One of the most important aspects of management development is objectivity. Especially if a company wants to promote management candidates from within, this can be challenging. People within the organization know each other, and relationships can affect the ability to be objective. A consultant will recommend several things, though, to ensure you have a more objective process.
A simple approach to increasing objectivity is to employ strong metrics. Your team members, including the current managers, should also have metrics attached to their work. When people strengthen the company, those metrics should go up in an objective manner. Likewise, when someone's performance or actions hurt the business, the numbers should reflect those facts honestly.
Your chosen metrics should be consistent across similar jobs and departments. When you look at a particular number, such as an employee's customer satisfaction rating, it should mean the same thing regardless of who you're discussing.
Consistent Management Training
Management training needs to promote consistency as much as possible. Standardize all practices and write them down. Everyone gets the same rule book, and they all learn from the same texts, too. When one person successfully completes the management training process, you should be confident that you can plug them into the same job as anyone else who has been through the program.
Consistency will improve your company's operations. More importantly, team members will learn to trust that the company is judging everyone objectively.
An objective evaluation process can make or break a management development program. Evaluators should always be people who don't have personal stakes in the success or failure of each candidate. Also, whenever possible, you should use data gathered from your metrics to evaluate management candidates.
Using an objective approach will foster trust, and it should also expand the pool of available candidates. You might be surprised to see that the evaluations show a particular candidate leading the pack. Embrace the idea and pursue it to its logical conclusion. This may reduce your company's need to look outside for managers, and that could save significant money in the training and acclimation processes.
Management development shouldn't end with training or even a person taking on a job. The goal should be for every employee to have an upward trajectory in the company. A culture of constant improvement will promote education, interaction, and new experiences. This will allow low-level managers to upgrade their skills so they will be better prepared for the days when they move up and then up again.