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Can You ‘Teach Yourself’ Management?

Research released recently by the Forum of Private Business has shown that many businesses are opting for ‘do-it-yourself’ measures in place of formal management training. A leading academic has warned companies that they risk costing themselves more than they spend with this tactic in the long run. So is it a good idea to ‘do-it-yourself’ with management training?

In tough economic times, businesses are pushed to make savings wherever possible, and it’s understandable that training budgets might become the target of budget cuts. It’s tempting for companies to try to save money by implementing ‘DIY’ training, asking managers to train their colleagues informally in management techniques.

However, one academic has warned that this will not benefit businesses in the long term – Julian Rawel, director of executive education at Bradford University School of Management, argues that having knowledge of management techniques doesn’t necessarily make a manager good at teaching others, and that informal training sends the wrong message to staff about how seriously the company takes its staff development.

In the current economic climate, it’s even more important for businesses to take their management and leadership development seriously. Change management and employee engagement are important areas for development as many companies struggle with the fallout from redundancies and budget cuts. Building the skills and knowledge within an organization to drive it forwards is an important factor in enabling it to emerge from the recession stronger and more competitive than before, and investing in the right training and development is central to achieving this goal.

Rawel would like to see professional management qualifications become a must-have for those in management positions. He says “Just as you wouldn’t hire a “self taught” senior accountant without credible qualifications, you shouldn’t promote staff into managerial positions without credible management training.”

There have also been a number of initiatives to encourage businesses to invest in management training recently, with the introduction of a Leadership and Management Development Grant for small and medium enterprises to fund training, and the Chartered Management Institute’s ‘Campus CMI’ initiative, designed to enable school leavers and further education students to gain qualifications in team leading and management. It’s hoped that these schemes will help companies to develop their manager’s abilities, giving them the skills to helps steer businesses out of the recession.

What do you think? Does your business use ‘do-it-yourself’ training methods? Should all managers have professional qualifications in the same way as accountants? Click here to discuss this article on Facebook…