The reason that I entered this crazy business of people development and organization development is that I always believed that the “mid-level manager” was the most important position in the company. They have always been the glue that connects the strategy of an organization with the operational completion of the task. I have focused Innovative Leadership on the training and development of mid-level management. Unfortunately, I have not found the same commitment from Owners, Presidents and HR.
I’ve found there is always an excuse not to train and develop mid-level managers:
- Too costly for the company
- Manager doesn’t have the time
- Unable to define the ROI
- Learning is viewed as a luxury
- Not realistic to set up a real high-potential method of developing talent
- . . .and the list goes on and on.
People development needs to be the most important activity in companies today, but it isn’t. We are getting away from looking at people as our future leaders and have stopped talking about career development. Fact: “Employer – provided training has the same effect on job satisfaction as a 17.7% net wage increase.” Harvard Business Review
Many companies eliminated the mid-level managers as part of their downsizing plan and totally flattened their organization making the mid-level manager an endangered species. I believe this has elevated the stress level of all employees including the remaining mid-level managers.
In the PricewaterhouseCooper’s 15th annual global CEO survey titled “Delivering Results: Growth and Value in a Volatile World”, 50% of the respondents identified “recruiting and retaining high –potential middle managers” as their chief talent challenge. Especially when companies are not currently hiring this needs to be a focus, but it sure doesn’t feel like the CEO is outlining a planned process for doing just that.
It is now the time for all leaders to realize that People Development is important for our future and it is their responsibility to grow and develop future leaders. In fact, it has to be their #1 priority for the next ten years. Why is it taking this long for the CEO to realize this?
4 Steps for CEO’s, Business Owners and HR to get everyone more involved in the People Development Process: