Learning & Development

Management Training 101: Topics, Benefits, Strategies

You’ve heard the phrase, “lead by example.” However, this is easier said than done without the proper management training for your C-Suite and team members. And to make matters worse, untrained management actually drives employees away from your company. 

According to a recent Gallup survey, out of the more than 1 million employed U.S. workers surveyed stated their reason for quitting their jobs was from a bad boss or immediate supervisor. And 75 percent of these employees voluntarily because of their supervisor.

This can all be solved by developing a training program for managers.

What is a management training program?

A program for management training is a professional course provided by an organization that allows employees to learn and develop the skills required for a management position. The skills developed during a management training program can focus on improved communication, ways to delegate effectively, and gathering or analyzing business data.

Why is management training important?

Management training is important to an organization because it teaches the valuable skills necessary for managers to effectively lead teams, designate work, and complete business goals. Once management is equipped with well-designed training programs, they'll provide employees with a better structure to successfully get the job done.

Benefits of management training

Employee and management training has been seen to build a better company culture, work environment, and valued employees. As you can see the need to train your managers is vital for your organizational development and employees well being.

Here are a few benefits that stem from effective management training:

1. Increases employee engagement

The more a manager motivates their team members, the more engaged employees will be. Plus, the more feedback from a manager, the more employees feel their job matters. Interaction recognizes that each employee is a valuable team member. And in return, employees are more present on-the-job.

2. Trains junior employees

By training your managers, you are also training your more junior-level team members in the process. A great manager will teach what they know to their team members. Through this process, younger employees reap the benefits of increased skills and knowledge of the company. And when these individuals are ready to step into a more managerial role, they will be prepared for the increased responsibility.

3. Adds consistency

All managers enter an organization with various soft skills like corporate communication and decision making. These different degrees within management can cause inconsistencies across the company. By proving the same management training across all teams, will help unify managerial style.

4. Protects against lawsuits

Part of being a great manager is dealing with problems employees may be causing. Without proper training, a potential issue can escalate quickly turning into a lawsuit for the company. And this is a costly mistake that can be easily avoided if managers know the proper responses.

5. Makes employees happier

No one likes coming to work in a toxic environment. A bad manager can make situations worse for employees. So for example, if a supervisor is constantly negative or passing the blame onto team members, this bad attitude only drives a wedge into team comradery and makes employees shut down. On the other hand, management training can teach leadership strategies to make happy employees.

6. Transitions are smoother

There are certain times when companies make major shifts in direction. Say there is a new branding campaign being rolled out or a new customer service program. Well-trained managers can teach their employees how to respond to these changes without disrupting productivity. They can also explain why changes are being made which helps employees better field questions they may receive. 

7. Creates better teams

A manager’s job is to look at the big picture. If there is an undervalued team member, what can be done to use this individual’s talents to the fullest? Or if a team is underperforming, why is this happening? A well-trained manager can figure out these issues and make corrections. The end result is a better-performing team overall.

Management training topics

Now that we know why it's important to train managers and the benefits an organization can gain in doing so, it's time to choose the optimal areas of training. These training types be anything from improving a manager's mindset, communication skills, and how they handle workplace situations.

Here are a few management training topics to incorporate into your program:

  1. Coaching and mentoring
  2. Develop soft skills
  3. Digital collaboration
  4. Planning
  5. Company culture
  6. Professional development
  7. Problem-solving
  8. Executive presence

1. Coaching and mentoring

It’s hard for a manager to lead if none of the team members feel empowered. A manager is given a position because of their skillset and the company's expertise. So it’s important he or she passes on the skills they have learned in the position, to their team. Since not everyone is a natural coach, it’s important to develop training courses that teach managers how to mentor. That way everyone on the team learns on the job and becomes a more valuable employee.

2. Develop soft skills

Soft skills like communication and problem solving are key to being a great manager. Build courses with scenarios and tough situations in which a manager must navigate. There may be habits or patterns that a manager follows that he or she may not be aware they are doing. Building these soft skills can help managers lead in a better direction and make employees respond more favorably. 

3. Digital collaboration

In this technology-driven world, teams rely on project management systems. These are great for keeping teams organized and on task. However, managers still need to steer the projects to completion. So, management training should include how to collaborate more effectively with these tools. 

4. Planning

Managers are responsible for creating plans and executing these to completion. However, a lot goes into planning. There is everything from creating a plan, to organizing the team tasks, to unforeseen issues along the way. So, planning is an important managerial skill to have. It can also better organize a manager and provide a clearer direction to meeting key business objectives. 

5. Company culture

Many employees leave companies due to poor company culture. Either they don’t feel accepted by their team or they feel the company mission is not being carried out effectively. Managers have a responsibility to create a strong company culture. Continual learning can help guide managers to reinforce company goals and make sure team members feel they have a voice within the company. 

6. Professional development

Different from mentoring or coaching, each employee has personal goals they want to achieve within the company. Managers need to understand and build these skills with a training plan for each team member. However, this skill may not come naturally to some managers.

Managers need to develop the skills to spot gaps in employees' skills, then suggest or even create a learning path for each employee. It's important to know which employees need training and their individual skills or expertise.

7. Problem-solving

You can plan for everything, but not everything goes according to plan. That’s why problem-solving is another necessary topic for management training. Problems arise with projects, but they also happen within a team or with a particular team member. A great manager needs to know how to solve these issues in order to keep the workflow consistent and the team dynamic working well.

8. Executive presence

Executive presence is the way a manager portrays their leadership qualities, the combination of confidence, communication, and body language. Besides managers needing to get the job done with problem-solving and planning skills, they also need to display a professional work presence.

Developing Executive Presence

Download Free Exercises for Developing Executive Presence

Best practices for management training

It’s one thing to develop great managerial training modules, but unless you have buy-in and the right delivery method, managers won’t see the value. Here are a few tips and best practices to ensure your time spent on new training material is delivered correctly. 

1. Use storytelling

Training is more effective if managers understand how it will impact their daily lives. By using storytelling and actual examples within your training, it will make it more impactful for the employees taking it. They will see the value in what is being taught. It’s also important to explain at the beginning of each training session what value it will add. That way managers will have an impactful outline of what will be learned.

2. Play off strengths

While management training is meant to learn new skills, always pointing out what employees don’t know can have a negative effect. So instead, play up manager strengths in the training.

For example, you know your management team is strong in communication skills, but lacking in decision-making. So you could say something like, “Due to your strong communication skills within your team, we are going to show you how those valuable skills can help make better team decisions. This will help build confidence in these new skills.

3. Keep it simple

Managers have enough on their “to-do” lists and the last thing they need is more to remember on the job. So training should offer practical and easy solutions they can immediately start using. If training is too complex or technical, it will soon be forgotten. A great way to make training impactful is using visuals, graphs and charts. By illustrating your key training points in this way, managers can grasp key concepts easier. 

4. Teach transparency

Sometimes managerial training is met with distrust. Managers are put in positions because they have earned their way to those roles. However, no one has all the answers.

So training should be honest, open and a forum free for managers to ask questions and get additional training if they don’t understand something. And managers who are more empathetic make better leaders since they will understand if one of their team members is experiencing something similar. 

5. Elicit feedback

You’ll get better buy-in from your company leaders if you make training a collaborative effort. So once your training program is rolled out, ask managers for feedback. What did they like? What can be improved? And what is missing from the training?

Types of managers

Before you develop management training, survey your team leaders to figure out what types of managers they are. This will better tailor your course offerings and make it more personalized depending on what the results indicate. Here are eight different management styles your team members can be classified in.

Democratic - this management style focuses on collaboration and communication. A democratic manager would ask for each team member’s input before drawing a conclusion or solving an issue. They are also open to new ways of doing things and letting employees share their thoughts. 

Laissez-faire - a more laid back approach to leading, letting the team take their own lead. These managers are not micro-managers and let team members work on their own with little guidance. 

Autocratic - focuses on the end result. It’s all about how efficient the team can perform to meet goals and finish projects. It is less about collaboration and more about crossing the finish line. These managers tend to micromanage to make sure each task is completed under the instruction given. 

Charismatic - like the name suggests, charming and persuasive when managing teams. They thrive on relationship building as a way to bond people together. They also like to achieve objectives set either by themselves or the company.

Coach - focused on developing and refining their team members. Just like a football coach, they like to look at day to day operations and see where changes can be made. This could be moving people around to better utilize their strengths or pointing out areas of improvement for a team member.

Pacesetting - like efficiency and working at a steady pace to meet goals. They will look for ways to increase the speed of projects like realigning resources or shifting team members around to make the project flow more seamless.

Bureaucratic - follow rules and procedures and they expect their teams to do so as well. This managerial type will give everyone a set of tasks and expect these to be carried out independently once instruction is given.

Transactional - sees team members earning rewards or disciplinary action. Basically high performing team members will get incentives like an increased bonus or a monetary gift. If they perform below expectations, they will receive consequences. However, their goal is a positive one, trying to motivate and encourage their teams to perform at their best potential.

Management training is super valuable

In order for an organization to succeed they'll need to train everyone in the organization equally. It's been proven that organizations focused on employee development outperform those that limit growth to management by 4.2 times. That's a massive increase in company performance compared to competitors that don't develop their management.

Since many organizations are built like a pyramid the CEOs train senior leadership, those senior executives train and mentor managers, those managers then develop their employees.

And with those managers leading multiple employees, it's just as important that they receive proper training compared to the heads of companies.

Don't slack on your management training, start building out a learning and development strategy that will boost your manager's skills, presence, and abilities today!

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