58% of managers say they didn’t receive any management training. 

Let that sink in for a minute.

All too often, new managers are promoted because they were good at what they did in their past role. They met quotas, achieved the highest CSAT score, or were the most seasoned member of their team. Sure, they’re top performers, but that doesn’t mean they have what it takes to successfully fulfill the responsibilities and tasks of a manager. In fact, 26% of managers said they weren’t ready to become a leader when they started managing others and another study found that 60% of new managers struggle or fail in their first two years. In reality, there are a bunch of managers who aren’t ready to lead and even worse, didn’t get the leadership training they needed to help their team succeed.

Why new manager training is important

We’ve all seen the impact that poor leadership can have on a team or company. Poor management leads to underperformance, disengagement, and high turnover. A Harvard Business Review survey reveals that 58% of people say they trust a stranger more than their own boss. Yikes. If that isn’t a sign that it’s time for a change, we don’t know what is.

On average, there are more than two million people stepping into management roles for the first time every year. There’s no better time for companies to shift their perspective on training. Gone are the days when training was just for new employees. For new managers and their teams to Do Better Work, companies need to create and deliver management training programs that prepare managers for the challenges they will face and the skills they will need in their new role.

3 management training topics

While every company’s management training plan should be designed with their team of leaders in mind, there are a few foundational new manager training topics that all teams should include in their program. Let’s take a closer look at three of our favorite topics for training sessions.

Understanding and establishing goals

Great managers understand company goals, then establish their department’s goals to align with business objectives. While it’s important that every employee has a clear understanding of company goals, new managers, in particular, should receive in-depth training about the implications of every strategic goal. Training for managers and supervisors provides the insight needed to create specific, measurable, attainable, and relevant goals that impact the company’s bottom line.

Giving feedback

Everyone makes mistakes, but a manager provides constructive feedback so that team members can learn from their mistakes. New managers must become experts at giving feedback in a way that builds employees up, rather than bringing them down. New manager training courses give new managers tips and tricks to provide effective, specific, and honest feedback that encourages growth and development.

Coaching employees

In addition to offering feedback, managers need to provide effective coaching. While new managers may have received coaching in their prior role, it takes a new set of knowledge and skills to successfully coach others. Managers with great coaching skills can help improve employee performance, increase engagement, and boost job satisfaction—all of which are essential to building a great team.

5 important skills for first-time managers

Tailored new manager training is necessary because the role requires a different set of skills. In addition to the management training topics listed above, successful managers need to be equipped with a brand new set of knowledge and skills. Here are five traits and skills to include in your new manager checklist for training.

Communication skills: Great managers are great communicators. Known as one of the most important soft skills, effective communication is critical to building strong relationships and providing effective feedback.

Listening skills: Sometimes, an employee just wants to be heard by their manager. Active listening means managers focus on employees by avoiding distractions, not interrupting the discussion, and avoiding misunderstandings.

Delegation skills: New managers quickly realize they can’t do everything. New managers need training that equips them with the skills to share expectations and delegate tasks to ensure the team is productive. Teams work best—and achieve the most—when they know exactly what is expected of them.

Emotional intelligence: Great managers also possess high levels of emotional intelligence. While this may be an inherent trait in some managers, others can also develop their people skills through dedicated training and practice. This includes practicing empathy and learning how to work with different personalities.

Developing others: A great manager cares deeply about their employee’s career development. New manager training should share ways that managers can encourage their team members to improve skills and seek new opportunities for growth.

By no means is this a complete list of new manager training topics and skills. It’s important to assess your new manager’s current skill set, identify gaps, and create training that addresses the needs of our team. Lessonly’s manager training manual template is a great resource to develop a detailed manager training program outline. Click here to start building your new manager training plan.

Benefits of online management training

New manager training comes in many different shapes and forms. Our favorite manager training features a blended approach that includes in-person and online training. This combination gives new managers the opportunity to connect and learn with one another while accessing online management training programs to reinforce newly learned skills. The best online management courses give managers the chance to learn at their own pace in a consistent and engaging way. Here are just a few of the reasons why we love online leadership training:


New managers are busy. They have team meetings, 1:1’s, planning sessions, and so much more. This makes it difficult to schedule lengthy in-person manager training sessions. With online management classes for new managers, each person can take a course at a time that’s convenient for them. They can also space out the training program so that it doesn’t interfere with busy times for your business, like the end of a quarter or around the holidays.

Available on-demand

In addition to flexible learning, online management training gives managers the opportunity to learn anytime, anywhere. This is extremely beneficial when a new manager needs an answer or guidance at a specific moment. New manager training courses offer quick, personalized, and effective training that’s relevant to their day-to-day tasks or challenges. This resource empowers managers to receive guidance and minimize wasted time by looking for the answers somewhere else.


Online management training gives every single leader and new manager the opportunity to take the same course and learn the exact same thing. If some managers attend training that’s delivered by one instructor and the rest of the new managers attend training that’s facilitated by someone different, there’s a chance they may walk away misaligned and with different skills. This means that consistency from manager to manager may vary and cause confusion for team members. The best online management courses teach everyone the same foundational skills and knowledge they need to succeed.

Continuous learning

New manager training is not a one-time thing. New managers need to have the opportunity to learn and grow in their roles over time. Online management training gives managers the chance to continuously hone their new skills to become an even better manager. Additionally, managers can refresh and practice those newly learned skills anytime as they progress down the management career path.

Deliver online management training

Our training and coaching software empowers new managers with the skills they need to be effective leaders. Lessonly by Seismic’s online training software is purpose-built so managers can unlock the knowledge they need—for both themselves and their team members. Learn more about our team learning software by taking a demo today.