This post was originally published on lessonly.com.
Approximately 2 million people become managers every year. Of those, around 50% claim that they have never received any form of managerial training. This is unfortunate because many managers have no leadership experience when they get promoted. Most companies and organizations tend to promote employees to managers because they excel at their tasks and responsibilities.
However, these tasks usually have nothing to do with overall leadership, which means expertise in their former role doesn’t actually indicate whether they will be a good manager. In fact, a surprising number of managers state that they weren’t ready to become a leader at the time of their promotion. Further studies show that up to 60% of managers fail within the first two years of their managerial position. That’s why you need management skills training for new managers.
The importance of leadership training for managers
Poor training leads to unskilled or ineffective managers, which can cause underperformance, disengagement, and high turnover. It can also instill feelings of mistrust, negativity, or even hostility in the workplace. In fact, a Harvard study shows that 58% of people would rather trust a random stranger from the street than their boss.
Every company should have a training plan for their managers or anyone in a leadership position. Furthermore, it should be designed and explicitly fine-tuned to be one of the best manager training programs that fit their unique leadership teams. Trying to force a leadership training program that doesn’t fit with your leaders will not help and it may make things worse. The wrong training program can decrease morale, further confuse your employees, or make them unwilling to take leadership roles.
Despite what many organizations think, first time manager training is arguably more crucial than onboarding training. Without proper managers, the onboarding process will go a lot less smoothly. If someone has never been in a leadership position before, tossing them in the deep end can make them feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and burnt out faster than if they had the proper training.
Leadership training topics
There is no one manager training program or set of manager training topics that will work universally, and, as previously stated, your manager training program should be uniquely customized to fit your leadership team. However, there are a few management skills for new managers that all corporations should have on their new manager training checklist.
Just kidding. The list isn’t that long.
1. Emotional intelligence
Managers need to be able to connect with the teams they are leading on a personal level. Emotional Intelligence enables them to create more connected teams and form bonds between themselves and team members. It also encourages them to form bonds with each other and enables them to inspire others to exhibit personal integrity, clear communication, and an overall positive attitude in the workplace.
2. Time management
When someone gets promoted to manager, they’ll be managing more than just teams of employees. They also need to manage time properly and schedule tasks in the most efficient and beneficial ways possible. In addition, they should be good at creating time for employees when they need one-on-one talks or have questions that need immediate answers.
3. Constructive criticism
While this is a skill that everyone should have at some level, it is vital for people who have been placed in a leadership role to understand. Employees need feedback to improve over time, but if all of the feedback they receive is harsh and discouraging, it can have significant negative effects. Managers need to be able to provide criticism in a way that shows the employees how to improve while still maintaining morale and a positive work environment.
4. Conflict resolution
Employees are going to have disagreements or strong opinions regarding one matter or another. It’s inevitable. However, if not handled properly, these incidents can be a giant setback for the company. A good manager can resolve a conflict without letting their opinions color their input or making employees feel like they’re taking sides. Once you’ve gotten past it, you can give yourself a pat on the back!
Communication is the cornerstone upon which all other basic managerial skills are built. When a manager has great communication skills, they are more likely to portray their criticisms accurately and less offensively, connect with employees, form a clear and concise schedule, and resolve conflicts in a way that doesn’t negatively impact anyone involved. It also allows those working under a manager to better understand what the manager expects of them.
Finally, a good leader should know how to hand out tasks to employees who are capable and trained enough to do them. They shouldn’t try to do everything that needs to be done by themselves, because it’s simply not possible.
Clearly, manager training is pretty important. However, designing and getting the training for those who need it can be more complicated than people realize. Fortunately, there are tools and resources available to help you. For example, if you’d like to build your manager training online, Lessonly by Seismic can help. Our training, coaching, and enablement software makes it easy to deliver essential leadership training to new managers and teammates alike. Get a demo to learn more.