Start with what you have and where you are
When lots of organisations think about manager development, they really think big. They may bring in a consultant who spends six months preparing for the programme to happen or have endless meetings to decide how to develop managers. The other end of that is when organisations just buy of-the-shelf courses because they believe their first-line manager need training. This is not bad as far as you are sure that the area of development is relevant to your managers and organisation’s needs.
What is important though is that you make development available as soon as you can. Done is always better than perfect. Don’t let your desire for a grand leadership development programme stop you from using what you have now to invest in your managers. While more senior managers such as senior leadership teams may need specialist development like executive coaching, that is not needed for first-line managers. If your organisation has a learning and development team then they should be supporting managers with development even if that is just training.
Most managers need support around the basics such as setting expectations, managing performance, having difficult conversations, delegation, managing meetings, having coaching conversations, basics of team motivation, effective communication and the like. If you make development in these basic topics readily and constantly available for all your first-line managers, it can help boost their confidence, motivate them and on the long run make them better managers.
So, please use what you’ve got now to invest in your first-line managers and don’t let your desire for a grand leadership development programme make you ignore the investing in your first-line managers as soon as you can.