Good leadership requires a range of technical and interpersonal skills and behaviors that not everyone is born with. Providing adequate training can be challenging for a small business that has neither the expertise required to conduct supervisor training nor the financial resources to hire a trainer. If you’re faced with this challenge, turn to free online training options. Choose one or more courses to prepare new supervisors to lead your company without breaking your budget.
MasterClassManagement.com offers a free 10-lesson online management, leadership and business basics training program that is suitable for first-time supervisory training. Your new supervisors won't need to register or create a user account to access any of the 10 training modules. Each lesson consists of an introduction, training module and a quiz. A 20-question final exam, for which the passing grade is 70 percent, is available online. Although the site provides an official certificate of completion for a $29 fee, you can print your own certificates using word processing or slide show presentation software on blank certificate stock. Comparable full-course options are available through the U.S. Small Business Administration and LearnersTV.com
After your new supervisors complete their initial training, they can continue with free online options for ongoing, in-depth skill development. Sites such as LattitudeU.com, MindTools.com and the MIT Sloan School of Management at MIT.edu offer short courses that focus on becoming a better manager, team building and managing difficult behavior. For example, LattitudeU offers courses such as “Becoming a Highly Talented Manager,” “Coaching for Business Success,” “Performance Management” and “Supervising Difficult Behaviors,” which can be useful as part of a mandatory continuing-training requirement or as an option for reinforcing skills.
Health and Safety Training for Supervisors
The Department of Labor offers free online supervisory training in enforcing a drug-free workforce policy. Training topics focus on identifying supervisors' responsibilities in implementing a workplace drug policy and on helping supervisors recognize and deal with employees who have job-performance problems that may relate to alcohol or drugs. Training consists of 12 modules delivered by way of a slide presentation and handouts. In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website offers free online training that, while not specifically directed at training supervisors, can still prove helpful.
Additional Free Resources
Many online sites that offer only free course previews and paid training options provide free resources, such as online newsletters and articles. Although these might not be appropriate for initial training, they can be a good option for ongoing or supplemental supervisory training. For example, the Chart Your Course website offers free white papers and articles, which at the time of publication, includes titles such as “Beatitudes of Leadership,” “Gladiator Leadership” and “Understanding Personality Styles.” The American Management Association also offers free white papers, articles, Web events and podcasts.