How to Train Managers and Catapult Your Business to Success

Did you know that managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement?

This is why you often hear the term, employees don’t quit their job; they quit their managers.

Employee engagement, directly and indirectly, affects each aspect of a business, including:

  • profits,
  • customer service,
  • employee and customer loyalty.

With manager training, you can close the gap between employee expectations and manager capabilities.

Excellent managers understand that employee morale affects the bottom line. They tap into the talents and resources of both employees and the company and use these elements to support and bring out the best in their teams.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Q. Adams

In 2008, tech giant Google’s Michelle Donovan, then the Director of People Operations, posed the question: What if everyone at Google had an amazing manager?

The result was Project Oxygen, an internal employee feedback-driven venture which redefined the role of managers not just for Google, but many other companies.

After Project Oxygen identified eight common traits of high-scoring managers, Google publicized and trained its managers, leading to noticeable improvements over time in team outcomes like employee turnover, satisfaction, and performance.

What are the benefits of manager training to a business?

A business with high employee turnover cannot achieve its highest potential. The most critical element in employee retention lies with managers.

Without the right training, managers tend to echo existing management styles they know or have been exposed to, regardless of how (in)effective these styles may have been.

With the impact that managers potentially have on the overall success of a business, it’s too big of a risk to assume that incoming or existing managers will somehow “figure it out.”

It is therefore important for organizations to evaluate their existing policies to see what they are doing to help mid-level managers turn into successful leaders.

How Does Effective Manager Training Benefit My Business?

Effective manager training ultimately leads to a raft of benefits for your business.

Company Consistency

Aside from consistency in positive employee management across the organization, the right training and development program results in all employees having the same experience and background knowledge about the company’s basic policies and procedures.

Ongoing training and upskilling of both managers and the workforce can encourage creativity and new ideas. All this leads to increased efficiency and financial gain for the company.

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Improved Employee Morale and Retention

Manager training results in people-centered leaders and creates a supportive workplace where employees feel valued, regardless of their role.

“A person’s view of the company they work for is shaped largely by their direct leader. Therefore, the development of these leaders is a critical success factor.” – Tony Cicio, Chief Human Resources Officer, Argo Group

By investing the appropriate training for managers, a business will gain specific benefits, such as spikes in teamwork and individual role ownership.

This means there will be a decreased need for constant supervision in lower-level employees, and reduced instances of claims and litigation related to management practices.

Addressing Existing Weaknesses While Adding New Skills

Workplace skill weaknesses are a normal occurrence. Trained managers will have the right skills to identify what the employees under them need to improve.

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A development program elevates all employees to a more productive level. It also shows managers which employees are the weakest links, e.g. those who depend on others to complete basic work tasks.

Providing necessary training means managers will be better equipped to guide their employees to a greater understanding of their responsibilities, in turn building their confidence.

Enhanced Company Profile

Having a reputation for excellent managers makes your company a prime consideration for investors.

Training also makes a company more attractive to fresh graduates, new recruits and top talent, as well as mid-career change recruits who are seeking an environment with a corporate culture of mentorship, development, and support.

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How to Train Your Managers

Before embarking on manager training in your company, you need to figure out your managers’ current abilities and in which areas they need more support.

A good starting point is using a customized survey tool to evaluate your company’s managerial effectiveness.

Team members can provide anonymous feedback about their managers’ performances, while managers can see where they’re excelling and what areas they need to focus on for improvement.

On an organizational level, your business will be able to tell what kind of additional training would have the most impact on employees and managers, which managers are stronger in specific areas, and whose support can be called upon to help with additional training.

Train Managers How to Leverage Technology

Technology is changing workplace practices at a rapid pace. Today’s businesses are heavily enhanced by:

  • Cloud-based small applications
  • A data-driven global community
  • Real-time interactions
  • Accessibility via tablets and smartphones

Managers and professionals must keep up with the latest technologies, not just for day-to-day business management, but also for implementing the training and development of employees.

Technology has made it possible for companies to have a thriving workforce based anywhere in the world.

Thanks to advancements in software, there are many new ways to communicate with team members, as long as everyone has a stable internet connection and a device.

eLearning courses can be the most convenient way to train managers on different types of management tech because they provide real-time tracking access.

You can create a customized course to train your managers on how to leverage project management tools, communication apps or how to use learning management systems (LMSs) to train, lead and offer coaching to subordinates.

Turn Your Managers Into Coaches

The days of authoritarian leadership as a management style are gone. Coaching is a core skill required of every successful manager in the 21st century.

The Gallup State of the American Workplace report reflects that employees are interested in more than a paycheck. They want to develop and grow, and they are looking to find managers who care about their humanity and those who help them achieve their personal goals.

If managers are not skilled at coaching and collaborating with their employees, their chances of achieving and retaining long-term positive results for themselves or their organizations are significantly reduced.

As a business, you should encourage coaching as part of your organization’s corporate culture, rather than the former command-and-control method of management. This will enable them to better leverage employee talents.

Coaching means they are managing in a way that actually drives employee performance. Coaches display certain traits:

  • They focus on the future
  • They treat mistakes as opportunities for improvement and learning
  • They set out individual feedback with each employee so goals are mutually agreed on upfront
  • They are visibly invested in the success and growth of their teams

Coaching does not necessarily come naturally to most managers. A good idea is to give your managers the opportunity to see coaching first-hand from another experienced manager. This achieves two benefits:

  • On-the-job learning experiences
  • Retention on the right coaching model for your organization

Today’s modern employees require ongoing formal and informal coaching conversations to perform well.

Using communication software, managers can carry these conversations in a meaningful and focused manner.

From monthly 30-minute evaluations to daily or periodic informal weekly check-ins lasting less than 15 minutes, the possibilities are endless.

Encourage Soft Skills in Your Managers

Technical skills in employees usually stand out, and in most cases, they form the basis of promotions into managerial positions.

However, the best leaders must have above average soft skills, which prove beneficial for problem-solving, delegating and motivating employees.

Chinese military general Sun Tzu outlines these five attributes in his philosophy on how to be a great leader, all of which must work in tandem with one another:

  • Intelligence
  • Humaneness
  • Trustworthiness
  • Courage
  • Discipline

Without proper manager training on these important soft skills, a company cannot bring out the best in their employees.

Offer Leadership Training Programs

As a business, you can transform your business by enrolling your managers in leadership training programs covering both knowledge and practical leadership skills and abilities.

With leadership training, a company can effectively bridge the gap between the type of organizational culture leaders believe they are creating and the type of culture they want to create.

Understanding how actions affect people who rely on them, directly and indirectly, is the key difference between effective and ineffective leaders

Leadership programs give managers feedback on how their actions affect their subordinates and guide them on the actions and steps they can take to address areas that need prompt attention.

Once again, a customized learning management system can come in handy for teaching managers different types of leadership (inspirational, transformational, transactional) and help them identify the type of leader they can be.

They can practice these new skills on a one-on-one basis with their subordinates, periodically checking back on the learning management system to see what progress they are making.

The LMS can also be integrated for group learning solutions, which enhance collaborative learning between managers and their subordinates.

This important strategy of having learners work together in groups in order to tackle a common task is excellent for eliminating the monotony of traditional classroom training models. Not to mention the time, scheduling and cost benefits.

Online training means everyone can learn and collaborate at their own pace, on any device and even while commuting, which minimizes disruption from ongoing work.

Technology is the next frontier for smart businesses. World Manager can help you polish up on your existing goals and best practices by creating the right training and communication platform to suit your company’s needs.

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Disclaimer: This information is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor World Manager will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this information.

The best companies use World Manager to train staff, maintain standards, and set the company up on the road to success.