In spite of research indicating that managers who receive training are more effective in their roles, few companies actually provide it. More often, individuals are promoted to management with a pat on the back, a short pep talk and advice to "let me know if you have any problems."
You wouldn't want your doctor or auto mechanic to "wing it" this way. While it's true that managers usually don't make life-or-death decisions, their actions do have a direct effect on the careers, livelihoods and day-to-day happiness of those they manage.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Management training teaches managers specific skills and can be delivered in many different formats.
What Is Management Training?
Is management training the initial training of new managers on the basics of managing people? Or is it an ongoing process for all levels of managers? In the ideal world, it's both.
New managers certainly need training on how to lead others if they haven't been managers before. However, even senior managers can benefit from continual learning to further develop their skills, especially in the fast-paced, digitally based workplaces of today where changes occur often and rapidly.
Through training, you're not only educating the managers, but you're also affecting the careers and lives of everyone that manager leads, which will affect your business for years to come.
Identifying Different Types of Training
When types of training are discussed, people can be referring to two different things:
- What managers will learn during the training, such as organizational skills, time management and communication.
- How the training is delivered, such as in house or out of the office.
Both explanations are important to discuss. First, identify what you want your managers to learn. Then, decide where and how the training will occur.
Determining What Managers Should Learn
Of course, new managers have the most to learn, but all managers need to learn ideas and skills including:
- Leadership basics: Dealing with different personalities and working styles while setting your company or department tone.
- Communication: Explaining clearly, critiquing fairly, providing encouragement and resolving conflicts as well as effective speaking and writing.
- Organization: Organization and time management for the manager and teaching these skills to employees.
- Team building: Putting diverse teams together, team accountability and assessing team performance.
- Diversity: What diversity means today, current laws, avoiding biases and the benefits of hiring a diverse workforce.
- Management styles: Identifying different types of management styles, adapting and combining styles and managing during times of change or crisis.
- Performance management: Setting goals, assessing performance and delivering performance reviews.
- Harassment: Identifying sexual harassment and other types of harassment, current laws, company stance and explaining policies to employees.
Deciding How to Deliver Training
Whether you hold management training in house or send your managers to outside training sessions, it comes with a cost that may seem prohibitive. However, if you choose wisely by checking course reviews and asking your peers in other companies what training they have found effective, it is money well spent.
Hold In-House Training
If you have the space and are training several managers who need to learn the same material, holding training in the office lets you teach exactly what you want to cover. It also cuts down the time lost traveling between the office and the training site.
Utilize Online Technology
Numerous courses are available online, and managers can complete them as their time allows. Look for those that include quizzes or other assessments to gauge whether the manager is learning the material.
Run by outside companies or consultants, they can be held in your offices if you have several managers who need the same topics covered, or you can send one or more managers to offsite seminars or workshops. They do require an upfront fee that can seem hefty, but you don’t have to plan or run the events.
Hire a Consultant
One-on-one training can be customized to exactly what your managers need to learn. The consultant can also be available “on call” for advice on specific situations.
- Management Help: What is Management Training and Development?
- TINYpulse: Why Management Training is Crucial for a Leader's Success
- eLearning Industry: The Importance of New Manager Training in the Modern Workplace
- Workology: Seven Types of Support and Training Managers Need
- BusinessFirstFamily: 6 Types of Management Leadership Training Programs
Barbara Bean-Mellinger is a freelance writer who lives in the Washington, D.C. area. She has written on business topics for afkinsider.com, smallbusiness.chron.com, Harbor Style Magazine, the Charlotte Sun and more, as well as advertising copy and materials. Barbara holds a B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh and has won numerous awards in B2B and B2C marketing.