Coaching & Understudy Assignments As Management Training Methods

by Christy Lively ; Updated September 26, 2017
Coaching new employees can be a successful training technique for new managers.

In coaching and understudy approaches to management training, the incoming or current employee works directly with a senior manager or with the person she is to replace. This can go on for weeks to ensure proper training, with the intent that the new employee will become the new manager. In most cases, the understudy takes on the predecessor’s responsibilities gradually. This allows the trainee a chance to learn the job.

When to Use

In order to be effective, coaching and understudy training should be implemented as part of a manager’s day-to-day work far before retiring or leaving the company. The Institute of Personnel reported that 51 percent of companies consider coaching to be "crucial to their strategy," and contributes to the sustainability of an organization’s performance.

The study also found that employers need to ensure that their line managers are provided with updated, cutting-edge training in order to deliver the results. If employees are being consistently trained on a daily basis to take over a managerial role, the manager and the rest of the employees can be confident that the company will be in good hands upon management change.


Companies that implement these methods tend to have easier transitions during a change in management. New managers feel more confident in taking over their responsibilities because they have shadowed their predecessors and have a better knowledge of the history, current state and future direction of the company.

Coaching and understudy training provides excellent on-the-job training for current employees and enhances their leadership skills and productivity. It also keeps momentum going even when personnel transitions take place.

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This type of management training requires that the outgoing manager take extra time to train the incoming employee, which can take away from daily responsibilities and tasks. Taking this extra time may slow down productivity temporarily. This can also be expensive, as the company may have to pay two higher salaries simultaneously while the new employee is getting trained.


About the Author

Christy Lively has been writing professionally since 2001 for magazines such as "Atlanta Sports & Fitness," "Utah Outdoors Magazine," "Creating Keepsakes," "Southeastern Antiquing" and "Paper Crafts." Lively holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Brigham Young University and a Master of Education from the University of Utah.

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