Improving the Development of Managers’ Personal and Professional Skills
Keywords:manager, manager’s skill, skill development, development model, personnel development, development process
The present article analyzes the development of personal and professional skills of managers who perform managing function in contemporary organizations. Research shows that it is necessary to develop managers‘ skills using a set of different methods and tools. In the course of time, a number of models for manager skills development that recommend the potential ways for the implementation of these processes have been created. One of these models is the training cycle proposed by Kolb (1992) encompassing four stages: actions, thinking, understanding, and checking. Another model – the one made by Byham, Smith, and Pease (2002) - is based on application of group training method. It is carried out in five stages: 1) formation of a group of employees, 2) defining training abilities of the employees, 3) making recommendations for the development, 4) implementing the program, 5) defining directions for new improvements. Probably, the most widely applied and used model is Statt‘s(2000) sequence of development processes: defining demand for development, formulating the goals, compiling the content, choosing the methods, evaluating the results. The most modern model is Whetten and Cameron‘s (2002) five-step model applying social science theory. It is based on the following steps: assessment of a skill, development of the skill, analysis of the skill, testing the skill in practice, using the skill in practical performance. The above listed models have their strengths and weaknesses. The most typical weakness is underestimated complexity and sophisticated character of the development process. Having made the analysis of the described models of managers‘ personal and professional skills development and having generalized the results of particular research carried out in Lithuanian organizations, it could be stated that the process of skills development needs to be improved. This process holistically combining possible 17 activities. On a basis of research results, the article offers a holistic development process that is comprised of the following fields: defining personal and professional priority skills of managers; selecting of employees and assessing of their possessed skills; choosing the best tool for the assessment; systematization of the skills to be developed; search for the possible development ways and methods; choosing the development method that corresponds the goals; providing managing activity to the trained employees; correcting the development process depending on specific situations; responding to the needs of the development; combining several development tools; applying of short-term development tools; choosing the most suitable development program; defining the role of direct supervisor in the development process; appointing mentors for the employees involved in self-development; career planning. Implementation of the holistic model of managers‘ skills development process showed that this attitude has positive impact on the results of this process. In order to survive in constantly changing society, people must learn a lot on their own; most often it is related to competence training seminars, re-qualification training, maintenance of professional competence level, development of personal and professional skills.