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3 Arguments For Management Skills Development

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3 Arguments For Management Skills Development

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The Key Step In Your Business Process.

For many organisations, business training can become a matter of induction, compliance and preparation for regulatory audits. Beyond that, it often becomes a low priority issue for businesses. Obviously, we believe that to be a mistake, but we would, wouldn’t we?  Here’s three arguments for why you shouldn’t overlook the importance of management development for your organisation.

  • The Peter Principle – Dr Laurence J Peter is often quoted – “In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence”. It’s quite a pessimistic way of looking at things, but there’s a rational principle behind it. If an employee is good at their job, performs his or her duties diligently and with competence, they get promoted. In their next position, and possibly the one after that, the same applies. This process continues to apply until the person rises to a position in which they are not good at their job. Hence you find managerial positions taken up by people who are incompetent in the job.As I say – pessimistic. The truth is being good at one job is a factor of attitude and diligence, certainly, but also of skills, and skills can be taught. Just because an employee has the skills for one position, it doesn’t follow they have the skills for every other. However, if they were diligent, hardworking, inventive and effective in one position, those qualities will undoubtedly be an advantage in any position. Provide someone with the relevant skills and your organisation can continue to reap the benefit of those qualities into the future. That’s the principle behind management skills development.
  • Project Implementation – the hierarchical structure of any organisation can be broken down into three broad sections – at the top you have the owners, stakeholders and policy makers, who’ll decide the direction of the organisation, set goals and decide where the business is heading. At the bottom of the pyramid you have the workers, the technicians – the actual doers. These are the people who will perform the necessary tasks in which your company trades. The problem with this way of looking at an organisation is that in an organisation of any size, there’s a middle layer of management who are responsible for taking the policy and vision of the top layer, and translating it into concrete action for the bottom layer. Obviously, this is a key step in the process, and from that context shouldn’t be overlooked.It goes without saying that the workers or technicians require training – but the importance of business training for the middle section – the middle & line managers need the skills to make the vision a reality. Management skills development affords managers the skills to systematically do that whatever the goals or targets of a specific project. By investing in management development, you’re investing in the flexibility and effectiveness of your entire organisation.
  • Staff Retention – I’ve covered this one before in these blogs (there’s much more detail here for example), but it’s potentially a significant cost for businesses so it bears repeating. Replacing staff can cost up to 150% of their annual salary, and a replacement can take up to 32 weeks to get up to speed in a new position.

    Business training is an effective way of keeping hold of key, experienced staff, contrary to certain popular beliefs. The idea that staff will take the training you’ve spent good money investing in them and rush off to a bigger, better company is a myth. The culture of modern business means the idea of a job for life is largely vanished, so job security is something that modern workers trade job security for acquiring skills that have value in the job marketplace. A worker is more likely to remain with a company that’s actively investing in management skills development than they are in a company that displays no management development investment.


These are three reasons to consider business training not as a matter of governance, risk and compliance but a matter of management skills development – not as a box to tick for an inspector, but a way to achieve flexibility, efficiency and success through management development for some of your key personnel – your middle and first line managers.

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