5 Steps for Managers to Maximize a Direct Reports' DevelopmentFar too many organizations squander training dollars by “sheep dipping” supervisors, managers, or executives through development workshops and hoping something will stick. Decades of studies show time and again leadership behavior change rarely lasts in a “once and done” approach.

One study by a large international learning and development firm found that the optimum ratio of activities contributing to learning effectiveness were 26% on pre-work, 24% on the learning event, and 50% on follow-up. However, they also found that the typical allocations were 10% on pre-work, 85% on the learning event, and only 5% on follow-up! Talk about wasting development dollars! This huge gap is clearly why the effectiveness of leadership development investments was rated as only 7% by CEOs in a large scale global study.

In his Forbes column, “The Magic of Managerial Involvement“, Jack Zenger reports on Zenger Folkman’s data showing the powerful payoff of manager follow through when one of his or her direct reports goes through development activity like the Extraordinary Leader and/or Extraordinary Coach workshop. “The take-away is simple. If a company wants to greatly increase the ROI from their training and development budget, then it must get the immediate manager much more involved in their subordinate’s development. There’s no additional outlay of money and it makes a huge difference.”

Jack provides five very powerful steps a manager should take to dramatically increase skill development for his or her direct report going through a leadership development session:

1. Establish Expectations.
2. Check for Understanding.
3. Implement On-the-Job Application.
4. Talk About it Frequently.
5. Create Follow-Up Measures.

Read “The Magic of Managerial Involvement” for suggestions on how to cover each step.

Our Extraordinary Leader and Extraordinary Coach public workshops are a rare opportunity for you and/or other members on your team to boost your leadership and coaching skills. These are usually in-house sessions run inside organizations. You can make the experience even more effective by coupling it with pre-workshop preparation and post-workshop follow through.