Training managers is important and should be incorporated into standard business operations, regardless of the size of the company. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, we see the same thing happen with this… manager training is completed for the managers, it’s a one-time training and then it’s a “cross your fingers and hope something clicks” and that they are automatically better managers of the teams they are responsible for!
Does that sound familiar? Offering coaching, training, and leadership sessions to managers but nothing changes. There are still high turnover rates, low morale, or an overall lack of engagement. That is typically due to managers not managing in a way that is fair, equitable, representative of the company, or provides value to employees. Even with all of that, instead of determining if the manager is truly a match for a managerial role and/or potentially moving them to a non-managerial role, we continue to train them and hope for the best.
There’s a better way. Keep reading.
Some people are not good managers and honestly, not everyone even wants to be a manager. They might be very good at their job and excel in their career but end up not doing well in a manager role. That doesn’t make them bad employees. They just don’t know how to be good managers of other people, and that’s okay! As business owners, it’s important to understand that not everyone is a good manager no matter how much training they receive.
Some people don’t want to be managers, but they feel that they have to become a manager to grow in their position or to make more money. This does not have to be true. Growth within a position and within a company can happen without making the manager role the next step. Think about skills, and goals, and other roles (i.e. training, new hire lead, industry information specialist) that the employee can engage in that provides value and allows them to elevate and find purpose but does not require them to supervise people. Remove the manager role from the position. Create a job description for the role and a separate description for the manager role, then there is no confusion on what the expectations are of either role.
Also, let’s think about it in another way. Let’s think about the fact that “all employees are leaders”. All employees lead in some way, shape or form. Maybe they are the employee with the most company knowledge, or the employee with the most historical industry knowledge, or perhaps they are the employee that connects the best with the new employees. All employees within a company have a role that leads and influences others in some capacity, so it would be reasonable to provide them with training too.
If all employees are leaders to some extent, then providing them with training and tools to equip them to continue to build on their managerial and leaderships skills, but also to better work with their current manager, will ease the transition for everyone as they grow into their role as a manager of people.
As you provide training, tools, and space for employees to flourish, you will begin to see a shift. A shift in people who want to be managers. They have had the opportunity to explore different facets of leadership, they’ve been able to do some self-exploration, and now they are able to share interest, or lack of interest, in becoming a manager based in knowledge and training.
This is a win-win for the company and employees because:
1. New managers already have the leadership skills. They would only then need support and guidance on any company specifics related to a management role. The manager role expectations are clear, and the employee is clear in their role.
2. There are people identified who want to be managers versus making people step into a role that may not be ready for, or don’t want.
3. Employees are all receiving skills that, over time, can create change. Whether it’s through difficult conversations, communication, or self-exploration, employees are bettering themselves and in turn bettering the company.
Shift your mindset for one year. See what happens. You might surprise yourself and better yet, the employees might surprise you!