All China managers know about the importance of training. Most international companies have some form of induction training, job skills training and English training – which are very good ways to make sure that entry-level employees and mid-level managers have the skills that they need to do their jobs effectively. But international managers provide answer to 2 other questions:
1) Where is my company’s next group of professional leaders and managers coming from,
2) How do we retain those employees that have been with the company for long enough to have acquired good skills and training?
For international managers in China, these are the 2 biggest challenges we face. Finding qualified managers, and holding on to those employees that we have already trained. Fortunately, both of these challenges may have a single solution. What is this “magic bullet”? A well structured Management Development (MD) Program.
What is a Development Program? It’s is a systematic process to develop managers ‘in-house’, or from among your existing staff. It is similar to TRAINING, but instead of focusing on specific job skills and information we are now focusing on developing a manager’s personality, intellect and leadership skills. A development program will do the following:
Forecast what your company’s future managerial needs are likely to be.
Identify which of your existing staff members and managers have leadership potential.
Allow you to work with company leaders to determine what your company’s leaders should be like in terms of:
It is important to remember that a Management Development (MD) program is a long-term commitment to develop company leaders. “Soft” skills, like leadership, interpersonal communications, teamwork and networking abilities are very important.
What are the benefits of this type of program? First, it will help insure that your company always has enough potential managers to meet its future needs. But a second benefit that may be even more important is that an MD program can help your company retain the high-potential young managers and staff members who can now use their experience to find higher-paying jobs at a competing company.
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