By Zach Swanson, HR Business Partner, Trupp HR.
If you’ve done any reading about management at all, you’ve probably come across information about the importance of developing staff. Staff development consists of training, delegation, and coaching that provides employees with skills to make a larger contribution to their organization. Typically, staff development is approached at the individual level; however, by equipping managers to facilitate a cohesive and fully engaged team, they develop valuable strategic skills that directly boost the bottom line.
Give your employees the tools they need to succeed
The benefits of investing in employee growth are easy to see. When we train a staff member, they make a greater contribution to their team. Coaching sends the message “we value you and we want you to stick around,” resulting in increased engagement and a greater sense of job security. As employees continue to grow, they can be promoted into increasingly more valuable roles, making succession and growth planning more predictable and economical. But focusing only on developing individual team members ignores half of the development equation. In order to develop our staff efficiently, we must train our leaders to be effective coaches.
Equip your leaders to develop their teams
A successful leadership development program encourages managers to continually improve their ability to monitor, communicate, and delegate to their teams. This kind of focused practice improves results across the board. In order to coach an employee, the leader must learn to carefully observe and offer course corrections. This will improve their leadership of the entire team, not just the individual being coached.
One great example of these broad effects is the process of hiring. Having managers who are strong developers not only makes it easier to promote internal candidates, but it can make it easier to hire external candidates as well. Finding the perfect candidate is a perpetual challenge. Not only do you need to find someone with the right technical skills, but they need to have the right mix of communication, competencies, and cultural fit to succeed in your organization. If your managers can help a candidate develop any part of this complicated mix, then you are suddenly able to consider a much broader variety of candidates.
Use case: a sales manager equipped to coach
Consider hiring for a mid-level sales position. Normally we would seek out a candidate with direct sales experience, practice with CRM software, strong personal organization, and the right mix of personality and values to work with your organization. Now imagine that your sales manager excels at teaching others how to nurture and convert sales leads in your industry. You can now consider applicants with a much broader range of backgrounds; career changers from fields that depend on relationships, recent graduates with great organization skills, or any high-potential applicants with a strong cultural fit.
Invest in your leaders
As you can see, investing in your managers by equipping them to develop their direct reports, saves a significant amount of overhead for your organization. The benefits of increased engagement, employee longevity, and a more efficient onboarding and internal promotion leads to a much more knowledgeable and productive workforce, and ultimately, greater stability and success for your organization. Consider sending your managers to Trupp HR’s Management 2.0 workshops. This series takes a look at leadership through a strategic lens that concentrates on effective team-building. Attendees will gain a working knowledge of practical tools for assessing their team’s strengths and weaknesses, leveraging personality differences, accommodating a wide variety of skill sets, and developing an adaptable and productive workforce that drives business success.