4 Steps to Improve New Manager Training

4 Steps to Improve New Manager Training
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Do You Need to Improve New Manager Training?

It is not easy to find an organization that does not want to improve new manager training.  Why are so many leaders disappointed in the impact of their new manager training?

Managers are Being Asked to do More
To increase productivity and speed up decision making, most companies have flattened their organizational structure giving their managers wider responsibility over more employees.

Management Practices Matter
According to a recent Harvard Business Review Study and research by McKinsey, the most enduringly successful companies, those delivering a 10-fold return to investors over a ten year period, excel at management practices.

Spending on Management Development Remains High
According to Deloitte, the number one area of training spending (35%) is management and leadership.

Manager Performance is Not Meeting Expectations
Senior executives and nonexecutive managers are unhappy with the performance of their companies’ frontline managers. According to McKinsey:

  • Nearly 70% of senior executives are only “somewhat” or “not at all satisfied” with the performance of their companies’ frontline managers.
  • A stunning 81% of frontline managers are not satisfied with their own performance.

What’s Wrong with Training Designed to Get New Managers Ready to Manage?
Effective new manager training has to deliver far more than what can be learned by spending a day or two in a classroom. It requires commitment, planning, customization, and follow-through.

Four Steps to Improve New Manager Training
Here is the advice we give our clients who are determined that their new manager training will have a significant and lasting impact on their business.

  1. Ensure Business and People Relevance
    It all begins with ensuring that management development is highly relevant to new managers, their bosses, and the company as whole compared to all the other priorities on their plates.  This creates the buy-in, commitment, and perspective required to get it right.

    Begin with a clear and compelling corporate strategy. What are the business and people priorities over the next one-to-three years?  Then explicitly identify where new managers fit into that overall plan with your key stakeholders.

    You will know you are on the right path when you can articulate how upskilling new managers will directly impact one of the top strategic priorities.

  2. Identify the New Manager Scenarios that Matter Most
    Once you have created overall strategic relevance, your next step is to define the handful of management scenarios, that if performed consistently well, would make the biggest difference to the people and to the business.

    For example, if your strategy calls for putting customers first and foremost, you need to understand the management skills needed at the most important customer moments of truth.  Then management skill building and coaching can be focused on those situations, challenges, and scenarios.

  3. Treat Management Development as an Ongoing Process, Not a One-Time Training Event
    If you want to truly change on-the-job behavior and performance, accept that training and development will be an ongoing change initiative, not a one-time event. Learning comes slowly at first. Be patient but stay focused.
  4. Create Transparency and Accountability
    Set up systems that measure training outcomes, share progress, and celebrate success. As with any effort, follow-through is a necessary ingredient for success.

The Bottom Line
Do not be satisfied with management training programs unless they address the specific situations, skills, and behaviors that align with your strategy, reflect the context in which your employees operate, and are fully supported by leadership.

To learn more about how improve new manager training, download  3 Steps to Building a Smarter Training Initiative – One that Gets Business Results

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