Earlier this year, we talked about the three essential ingredients in the company's HR strategy being performance, learning, and engagement. Those three elements are interconnected and ultimately drive organizational performance and the bottom-line. Great conversations about performance lead to learning opportunities, and when these two things are managed well employees are engaged. And engaged employees tend to be great performers and open communicators. It's a wonderful cycle!
Obviously, when we create a strategy, we need to find opportunities to bring that strategy to life. Those opportunities include corporate communications, policies, procedures, etc. It should also happen in management and leadership development. Or more specifically, it should take place at the right time for managers.
Over the years, we've spent lots of time talking about all the things that managers and leaders need to know. You know the topics. Honestly, I don't know that we're disputing any of them. But maybe it's time to look at when managers should be introduced to those topics. Is it possible that organizations are giving managers too much information too soon?
A new delivery schedule for management development
Instead of giving managers all of the information they need at the moment they become a manager, maybe it's time to align management development with the three ingredients of HR strategy: performance, engagement, and learning. And create management development tracks based on the stage of that manager's career. For example:
In the early career stage, managers would be focused on performance. Their development would be geared toward identifying key performance factors, so they could hire the best talent. Then they should learn how to set expectations and goals, so employees can deliver their best work.
At the mid-career stage, managers would develop their skills around employee engagement. This is the time when managers need to support, guide, and coach employee performance. They need to know how to deliver recognition as well as constructive feedback.
Finally, in the late career stage, managers would dedicate their time toward learning. Not just their own learning, maybe in terms of knowledge management or succession planning, for instance, but how to teach others as a mentor.
Of course, this doesn't mean that managers won't learn anything about employee engagement or learning until they're in their mid-to-late career. Management development isn't some sort of Vulcan mind meld. Managers need a learning path along with time to digest and use the knowledge and skills they receive.
The idea here is to give managers the tools they need at the moment they need them, so they can be successful. And that each skill track for performance, engagement, and learning builds on the last, further reinforcing the manager's development.
Learn more about the connection between management and strategy
I hope you can join me at this year's Saba Insight for a discussion about aligning management development and human resources strategy. The event is being held September 24-27 in Scottsdale, Arizona. We're going to do a deeper dive into what early, mid, and late stage management development tracks might look like and how to implement this type of program within your organization.