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Leadership Development

3 Key Development Areas for First-Time Managers

Adapt to Changing Business Needs with Foundational Management Skills

Develop Foundational Management Skills to Decrease Turnover and Adapt to Changing Business Needs

Frontline leaders — especially those new to management — are eager to learn in the face of challenges such as the global pandemic and through social unrest. Yet many companies are still waiting before giving managers opportunities to develop. Companies that do invest in employee leadership development become more desirable to young talent and managers by providing reasons for those employees to choose and stay at a company.

We have found 3 areas that are critical to a manager’s performance: self-management and understanding the role of manager, managing individuals and performance, and team engagement and alignment toward organizational goals.

In 2019, the Frontline Leader Project* outlined the picture of a frontline leader, from how they felt about their transition to management to what their key stressors were. For 90 percent of frontline leaders, the transition came when they felt “unprepared to some extent” (DDI, 2019).

Of those 90 percent who felt unprepared, 75 percent reported feeling “significantly stressed about the transition” (DDI, 2019). One of the major stressors frontline leaders identified was finding the time to advance their skills, in addition to navigating organizational politics and finding time for work (DDI, 2019).


To be more effective, managers must have a firm foundation in the following 3 areas of development:

  • Managing Inward: Being a better manager requires an inward focus—understanding both the role of a manager in an organization and a team. It requires self-awareness and personal resilience in addition to assertive communication skills.
  • Managing Outward: Once a manager has the foundational self-understanding, in order to achieve results they must excel at managing individuals on the team. They should be able to align employees around a common direction, set goals, give effective feedback, and keep employees on track.
  • Managing Onward: To lead teams toward organizational goals, managers must create a positive team culture with coaching skills and must learn to manage through the inevitable conflicts, change, and uncertainty.

Whether an employee has been a manager for years and needs to refresh and update their skills or has just taken on a new leadership role, these areas will help build and reinforce a strong foundation for the leader and his or her team.

How can managers gain effective management skills?

Our program, Management Vitals™, can be delivered virtually or in-person across full-day or half-day sessions to build these foundational skills in your managers. Both emerging and existing leaders can gain the tools, skills, and confidence specific to their needs, allowing them to manage more effectively and proactively.

Does it work?

The impact of the Management Vitals program is clear: leaders develop and strengthen their people management skills, discover resources to support day-to-day tasks, acquire the skills to establish expectations and provide coaching feedback to employees, and increase confidence in their management capabilities.

After attending management training, it’s important to set goals and design an individual development plan to follow the learning process with active implementation of concepts. Leaders who attend Management Vitals™ align the content of sessions with a personalized action plan to continue learning in their day-to-day actions.

Investing in the development of current employees, even those who have been managers for a period of time, shows a company’s willingness to adapt to the changing business environment and enable those leaders to succeed. To ensure success, set clear, measurable objectives and select leaders who are eager to learn and apply new skills, then get in touch with FlashPoint to let us know how we can help.

*You can download a copy of DDI’s Frontline Leader Project here: https://www.ddiworld.com/research/frontline-leader-project.

Download an Overview of Management Vitals

Rachel Semple

Rachel Semple works across the FlashPoint client journey, from crafting initial proposals to developing and reviewing program deliverables.