Methods of management development

Methods of Management Development

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To achieve success, it is imperative to implement a management development method or program with utmost effectiveness. This requires a well-planned and executed strategy that aligns with the organization’s goals and objectives. A management development programme or method needs to be implemented effectively for it to be successful. There are various methods of management development, each with its benefits and drawbacks some of which are given below:

On-the-Job Methods

Various on-the-job methods include the following:

1) Coaching

In coaching, the superior provides guidance and training to subordinates or trainees in a similar manner to how a coach would. The coach guides the trainees and evaluates their performance from time to time, and improves their performance by providing advice on necessary changes. This approach is effective if the coach and trainee are open with each other, have fair communication between them, and both parties agree to use this method.

If trainees are motivated by recognition and rewards for their progress then they will be more likely to continue striving toward excellence. This will encourage them to continue working hard so that they can achieve even greater results.

2) Job Rotation

Job rotation is a management development technique that helps managers to match their present skills to the requirements of future positions and allows them to gain broader experience in different areas. This broadens their outlook and enables them to learn more about various aspects of the job. Job rotation is when an employee is moved from one job to another, generally on a pre-determined schedule.

Trainees rotate through different jobs during Job rotation, during their training, they rotate through a variety of jobs to understand all job responsibilities until they are familiar with all of the associated jobs in the workplace which develops their skills, knowledge, and understanding of the variety of jobs available. This makes them feel more confident in their abilities to work in any field.

Job rotation is generally designed for junior executives, with one rotation lasting six months to two years to complete.

3) Understudy

In this technique, an individual is selected by a supervisor and trained like his successor. He is trained to assume full-time responsibilities in a position presently held by a supervisor. This technique is a type of management modelling in which a present or prospective manager is assigned to work with a senior manager for a specific time duration. A person may undergo the process of understudy when the organization aims to develop an individual for a higher managerial post. For obtaining a broader base and perspective, understudies are rotated among various managers.

The process of understudy is an effective approach to developing an individual for a higher managerial post. It helps in providing the required experience and insights to the person, who is being groomed for the higher managerial post. Through this process, the organisation can gain a better understanding of their employee’s skills and capabilities. Moreover, it also allows them to gain deeper knowledge about different aspects of the business such as marketing, operations, etc. The process of understudy is important for an individual’s growth and development within an organisation. It allows them to learn from experienced personnel and boost their confidence to take on larger roles in the organisation.

It may be possible that a supervisor may be absent due to retirement, illness, promotion or death. In such cases, the trained person who has been trained to take on the role of a supervisor can take their place. This helps to ensure that the organisation runs smoothly and efficiently despite any unexpected changes. An organisation needs to prepare itself for any potential losses in its staff because of retirement, illness, promotion or death. Having a well-trained and knowledgeable person available to fill the place of a supervisor is essential to maintain high standards of work.

4) Mentoring

A mentor is someone who acts as a wise and trusted advisor, providing guidance, clarity and support to help the mentee reach their goals. Mentoring involves a relationship of mutual trust and respect, where the mentor offers knowledgeable advice and shares experiences that can help the mentee overcome challenges.

Mentoring is a valuable tool for both organizations and individuals. It provides an opportunity for experienced professionals to share their knowledge and guide those who are just starting in their fields. Through mentoring, mentors can help new professionals develop the skills and knowledge needed to be successful. This type of relationship is beneficial for both mentor and mentee, as it can provide the mentee with a sense of direction, build confidence, and allow them to avoid potential pitfalls in their work. By developing this relationship, the mentor can reach out and make a positive impact on the lives of others. Mentoring can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both parties involved, allowing each person to learn from one another while reaching their goals.

A senior manager in an organisation acts as a mentor to a junior member of staff, playing an invaluable role in their development. Mentoring provides opportunities for junior members of staff to gain insight into their roles and to develop professional skills that are essential in their career progression. It also encourages them to become more independent, bridging the gap between employee and employer. By providing support, guidance and advice, senior managers create an environment conducive to learning and growth. This is especially important when it comes to nurturing young talent, which is essential for the ongoing success of any organisation. The mentoring relationship can be a powerful tool in cultivating a successful future for both the individual and the organisation. Mentoring is therefore important for the growth of both the management personnel and the organisation.

5) Committee Assignments

The concept of the junior board or multiple management, also known as committee assignments, is a great way for organizations to benefit from the expertise of more than one person. It allows for more comprehensive decision-making by having a team of people with different levels of experience and knowledge.

This type of arrangement is beneficial because it helps ensure that tasks are completed efficiently, and decisions are based on the collective wisdom of the group. It also helps to create an atmosphere of collaboration and mutual respect within the organization. Committee assignments allow the organization to benefit from the individual strengths and resources of each member while also allowing them to support each other in their areas of expertise.

6) Planned Progression

Organizations use this method to help managers to give a clear picture of the path to growth and development. Managers are made aware of their present status in terms of their skills, knowledge and performance; and also of a corresponding idea about the future. A manager thereby knows the inputs that may be required for progress to the achievement of his goal.

For example, a Junior Engineer may have career information about his progress path from his present position to becoming a Senior Engineer and then Head of Department and finally Operation Manager. It may be mistakenly considered by the progressing manager as a smooth path to the top; however, actually, it is a step-by-step approach that requires various tasks to be performed efficiently at every stage. A negative point in this approach is that the employee’s attention on the next level may turn out to be a distraction from the present task, affecting his present performance.

7) Creation of “Assistant-to” Positions

Creating an “Assistant-to” position often opts to broaden the perspective of a trainee by assigning him a position that enables him to assist and work closely with a skilled manager, who can then observe the trainee closely to determine his developmental needs. In this method, trainees are sent to various department heads as assistants. The objective is to broaden his perspective and prepare him for a broader range of administrative duties. In India, it is common to give civil servants this training.

The manager can assign specific jobs to the trainee with the purpose to evaluate the trainee’s competency on the specific job, as well as his decision-making abilities. This method can give better results if the manager is also an expert trainer, as he can develop the skills of the trainee until the trainee becomes capable of shouldering administrative responsibilities.

8) Temporary Promotions

An “acting” manager takes on the role of a manager when the regular manager is unavailable or is doing something else. Many times, a person is appointed as an “acting” manager in place of a regular manager when a manager post has fallen vacant. If an organisation promotes a person to a new position, this is usually a good thing for both the organisation and the individual who has been promoted. This is because the new position will give the person more responsibility and authority, and the organisation will get benefit from the new person’s skills and knowledge.

The organisation gets benefits as the managerial post is being looked at and is no more empty, while in turn, the acting manager gets the benefit of knowledge, experience and developmental opportunities. The practical experience you gain through doing a task yourself is more valuable than theoretical knowledge. This type of experience can help you become a more promising acting manager, preparing you for a senior role. However, if the acting manager isn’t enthusiastic about learning and getting results, neither the organisation nor the acting manager will get the benefit.

Off-the-Job Methods

Various off-the-job methods include the following:

1) Case Study

A case study is a very useful technique, particularly for developing an executive’s decision making and analytical skills.

2) Incident Method

The incident technique, designed by Paul Pigors, aims to develop practical judgement skills, intellectual ability and social awareness of managers. Incidents are modelled based on actual situations that had occurred in other organisations. In this type of training technique, a group of trainees work together using the group process to learn something.

3) Role-Playing

Role-playing is a technique that helps managers to understand people better. This method enables trainees to learn from imaginary experiences that they get via role-playing.

4) In-Basket Technique

This method helps to develop organising, planning and problem-solving skills. The in-basket technique places executives in real-life situations wherein they are asked to execute typical management activities and tasks which are required to be carried out daily, in the normal course of their job.

5) Business Games

This method helps to develop organisational ability; quick thinking and responses; and leadership qualities.

6) Sensitivity Training

Sensitivity training aims to develop an executive’s ability to respond to effective changes in his interpersonal environment. It includes sensitivity to emotional feelings of self and others. An important benefit desired is increased awareness in executives about their behaviour and how others see their actions; better sensitivity to other’s behaviours, and a better understanding of various group

7) Simulation

Simulation effectively helps to develop decision making skills, which can be put to good use for solving problems in the shortest possible time.

8) Grid Training

The managerial grid, a six-phase technique, was conceptualised by R.R. Blake and Jane S. Mouton of the U.S.A. It takes into account five principal managerial styles; these styles represent different combinations of the two attributes, viz., “concern for people” and “concern for production”. This technique helps to develop the quality of leadership in executives over a long timeframe.

9) Conferences

Attitudes are deeply ingrained in a person’s psyche; hence it is difficult to bring about radical changes in attitudes. This method develops an executive’s ability to modify his attitudes, as and when the need arises, for the benefit of the organisation.

10) Lectures

A lecture is a mode of delivery of information from a lecturer to the audience. It is used for management development since earlier times. This is best suited to transmit more knowledge in a short period to a large pool of managers. Its drawback is that it is a one-way transmission of information and hence does not enable active participation of the audience.

11) Special Projects

In this technique, a trainee is assigned a project which is linked closely to the objectives and targets of his department. An example of such a project is the “action learning” project, which is so called because the trainees on this project can learn through action. In this project, the management generates real problems for the trainees to tackle. Trainees might also be provided with a written assignment that mentions explicitly the aims, target dates, action plans and the name of the supervisor for keeping an eye on the assignment until its completion.

Methods of management development

Process of Management Development

When an organisation decides to change a job role of an employee, it begins to prepare for planning and implementing specific management development programmes. Opting to promote an employee, considering him for taking extra responsibilities, deputing him for a challenging assignment, and developing his current work profile are some examples of changes in the job profile. In such cases, a need-based and object-oriented management development programme is essential. This type of programme can help organizations to meet the specific needs of their employees effectively and efficiently.

In general, the process of management development involves three main steps given below:

Step 1: Evaluating the Organisation’s Strategic Needs

First and foremost, a management development process of an organisation consists of the assessment of its potential managerial necessities. This assessment is based on the organisation’s strategies for business. For example, business strategies (such as the introduction of a new product, market growth, merger and acquisition, etc.) and a strategic response to a competitor’s activity, impose managers to develop novel skills and gain additional knowledge. However, It can be difficult to determine the skills and abilities needed by the managers for the future management plans of an organisation. The reason for this is that business strategies are mostly created as immediate, intuitive or incremental responses of an organisation to external developments rather than as intentionally pre-planned and calculated actions.

Step 2: Assessing Competencies and Skills of Managers

In the next step, the existing competencies and skills of managers are assessed concerning the organisation’s future strategies. In this step, basic competencies like the manager’s present ability to deliver results and his aptitude are assessed. Performance evaluation techniques are generally used to assess the competence and skill levels of managers. The skill gaps, so determined, usually constitute the basis for drawing up the management development programmes.

Step 3: Preparing Strategies for the Development of Managers

In the last step, the organisation decides the method of proceeding with the process of development of managers to meet its future necessities in terms of management processes. It decides the fundamental aspects of the management development programmes, such as their purposes, advantages and the costs to achieve these benefits methods, assessment techniques, location and timings. Often, the type and size of the organisation, the level of technological advancement, the prevalent environment, and the management philosophy have a substantial bearing on the management development activities.

The types, needs, and procedures of management development are generally focused on an individual employee. For example, some organisations choose to adopt a pre-designed development programme with result-oriented evaluation systems. Management development programmes can be specific, diverse and customised for each organisation. On the other hand, some other organisations possibly will ensure the availability of great support and opportunities for their managers to develop themselves in their profession with minimal concern for customs and formalities.

Similarly, the learning ability of managers and the opportunities at their disposal may be different for different managers. For example, some managers may have high levels of motivation and enthusiasm for acquiring new skills; or naturally better communication skills as compared to others. Some managers may have efficient seniors who may have excellent abilities to inspire and train others; while other managers may not be as lucky in such cases and may not get sufficient opportunities and an environment conducive to growth in their job. It is therefore essential for an organisation to evaluate the developmental necessities of managers on a case-to-case basis.

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