Good quality management is essential, and great 1-1s are an essential part of what makes a good line manager. Great line management can help reduce stress on senior leadership, improve retention, and help scale the business. People feel more engaged, motivated, and excited about their career progression when they’re well supported. This article focuses on the importance of ensuring growth and progression in management.

In this short series of articles we explore some of the key components to great management. Previous articles have covered the following topics:

  1. Creating psychological safety
  2. Asking great questions
  3. Giving and receiving feedback
  4. Handling uncertainty and complexity
  5. Ensuring growth and progression (today’s article)

Ensuring growth and progression is a fundamental part of a manager’s role. When done well it improves people’s effectiveness, fosters good relationships, and improves the culture at work.


Growth is part of your responsibility

New managers are often overwhelmed with the variety of new tasks that fall under their responsibility. One of those tasks is to ensure the growth and progression of those in their team; this doesn’t have to be complicated if you follow this guidance.

Create time for growth

New managers should have time assigned for their 1-1’s. Within those 1-1s we recommend setting time aside for a monthly conversation about growth and progression.

It’s all too easy for 1-1s to be dominated by what’s urgent and task oriented; a key management skill is to retain focus on a larger time scale, and to speak about important things (like your team’s growth) that are not necessarily urgent.

Three simple growth strategies

We’ve taken the best of the advice out there and broken it down into three small, actionable and simple steps:

  1. Help reports identify their aspirations, strengths and passions

Take time to get to know your reports personally; How do they like to work? Why are they here? What aspirations do they have for the next couple of years? Knowing your people’s strengths and passions will help you tailor your support of them.

It’s also empowering and meaningful to know that your manager cares and is invested and interested personally.

  1. Enable your reports to define a developmental pathway

Once you understand your team members better, the next step is to help them write out a developmental pathway for themselves. This is a hugely empowering and motivating experience and gives you both a document to orient yourselves around.

Organisations might have software that supports this process (like Lattice) but it’s essential that details of those plans are something that you’re often talking about. Things entered last year into a spreadsheet or software platform can soon be forgotten about; as a manager it’s your responsibility to bring this development pathway into conversation regularly.

  1. Provide and ask for feedback regularly

Feedback is an essential part of management. In fact, it’s so essential that we recommend having it as part of every single conversation that you have with your reports. You can review this previous article for more detailed support on giving and receiving high quality feedback.

If you make feedback a habit during your 1-1s it becomes a powerful and useful tool for change. By installing feedback as an essential part of each management conversation you create the opportunity to practice, and it becomes far easier to give and receive when done regularly.

Conclusion

There you have it; a simple strategy for ensuring the growth and progression of your reports. Recognise that it’s part of your responsibility as a manager to talk about this and support it to happen. Schedule time at least monthly; and then get to know your reports so that you can help them define a development pathway and offer them regular feedback to continue growing.

One final tip: Demonstrate that you are willing to grow by leading by example. This means defining your own developmental pathway once you’ve identified your aspirations for your role (you might consider sharing this with your team). Once you have a clear idea of where you are heading you can then ask for feedback at regular intervals – who better to give you feedback than your own team?

In taking these actions growth and development become a regular and essential part of everybody’s professional experience.


If you are curious about how Treeka could support great management throughout your organisation then get in touch. We’d love to hear from you. We currently have three new programmes focused on great management.