Management training courses: do new managers need them, and why?
If you’re a new manager reading this – congratulations! Your company has spotted your potential and believes you’re going to do a great job.
But unless you’re supremely confident, you’re probably wondering when HR is going to send you on a manager training course. And if you’re in HR, you’re probably weighing up the financial pros and cons of offering management training opportunities to your newbies and also more experienced managers.
There are some pretty scary statistics out there about management training courses. The US Bureau of Labor found that companies with under a hundred employees provides just 48 minutes of management training every six months. Those with 100-500 employees offered a princely 54 minutes of management training every six months. Why? Cost was the reason most often cited.
Writing in Forbes online, management guru Victor Lipman said: “I’ve never completely understood why senior management, who’s presumably come up through the management ranks and knows something about the challenges of the biz, can be so willing to save a few dollars by eliminating training.” His view is that in different situations, good managers could be required to be “a coach, a policeman, a psychologist or a diplomat. None of which are similar.”
To put it another way: “Employees leave a manager, not a company.”
That’s why you need people management training: but what kind of manager training course do you need?
One option – particularly if the manager has been in post for a while – is to take the opportunity of conducting a 360 degree feedback survey to identify areas of development based on views of your staff, peers and line manager.
Clearly this approach has some risks. If there are real deficiencies, leaving a new manager to flounder for months on end can be damaging not only for the team, but the individual concerned. They may get into bad habits, alienate those they manage and become demoralised when it’s not working.
Unless the new manager is a natural – and after seven decades of experience, here at Roffey Park we believe leaders and managers are made not born – they will naturally benefit from some initial manager training courses. Aspiring managers training or training for new supervisors and managers is good for everybody, as most HR professionals would argue.
Can management training save your organisation money?
There’s a fascinating bit of research done by Choi and Dickson, published in 2009 in the Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality and Tourism, looking at the benefits of management training programmes on hotel employee turnover and satisfaction levels.
The goal was people management training – specifically, improvement of managers’ performance in their HR responsibilities.
“The study result shows that the enhanced quality and rigor of the company’s training programs for its managerial workforce significantly increased employee satisfaction level and consequently reduced the turnover rate. The reduction in overall employee turnover rates both for part-time and full-time employees were significant despite the post-9/11 economic factors that may have influenced the employees’ intention to depart.”
Managers were given the skills to become good interviewers, which meant they made better recruitment decisions. They were made more accountable for hiring and turnover, and were given a matrix to help them analyse applicants’ suitability for the job they wanted. “The study result shows that the enhanced quality and rigor of the company’s training programs for its managerial workforce significantly increased employee satisfaction level and consequently reduced the turnover rate. The reduction in overall employee turnover rates both for part-time and full-time employees were significant despite the post-9/11 economic factors that may have influenced the employees’ intention to depart.”
“This study suggests a model for HR practitioners to follow that will enable them to measure and demonstrate the ROI of their management training programs. If training managers about the hiring process, interview skills, and 21st century workplace issues can create a drop in employee turnover as seen in this study, it should be replicated in hospitality properties of all sizes and types.”
What training should new supervisors and managers receive?
Victor Lipman says good managers are always good communicators. His other mantra for new managers is that their goals for staff should be clear and as much as possible, measurable.
Those are great fundamentals, but only a starting point for management training courses.
Obviously, good HR professionals will look at the manager as a person before arranging training. How long have they been in post? What is their career history? How long have they been in a management role? What are their skills? What are their challenges?
As a manager, too, it pays to be honest with yourself about where you need help but even that may not tell the whole story of the management training opportunities which would benefit you.
To quote then US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from 2002: “There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
That’s why at Roffey Park we offer a two-day Essential Management Skills course. We believe that whether you are new to line management or an experienced manager, people management is often the most challenging aspect of the role.
We also believe that each of us can develop effective management skills but we will do this in our own way. Our manager training courses explore a range of methods, models and approaches that enhance your people management skills
What could you get from our manager training courses?
In two days at our London Gatwick base, we’ll give an overview of people management tools and techniques that participants can apply to the context of their role and organisation, with practical sessions designed to enable participants to experiment with new techniques in a supportive environment.
Our course works for both newly appointed line managers who want to grow their knowledge of management and understand how to manage people successfully, and experienced line managers who would like the opportunity to reflect upon and further develop people management skills.
It’s not just about management but leadership, tools and techniques to manage your self and others, greater self-awareness and confidence, the skills and knowledge to handle conflict and manage difficult conversations.
We can also run this training as an in-house course for six or more, or offer other customised solutions.