Research Findings: Effective Manager Development Programmes

Recent research published in November 2014 and sponsored by the CIPD, IOSH and the Affinity Health at Work Research Consortium confirms that Spearheads approach to the design and delivery of in-company manager development programmes is the most effective for achieving results.

One of the key points the research highlighted was that a single one-off training course doesn’t work very well when you are trying to develop talent within your management team. Effective developmental training needs to be long term (the research suggested at least 3 months in duration!) and use a range of different developmental methods (such as coaching). Our partnership approach ensures continuity over the duration of any in-company developmental programme we are involved with. Training sessions within the programme are typically designed and delivered as modules to improve their effectiveness and we always build a range of effective training techniques and coaching into every programme we design.

Another important point made by the research was that senior managers must be on-board and supportive of the programme. At Spearhead we work closely with the senior management team from the very start, usually well before any design and development work is undertaken, as well as throughout the programme to ensure that this buy-in is achieved and maintained.

Delegates on managerial development programmes also need to be clear about their role as a manager and what they are expected to do. To support this appraisals and development processes need to be clear and consistent and any competency frameworks up-to-date. Spearhead will help clients to design and implement these where they are not in place.

Finally, in order for the skills from a management development programme to be transferred to the workplace, the research found that managers need to be supported so that they feel confident in their ability to succeed in the programme and in their ability to work as a manager. At Spearhead we have always provided a full range of support options designed to enhance classroom based training and to continue the training experienced well beyond the classroom based sessions.

It’s nice when the methods we have been using and refining since our foundation in 1981 are now being recognised as best practice!