Professional development is an ongoing responsibility shared by both employees and their employers. However, managers and human resources personnel are often tied up in handling the paperwork of employment – hiring, firing, benefits, and grievances – leaving little bandwidth to focus on developing employees’ resources, talents, and career journeys.
Most businesses conduct some kind of periodic employee performance review, but miss the opportunities and advantages of structured follow-up and support. “Crisis” cases may get the attention they need, but middling and high-achieving employees can be left without a clear path forward to continued improvement.
Here’s the truth: Continued employee development can’t fall off the priority list.
This is true for employees at all levels of the company, and especially relevant for managers. Managers are the cornerstones of a company’s internal culture. Their behavior, attitude, and ability to lead and nurture their team are directly correlated with employee satisfaction and engagement, which in turn influences the customer experience.
Off-the-shelf training materials and one-time leadership seminars are appetizers at best. Unfortunately, they won’t fill you up, and the effects tend not to last once employees are immersed back in their day-to-day duties. There may be a temporary boost in morale, productivity, and performance, but without continued support and attention, it won’t be long before they slip back into their comfort zones until it’s time for their next review.
Manager development is manager empowerment.
In order for managers to effectively lead, coach, and nurture their employees, they must be nurtured themselves. You wouldn’t expect someone who lives on fast food and soft drinks to suddenly get up and compete in the Tour de France. Likewise, without proper “nutrition,” managers lack the supportive structure to deliver their best performance.
Coaching and training are not just about learning and sharpening skills, they’re about empowering staff to excel in each and every position, to collaborate effectively as a team, and to effect positive change in the workplace.
Empowered managers and employees:
- feel valued by their employers
- enjoy coming to work each day
- are genuinely invested in the success of the company
- resist the distractions of workplace conflict and politicking
- are unlikely to look for other jobs, and
- regularly engage in proactive, positive behavior.
These attributes ripple out to all areas of job performance. Even customers will feel the effects: customer interactions tend to go more smoothly, and issues get resolved more easily, when employees feel empowered to take action.
Development starts with data.
Collecting and evaluating data is essential to measuring progress and determining the effectiveness of a development initiative. It’s the first step of CSP’s Manager Development Training solution, forming a baseline from which to move forward with a targeted coaching program.
Data also allows CSP to customize each program to each business. Every customer service climate will differ, even between separate locations of the same business. Within those climates, customer expectations and needs will also vary, and thus the key drivers of satisfaction and success along with them. CSP uses each business’s data to illuminate what those key drivers are, and tailor the Manager Development Training program to empower managers and employees to have the optimal effect on those attributes.
Consistency creates accountability.
What these customized programs share in common is a consistent structure of ongoing support. Not only does CSP create a path forward toward organizational improvement, your team also benefits from our years of experience guiding companies through times of change. Obviously, we want the effects of this training to stick, so change management techniques are reinforced from the top down throughout the training process.
As the program takes shape, we supply materials, conduct workshops, and regularly check in to evaluate progress. This consistent, committed approach to development is critical. It’s unlikely that managers will slip back into their old ways when there are measures in place to hold them accountable. Without those measures, there’s always the risk that other priorities, responsibilities, deadlines and duties will wind up distracting their attention from their job performance. That’s why leadership books and seminars so often fade from memory before companies can see the benefits.
There’s also something to be said for third-party objectivity when it comes to in-house matters. Managers commonly fall victim to a type of tunnel vision when they can’t see beyond the walls of their own office. CSP has seen it all, and we capitalize on that 30,000-foot view of organizational management to help each business navigate its own journey forward.
To learn more about Manager Development & Training, contact CSP’s John Berigan by email or by calling 800.841.7954, ext. 101.