As my colleague Ambica Tarakad noted, the end of the year tends to be a time when executives revisit their talent management strategies to assess the strengths, skills, and competencies of their people. To that note, this month we’re featuring a series of posts on talent.

One of Operations perennial talent management challenges is developing people who themselves are good talent managers. 75% of executives report the biggest gaps in critical competencies among their line and middle managers. And while they overwhelmingly note that the most important competency needed at this level is Team and Self Management, line and middle managers self-report that this is one of the areas where they feel least effective.

One member we call Lake Financial developed a Leadership Building Framework to tailor their recruiting, training, and performance review process to emphasize relationship building and people management skills. In particular, there are two elements which are crucial to Lake’s framework:

Finding individuals who are good relationship builders and business partners: As opposed to just hiring or promoting managers based on their productivity or process familiarity, Lake includes internal business partners and peers in its recruiting and promotion process to assess a candidate’s ability to manage relationships with clients and direct reports.
Holding managers accountable for being good people managers: Like many firms, Lake deploys regular staff engagement surveys, but they use survey data from a manager’s direct reports to assess his or her team leadership abilities.