Management Training Part 1: Assessing Management Readiness

Assessing your team's management readiness is vital to succession planningAre your managers ready for the next step? What about your future managers? Are they prepared to move up?

Take a step back from your daily work and look at the big picture. When your leadership people retire or move on, you need reliable, effective managers to fill those gaps. Succession planning saves you time, money and headaches on moving team members into top management roles.

To get your employees in a good position to take over, the first step is to conduct a management readiness assessment. The assessment should evaluate your team’s management skills and identify any gaps that need to be filled by management training courses.

Before you can decide what management training tools you need to invest in, you have to know what areas within your company require the most work.

Where Does Management Readiness Begin?

A management readiness assessment enables you to both identify future leaders within your company and gauge the success of managers already running the show. It is intended to pinpoint which employees are ready to move up and take over high- and mid-level management positions.


Bonus resource: How to Develop a Succession Planning Process: A Guide for Managers


When you’re preparing to evaluate management readiness, start by outlining the qualities you view as most important to management success within your company. What challenges do your managers face? What skills align with your company’s core values? 

Consider these examples of essential leadership skills:

  • Change Management Skills
  • Communication Effectiveness
  • Complaint Management
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Discipline Effectiveness
  • Productivity

By identifying the skills that are critical to job performance, you’ll have a better idea of which managers are ready to move up. You’ll also find out which leadership skills are in need of being refreshed with management training programs.

Employee Retention Whitepaper

Whom Should You Assess?

Many companies spend time assessing employees that are already in upper management roles. While it is important to understand the effectiveness of your current leadership, assessing this group does not have the greatest impact on succession planning.

Focus your management readiness assessments on two groups of employees:

  • Lower or entry-level employees – Aim most of your management readiness efforts at the employees who aren’t in management roles yet. These are the employees with untapped potential. Conduct assessments with employees who go above and beyond in their work and see if they exemplify your company’s core values.
  • Mid-level managers – Are there mid-level managers that have the potential to rise through the ranks? Succession planning is all about identifying resources and utilizing them for streamlined transition. Find mid-level managers who perform, and invest in their future with your company.           

How Should You Conduct Your Assessment?

Once you’ve outlined the skills that are essential to management readiness, and the employees who should be assessed, conducting your management readiness assessment is simple.

Quantify management readiness with concrete feedback, communicating to your employees which areas need improvement and capitalizing on their strengths. One way to provide feedback is by grading your team members (on a scale of one to five, for example) in each area that you’ve deemed vital to managerial success.

Then, help your employees set goals to improve their job performance, and provide tools like management training courses to help them achieve those objectives.

Are you ready for a more in-depth exploration of succession planning and management readiness? Download Succession Planning: A Guide To Training And Retaining Talent.


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