When the economy is growing robustly and the organization is hitting its performance targets, investing in manager development initiatives is relatively easy to do. However, during slow periods, most organizations suspend all professional development initiatives, especially for middle managers. This is a missed opportunity.
During slow periods, investing in human capital is an ideal time to enhance the skills of your middle management ranks. Slow periods bring about fear within the employees’ ranks and present a unique opportunity to add new skills. By investing in management development initiatives for middle managers, the organization sends a signal that these employees are important, which reduces fear, and it generates loyalty. Furthermore, when the pace picks up, middle managers can sometimes rejuvenate their careers and display a burst of creative energy, become better supporting actors, or both. Management development is not a luxury during slow times, it is a necessity. 1