The Complete Guide to Training Managers: How to Increase Productivity and Keep Your Staff Happy
Employees value training more than employers may realize. Some rank it higher than a salary boost, with 94 percent saying they’d stay with their organization if they invested more in learning and development (L&D). However, that just doesn’t apply to the staff. It’s equally true of management. It’s a wise business strategy, particularly if training managers to handle employees boosts productivity.
Organizations can benefit in other ways. Consider this statistic from the 2019 LinkedIn Workforce Learning Report. Forty-seven percent of learners training over 5 hours a week report feeling less stressed. It’s especially compelling, given that 57 percent of employees report feeling medium to high burnout. Never have the traits of a good leader been more critical for companies.
Are Managers Really That Different From Employees?
Investment in management training isn’t merely an afterthought. It’s imperative in today’s changing world. The numbers tell the story. The skill set required on the job changed by 25 percent from 2015 to 2021. This trend is expected to continue, with the figure jumping to 40 percent by 2025. Organizations must prioritize leadership training if they want to stay relevant and competitive.
It makes sense on many levels. Think of how many older adults had to embrace digital technology with the pandemic and its consequences. Consider how education segued into the virtual classroom. Businesses’ customers have evolved. So, too, must companies with manager training. These individuals are not any different from employees who have to stay current in their industry.
What's the Difference Between Management & Leadership?
While the words are often used interchangeably, management and leadership operate on different planes. Perhaps American business writer Tom Peter summed it up best when he said, “Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.” This definition also blurs the line between employees and managers. Both have similar roles in this regard.
Another crucial difference between management and leadership is that the former is learned while the latter is experienced. While leaders can be managers, managers are not necessarily leaders. Both may excel in hard skills or job-specific abilities, like industry certifications or computer proficiency. Leaders possess soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, active listening, and conflict resolution.
A leader’s journey is one of self-awareness to understand themselves better and to lead by example. They walk the talk. That makes them worthy of respect, which can go a long way toward building trust. It’s one of the best personality traits of a leader for this reason. When considering management vs. leadership, you must keep this difference a priority in training new managers.
The Role of a Manager in a Company
When thinking about what is a manager's role, one must equate it with execution. Leadership set the course. Management drives the bus along this roadmap, getting to the critical milestones along the way. Managers work directly with their reports to define their roles to reach an organization’s objectives and key results (OKRs) and key performance indicators (KPIs).
These individuals focus on the tangible aims. Ideally, they are the embodiment of the concept of SMART goals. That ensures everyone is on the same page and knows what success looks like to guide their actions and choices. The concept of what does a manager do you should focus on meeting the metrics that support accomplishing the goals.
In many ways, a manager is a coach as one of the main manager skills. They monitor the progress and right the ship if they stray from the organization’s objectives. They act as traffic cops, motivators, and problem-solvers along the way. That means keeping track of the metrics and their trajectories. They have the knowledge to realize when a milestone has dropped from being realistic within the timeframe.
Why Is It So Important for Managers to Be Trained, and What Are the Obstacles?
Training new managers is one of the most critical elements of leadership. A successful and confident leader knows they must delegate. It’s unrealistic to assume you can do everything. Therefore, management training focuses on specific tasks a new hire will handle and the best way to achieve them. L&D must include industry knowledge to understand the ecosystem and latitudes from which they work.
Undoubtedly, the hiring process will yield a pool of qualified candidates. However, that only scratches the surface. Manager training is also vital for teaching an individual an organization’s culture and their role in the team. Nevertheless, it’s equally important to nurture the leadership traits that will guide them to the next level once experience has taught them several vital and sometimes painful lessons.
Obstacles often exist because of a lack of awareness. Even companies in the same industry have different challenges, which only experience will reveal. That makes mentoring and coaching a vital part of training managers. It’s also essential to remember the workplace has changed. Empathy and mental well-being are imperative in today’s workplace. It’s worth noting only 33 percent of employees are engaged.
If you’re wondering why train your managers, remember that it has a direct impact on employee satisfaction and, consequently, attrition and the impact of quiet quitting.
5 Crucial Manager Training Emphasis Points That Generate Results
Managerial skills training is more than merely teaching new hires how to fill out the weekly spreadsheets. The goal is to make it a pathway to improved results that take advantage of the tailwinds propelling your organization forward. Leveraging how to be an effective leader can help you harness the benefits of these efforts.
Five crucial training points borrow a lot from leadership skills. It’s essential to keep them on your radar when training managers. The investment is worthwhile in the short and long term. It’s valuable for building teams with no arguments. That can make your workplace more enjoyable, which will help with engagement and job satisfaction. You’ll appreciate a more pleasant working environment.
When considering the best ways to train managers, you must keep your goals in mind. You should also focus on your organization’s shortcomings to conquer and learn from them. Every teaching moment is an opportunity. Emphasize ways to improve managerial skills to make the most out of them.
1. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence ticks off a lot of boxes. It’s essential to have a mature individual handle the challenges any managerial position will face. It empowers a person to respond effectively to internal and external effects. Therefore, it includes self and relationship management. A manager must stay in control of their emotions no matter what the stakes.
It also involves how you work with others in your organization. Personality conflicts exist. However, it behooves a manager to rise above them and view matters objectively. It takes a lot of courage to look in the mirror and find examples of where you need to improve. A wise person once said that what we don’t like in others are often things we don’t appreciate in ourselves.
2. Digital Proficiency
The pandemic put digital skills on the fast track. Customers gravitate toward organizations with an online and social media presence. If you’re not in the know, you’re on the fast track to obscurity. The flip side of that equation is the care you must take in communicating with your customers and prospective buyers. People have realized there is more than one avenue, no matter what the niche.
According to Emplifi, 88 percent of customers will move onto greener pastures after just two unpleasant experiences. Therefore, digital proficiency includes the social media landscape.
However, it’s also about how to train managers to be their team’s go-to for technical issues. They should understand any software your organization uses thoroughly to stand in as level-one support. Undoubtedly, your IT department has enough work on their hands dealing with cybersecurity. Increasing productivity means making the best use of your resources.
3. Time Management Skills
Teaching time management skills is where experience comes into play. Seasoned employees know the drill. They are well aware of the hurdles that typically accompany closing deals. After all, things rarely look the same in real life as they appear on paper. Therefore, it’s imperative to cover these timelines when training new managers.
If you’ve hired someone from a competitor, they likely have preconceived notions of the workflow. It usually isn’t the same across the industry. That makes covering the idiosyncratic details vital to bringing in new talent with the best information to help them succeed. That also involves the proprietary aspects of running a business that is unique to an organization.
4. People Management Skills
People management skills are one area where leadership often drops the ball. It’s also one of the most nuanced since it depends heavily on emotional intelligence and other soft skills. One of the main reasons people leave their jobs is a lack of respect. They don’t feel appreciated or acknowledged when they go the extra mile. Those emotions fuel resentment and quiet quitting.
It’s essential to train managers with this new reality on their radars. Mental well-being isn’t something to cast aside without considering the repercussions. Employees expect their organizations to prioritize it. They want empathetic management. If your company doesn’t embrace it, you risk losing staff and creating a negative corporate culture with workers who frankly don’t care about your success.
The takeaway is to listen to your people’s needs. Learn what motivates them to make training more effective and worthwhile. Listen to their needs for flexibility and ways to heal themselves from the burnout and stress of the pandemic and the changing workplace. It’s essential to strike a balance between cutting costs and making your staff happy.
It doesn’t mean micromanaging them to nickel and dime the production process. It also isn’t about docking employees for every extra minute they take on a break or vacation. It means letting your people have a vacation without work emails or conference calls when they’re supposed to be off the clock. The always-on work culture has to end if you want to retain your employees and keep them engaged.
5. Clear Communication
You don’t have to read too many business blogs to come across the importance of communication. All are cautionary tales for any organization that hopes to succeed. Everyone needs to understand the mission and the goal if a business will meet its goals. Too often, companies develop silos without communication between departments.
Everyone is striving for a goal, although it may not be the same one.
That failure falls squarely on management and leadership. No employee should ever question an organization’s mission or its end goal. It should be evident from day one what it expected and the path to achieving it. Whatever it takes, whether it’s a team building exercise online or company outing, there shouldn’t be any doubt.
This obstacle often occurs within silos and between leadership and management. The workforce is often left in the dark about the purpose of their work. Again, it’s a missed opportunity. People want to know they’re moving toward a goal. Do them a favor and let them know what it is. A motivated workforce is a powerful ally.
Conclusion: The Importance of a Quality Manager Training Program in Today's Business Climate
Developing a quality manager training program isn’t easy. It takes a lot of effort to figure out what your organization is all about to create something that moves you toward those goals. Kutsko Consulting can help you align your objectives with your employees’ career development paths and objectives. It involves a journey of self-awareness to learn what you want to achieve.
However, it’s time well-spent because it optimizes productivity and mental health benefits for your staff. Stress and burnout are realities that organizations can’t afford to ignore. You risk losing employees, staff morale, and engagement. Every organization should make quality manager training their highest priority because it sets the pace. Make it one for success and optimal productivity to grow your business.
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