5 Factors of Effective Management Training
In many small to midsize businesses, HR is responsible for training managers, or leading the leaders. It can be a daunting task at times, but it also makes sense since HR is uniquely positioned to see across teams and up the org chart. But what, exactly, should ongoing management training look like? To answer that question, here are five factors of effective management training.
This article is part of a series on HR Leadership. Read more here.
1. Dedicated Training Days
Be intentional about planning for management training. HR should set aside 3-4 days a year—possibly once per quarter, with some flexibility in your busiest season—and dedicate the entire day to coaching and training your managers.
This provides them with plenty of time, free from distraction, where the entire management team can focus solely on reflecting on and improving their performance.
If you don’t schedule planning days early—or if you don’t dedicate the whole day—then it’s almost guaranteed that your managers will have plenty of responsibilities and appointments competing for their time.
2. Introducing and Reviewing Best Practices
It’s likely you have a mix of new and experienced managers at your organization, but either way, everyone benefits from introducing new best practices and reviewing established ones. Even the most experienced managers have areas where they may be a little rusty.
If you haven’t already, HR should develop a Manager Manual that compiles best practices— including how-to guides, compliance concerns, and communication templates. Make the document available to managers as soon as they’re hired or promoted, and update it regularly as needed. Your Manager Manual makes an excellent reference for corporate training days and for individual manager coaching.
3. Roleplaying Scenarios
Since a manager’s job is managing people, training days should include opportunities to learn and practice interpersonal skills. Roleplaying a variety of scenarios gives everyone a chance to sharpen their skills and receive feedback from others.
Some suggested scenarios for roleplay include:
- An employee wants their manager to change their responsibilities.
- An employee wants their manager to change their compensation.
- A disgruntled employee is bringing down their colleagues, and their manager needs to intervene.
- An employee is not aligned with or actively undermining the team’s mission statement.
The goal of roleplay is to identify better ways to address situations like the ones above. It’s possible that someone new to the management team sees a solution that no one has thought about or tried in the past. Try it out in roleplay, and have the team reflect on its effectiveness. That’s the value in seeing how strategies play out in practice.
4. Team Plan Review
It’s also important to put everything into perspective in manager training. If your managers don’t know how their roles contribute to the organization’s larger goals, then how can you expect them to perform at their best?
During dedicated training days, HR can invite department heads to report on various aspects of the business. They can explain what’s working, what isn’t, and where their department stands compared to your yearly goals.
These team plan review sessions can be great ways to reset and refocus your efforts. Managers can learn from one another and ask questions to department heads to find out how they can help the organization meet its goals. It’s an opportunity to see how all the moving parts fit together.
5. Planning Sessions as Needed
Of course, not every company is structured the same way. So, you should use your own discretion in planning the focus and timing of your training sessions. You probably already have a few ideas in mind that would be especially helpful for your team.
To help you better plan for a year of manager training, write or revisit your mission statement, and conduct an HR audit to identify which goals you should target in management training. You may need to get creative with training day agendas, depending on your goals.
Remember, if manager training is targeted, relevant, and practical, your managers will become better leaders—which will make your job more efficient, your role more effective, and your company more successful.
For more on how to better plan for the new year— including how to write an HR mission statement, conduct an HR audit, and set HR goals—check out our BernieU course, “HR Prep 2022: How to Plan, Prepare, and Implement HR Strategies.” HR managers may also be interested in 5 Books Every Manager Should Read and 5 Essential Books for HR Professionals.
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