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The importance of management development for an organization

Learning and Development | 6 Min Read

The importance of management development for an organization


Effective managers are a crucial part of organizational success. Every team of skilled employees needs a strong leader to guide them toward achieving organizational goals.

According to a Gallup study, employees supervised by highly engaged managers are 39% more likely to be highly involved.

A well-defined management development program for managers’ ongoing training and development is advantageous for organizations.


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What is management development?

A part of change management and organizational development strategies, management development, is a planned process for learning and development designed to build influential leaders who have the potential to drive organizational growth and improve employee engagement. Managers train in a management development program to enhance their skills, abilities, and knowledge.

Management development programs may vary from organization to organization but usually focus on techniques that help constantly build on managers’ existing skills. The main aim behind management development is to equip managers with the tools they need for efficient resource management, conflict resolution, keeping their team motivated, making strategic decisions, and driving organizational success


Key components of effective management development programs

1. Communication skills

Being able to convey information clearly and efficiently, active listening, and providing constructive feedback to their team are essential traits of effective managers.


2. Problem-solving skills

Strong problem-solving skills are crucial for all leaders. Managers are bound to encounter novel challenges repeatedly, and identifying and critically analyzing the problem and proposing effective resolutions while guiding the team toward goals is crucial.


3. Decision-making skills

Decision-making plays a significant role in management, as a manager’s decision directly impacts the organization and the team. Effective managers should be able to make good decisions. Decisiveness and the ability to communicate their decision are critical to managerial success.


4. Adaptability

The market and business landscape are dynamic and keep changing with time. Good managers should be able to adapt quickly to the change and development in the organization. They must not save time with uncertainties; they should be open to implementing new ideas when required.


5. Emotional intelligence

Managers are leaders of their teams and need to possess high levels of emotional intelligence. Managing their emotions and those of their team and others around them is crucial for effective managers. This skill can also help managers foster trust and build good team dynamics while avoiding conflicts.


Assessment of the organization’s current management

1. Performance evaluation

Performance evaluations involve collecting and tracking the managers’ performance data. Depending on the objectives, various metrics can be used to collect relevant data. This helps understand managers’ performance and identify areas that need improvement.


2. Get 360-degree feedback

360-degree feedback involves an anonymous evaluation survey that can be used to assess the performance and impact of managers. This is a valuable method for going beyond the hard skills of managers and evaluating them using rating collections from their team, colleagues, superiors, and peers.


3. Skills evaluation

Utilizing an online skills assessment test can help evaluate the behavioral competencies that effective managers must possess. A well-designed skills assessment can also support strategies for training and development in human resources management when planning learning and development programs tailored to suit the needs of specific employees.


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Best practices for management development programs

  • Involve the leadership

Get senior leadership involved at the very beginning. This is critical for the success of any management development program. Begin by explaining the program’s many advantages, focusing on success against crucial organizational goals, building a solid company culture, and its positive impact on productivity and employee retention.

  • Identify employees for the program

Evaluate high-performing employees best suited for the program, then match them with relevant management development initiatives to tackle strategic business issues.

  • Focus on competencies

The management development program should be based on a competency model, where you identify the skills and competencies that will be enhanced through the program. The foundation of initiatives in training and development in human resources management should be built around core leadership skills, like business ethics, decision-making, negotiation, communication, and critical thinking.

  • Design a comprehensive curriculum

The curriculum for the program should cover the current management’s limitations and company-required competencies. Blended learning methods that incorporate coaching, e-learning, seminars, workshops, relevant practical tools, and reading materials can go a long way in curating a well-rounded learning experience.

  • Integrate feedback

Allow managers in the program access to their 360-degree feedback. This will help them realize their strengths and weaknesses from their own and others’ perspectives.

  • Adapt and improve

Always keep in mind that a management development program can be improved upon. It is essential to keep modifying the program based on the feedback received from the participants and the senior leadership.

  • Track and measure results

The metrics for defining the success of the management development program should be decided before initiating the program. Tracking the results will help demonstrate the program’s impact on strategic objectives and help make future program and curriculum adjustments.


Overcoming challenges in management development

1. Ensure participation

Lack of enthusiasm and an unwillingness to accept change are some of the most common challenges. To avoid such hurdles, involve everyone in the organization early on and clearly communicate the program’s many benefits. Organizations can also allow employees to play a role in designing the program as it helps foster a sense of ownership, and employees will be more willing to participate.


2. Availability of training resources

The availability of time and resources for the training and development program can be another challenge that has to be dealt with. Employees who participate in the program will still have regular responsibilities and tasks to handle. A simple way of overcoming this challenge is by leveraging technology to facilitate asynchronous learning and remote participation. Another way of allowing managers to enhance their skills without sacrificing their productivity is to integrate certain developmental activities into the managers’ existing workflows.


3. Adjusting for remote and hybrid work environments

Management development programs should be designed in a way that also accounts for remote and hybrid work environments. Utilizing virtual training exercises and remote coaching can significantly help in this regard. Additionally, implement consistent one-on-one sessions at regular intervals to counteract feelings of isolation.


4. Foster a learning-based environment

Fostering a work culture that focuses on learning and development is crucial. This also means proactively identifying and rewarding employee development to build a supportive culture where skill enhancements and products are valued.


Future trends in management development

1. Increased focus on vertical development

Horizontal development refers to enhancing one’s competencies, while vertical product is about rising through various cognitive developmental stages. In the coming times, horizontal results will still be relevant, but vertical development capabilities will become the priority for management development.


2. Integration of advanced technologies

The many advancements in technology and the rising capabilities of AI are more than likely to reshape management roles in the coming times. To stay relevant and thrive, exceptional data literacy, agility, quick adaptation to the latest technologies, and the ability to lead and manage teams even in virtual work environments are some skills managers must learn and enhance.


3. Inclusivity

Diversity in the workforce and inclusivity have already become primary aims for many organizations worldwide. However, in the coming times, even more diverse management teams can be expected to become the standard. This will also help foster more inclusive management development initiatives.


4. Work-life balance

Overworking will no longer be rewarded as mindfulness practices, and implementing strategies to maintain a proper work-life balance will make its way into management practices. Managers’ ability to support employees regarding their mental well-being can also become a significant part of management development initiatives.


5. Increased focus on agility

The shift towards agile approaches that focus on innovative experimentation and flexibility has already begun across industries, and it can be expected to become much more significant in the future. This means that managers will also require training for agile methodology implementations to integrate design thinking, sprints, and action learning into their team’s workflows.


6. Continuous learning and development

The market and industry landscape are constantly evolving, making it critical for managers to keep upskilling and learning to stay relevant. Management development programs need to be designed so that the concept of lifelong learning can be instilled into the participants. They must also encourage self-directed development and foster a culture that values innovation.



Management development plays a vital role in organizational development and change management; it is also essential in ensuring that an organization can survive the dynamic and volatile business environment. Investing in management development initiatives offers several advantages. It supports leadership and succession planning, improves employee engagement and retention, attracts top talent, drives business growth, enhances overall performance and productivity, and improves employee experience.



1. What is MDP in HR?

2. What are the benefits of MDP?

3. What are the four factors of management development?

4. What is the function of management development?

Originally published February 22 2024, Updated February 22 2024

Written by

Harsh Vardhan Sharma, with 6 years of content writing expertise across diverse B2B and B2C verticals, excels in crafting impactful content for broad audiences. Beyond work, he finds joy in reading, traveling, and watching movies.

About This Topic

Learning and development initiatives, also known as organizational development initiatives, are activities designed to develop employees in their present roles as well as for future roles. It consists of identifying training needs, conducting training initiatives and measuring the ROI.

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