Careers Succeeding at Work How to Develop Company Managers Help your employees reach their full potential Share PINTEREST Email Print Duncan Smith / Getty Images Succeeding at Work Human Resources Glossary Job Search Resources Hiring Best Practices Employment Law Employee Motivation Employee Management Management Careers Management & Leadership Employee Benefits By Susan M. Heathfield Susan M. Heathfield Susan Heathfield is an HR and management consultant with an MS degree. She has decades of experience writing about human resources. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 10/10/19 Management development describes the many ways in which organizations help employees develop their personal and organizational skills, either as managers in a management position or with an eventual management job in mind. Organizations need a process for developing the skills of their managers, as these employees direct and organize the work of all other employees. Additionally, your best managers and potential managers cite the opportunity to continue their personal and professional growth as a key motivation and something they want from their jobs. When employees think of management development, they are likely to think about university classes and MBA programs; consultant-led external training; and attendance at conferences, trade shows, workshops, and seminars. These are frequent ways in which employers invest time and money in developing their managers. No Classes Needed However, most management development does not involve outside classes or professional trainers. It involves the employee's daily work, skill-stretching assignments, leadership roles played, mentoring by a more senior manager, cross-training, and other developmental opportunities on the job. Building the skills of managers through management development options is critical to the effective functioning of your organization. Managers have a powerful impact on the organization because they oversee the work of other employees. In particular, middle managers are expected to communicate the company direction, goals, and vision to their reporting employees. Only comfortable business communicators are likely to perform their needed communication tasks effectively. Senior company leaders depend on middle managers' communication skills because these senior leaders can't easily communicate with every employee themselves. It is not surprising that the managers in your workplace are the single-most-important factor in employee engagement. They are also crucial to employee motivation and building a productive workplace. Managers are the key to employee retention—and are the main reason employees cite when they leave their current employer. So, the need for management development is significant and can provide a meaningful payback. Internal Management Development Advantages Internal management development has advantages over external seminars and classes. It presents and reinforces the skills and management techniques the company needs. It speaks a common language that people in your organization will understand—and gives them a common language they can use with each other. Internal management development is presented around your company's challenges and problems, so it is customized for the people who attend. It is offered on your terms at your preferred times. Internal management development reinforces the organization's culture and addresses the norms and expectations of the manager's workplace. It incorporates familiar workplace examples and reinforces desired organization direction, values, and goals. Internal management development also immediately reinforces the application of the skills learned in training back in the workplace. This is all the justification you need to offer internal management development. It can require weekly assignments, reading, and on-the-job training. Employees can work together in study groups outside of the actual training. You can also provide management development training as part of an ongoing, regularly scheduled management meeting. Options Employers have many options when it comes to management training and development. It can incorporate such external opportunities as university classes, seminars, workshops, courses, conferences, and field trips. Employers can assist employees by paying for classes and seminars. They can also offer tuition assistance to employees attending college or university classes and who plan to earn a degree. Internal management development options abound and can include the following subjects vital to employees' growth and ongoing development: Employee trainingEmployee career pathsCoachingMentoringJob rotationPromotionsPerformance management and developmentSuccession planning Teaching the Company Culture In addition to skill development, management development is also an opportunity to teach your organization's culture. The norms, rules, and expectations in your workplace are uniquely yours. Even experienced managers will benefit from training reminders in the expectations of your workplace culture and policies. The focus of all aspects of management development is to enable managers to accomplish their job as managers manage more effectively. Don't miss your opportunity to have an impact on one of your most critical resources. Your middle managers are the spokes that hold the wheel of your organization together. Help them become the best that they can be.