Gaps in First-Time Manager Training

There are an incredible number of demands on the adult worker today. These demands leave only about 1% of a typical workweek available for training and development—that’s about 25 minutes a week! Some of the fault rests with the technology that’s supposed to make life easier. It also makes us more available to an overload of demands and responsibilities.

That same technology, however, presents an opportunity to utilize those 25 minutes in a new way. Before we talk about that, however, let’s quickly discuss how most training works now.

Generally, training on how to be an effective manager is non-existent. When it does exist, it’s usually online and on-demand, which is great for working it into a busy day, but it’s also usually something that just allows you to “check the box” that you offered something. It doesn’t change or improve behavior. Here’s why:

  • It lacks specific tools that reinforce key skills.
  • It lacks activities that help learners integrate the new skills into their day-to-day.
  • There’s no coaching aspect that addresses the individual needs of each learner.
  • There’s no relationship to the real world, through either real-life scenarios, or discussions where learners share their experiences.
  • It’s a one-time event with unrealistic expectations: ”Take this one-hour course, and you’ll be able to perform the skill on the job!”

This kind of “hey, we offered something!” training does more harm than good. Learners who seek out training to improve effectiveness in their new role do so because they actually want to succeed. Giving them ineffective training can be demotivating, as well as being worthless.

Now that we’ve talked about how bad most training is, let’s talk about what you can do about it. When you’re searching for or thinking about developing a program for your new managers, look for a program that includes:

  • Downloadable resources and tools that learners practice using during the training, and afterward on the job. This provides handy job aids to transition new skills to the real world.
  • Lots of practice activities to get them using their new skills on the job. Scenario-based activities within the courseware enable learners to practice new skills in a safe environment. Supplementing those with activities where learners collaborate with their teams, and reflect on the experiences with other course members or a coach, help to further transfer the new skills onto the job.
  • Coaching. Find a program that provides coaching interactions between the facilitator and the learners, and offers additional guidance to the learners’ managers on helping learners adopt their new skills. New managers shouldn’t feel alone while they’re learning their jobs!
  • Learning experiences, not a solitary learning event. A new manager isn’t “created” after a one-hour eLearning course. It happens over time. Look for a program that supports learners as they flex their new manager “muscle.”

Don’t let your new managers fall into the gaps left by poorly-developed management training. Give them the support they need with a training program developed with all these considerations in mind.

Our New Manager Jump Series provides learners with a cohort of other new managers to learn with, one-on-one coaching with the course facilitator, relevant practice activities and on-the-job skills application assignments, and an abundance of resources to reinforce key supervisory skills. Take a look at one of our most helpful resources for first-time managers. Download our FREE time management strategy worksheet today!