the-job training: This provides employees with a hands-on approach to management training.

  • Cross-department training: With this method, employees can spend time observing and working in departments where they don't typically work to understand all areas of your organization better. This may also include a secondment, which is the process of giving an employee a temporary new role for training purposes.

  • Coaching: This provides employees with one-on-one training and mentorship from a current manager or a professional coach.

  • Learning and development programs: Companies with the resources to hire learning and development professionals can create formal in-house plans for management development.

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Management development concepts

From formal university programs to internal training programs in businesses, management development can encompass various concepts. Your management development plan can include anything you deem important to running your organization and helping it meet its goals. If you're not sure where to start, take a look at some common ideas:

  • Leadership skills

  • Motivation techniques

  • Collaboration

  • Decision-making and problem-solving

  • Human resources

  • Self-awareness

  • Diversity and inclusion

  • Process improvement

  • Conflict resolution

  • Delegation

  • Time management

  • General human skills

  • Company-specific knowledge

  • Policies, codes, and laws

  • Communication, including active listening

How to encourage employees to participate in management development

It's ok if only some employees want to advance to a managerial position. For those who do, you'll discover ways to encourage your employees to participate.

Encourage all candidates but especially those who are a natural fit. Employees who are good communicators, naturally inclined toward leadership positions, see the big picture, and can set goals and delegate tasks typically make effective managers. Point out their abilities and how this type of development can help their career paths.

Focus on your company culture as a whole. If you instill a growth mindset in your employees, they're more likely to participate in programs such as management development.

Gather feedback. Talk to your employees who participate in management development and ask what they like and what needs improvement. This can help you perfect your plans and attract more employees.

Personalizing management development and tracking and proving results may also help excite your employees about training. You may also use positive reinforcement and enrichment of current job duties upon completion.

Finally, choose the type of training that best suits your employees' needs. For example, some employees may respond better to asynchronous learning they can do on their own time, while others prefer to do training while they're on the clock.

Getting started with Coursera

Another way for your employees to participate in management development is to take online courses like those on Coursera.

Some of the world's top colleges, universities, and businesses offer all sorts of options for leadership, management, and other important workplace skills. For example, Johns Hopkins University offers Principles of Management, while the University of London offers The Manager's Toolkit: A Practical Guide to Managing People at Work, and Yale University offers a course on Connected Leadership.

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Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.