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Manager training plays a vital role in the performance and profitability of a company. It helps support the company's growth strategy, expand the skill set of its managers, drive employee engagement and retention, and improve overall productivity.
Thus, it's no surprise that a December 2009 survey of 131 Heads of HR from 124 midsized companies by the Corporate Executive Board's (CEB) HR Leadership Council identified that improving managers' capabilities at supervising their direct reports is their second-highest priority (following engaging and retaining employees).
Despite the significant impact manager training can have on a company, half of the 447 midsized companies who responded to CEB's HR Leadership Council's March 2010 Manager Training Survey do not have a formal manager training program in place. Of these companies, the majority (64 percent) cite 'lack of resources' as the largest roadblock that prevents incorporating a manager training program. Other roadblocks include 'complex training design process' (20 percent) and 'lack of support from top leadership' (15 percent).
As the economy recovers, companies are now planning to make manager training investments. According to CEB, Sixty-three percent of these companies plan to launch a manager training program in 2010 or 2011.
Through its best practice research and ongoing conversations with leading midsized companies, the HR Leadership Council at CEB recommends that companies take the following steps to create a leading manager training program:
1. Assess Needs & Set Priorities: Before initiating a training program, assess both "current" and "desired" levels of performance for key managers. Research indicates most midsized companies skip this step to save time and resources. However, proper needs assessment allows you to align available resources effectively and get better return on investments. Assess manager training needs by conducting focus group interviews or surveying managers and senior leaders.
2. Develop Content & Manage Delivery: Create a cost-effective, in-house strategy for developing content and delivering training using
Internal subject matter experts: Purchase generic training content from an outside vendor and have your best managers and functional experts customize the content for your organization. Have subject matter experts train other employees to create a pipeline of trainers within your organization.
Self-paced e-learning modules: Buy reusable, self-service training content like e-learning modules to save on logistic resources required for classroom training. Allow managers to take the training at their convenience.
3. Evaluate Results: Once training is complete, evaluate manager performance against priorities and objectives established in Step 1. Instead of using resource-intensive evaluation tools, use the following methods to evaluate the effectiveness of your training program:
Include questions on manager quality in annual employee surveys: Employee feedback on direct managers will provide insight into the efficacy of training.
After each training session, solicit feedback from participating managers: Evaluate overall training design, relevance of course content, and effectiveness of training delivery.
By following the steps detailed above, companies will be able to develop effective manager training programs so help support continued growth.
What the Best Companies Do™