The Modern Rules Of Management Training

by Mike O'Neill

Training tomorrow’s leaders is vital to your company’s success. Good managers create opportunities to help employees grow and advance, but to do that, they need to be equipped with the right tools and resources. The tools available for leadership and growth have transformed over the years, so the standards for management training need to evolve too, right?

Management training won’t be effective with a “one size fits all” approach. As a significant company investment, management training today needs to rely more on team building and development and less on following a training plan strictly by the book. 

Management training and development programs go beyond developing an employee’s skill set or furthering someone’s career. It’s also about helping a manager crush their business goals. When employees and managers team up to succeed, the company does as well. That’s something we can all get behind. 

As the years change, training practices should change, meaning that the training needs to be an ongoing process. How do we keep management training up to date with modern times? We’ve come a long way with technological advancements, learning management systems, and more, making it easier to foster a culture of ongoing learning and development opportunities for employees and managers alike. However, training goes beyond a desktop and training manual. Let’s look at some of the modern rules of management training.

Rule #1. Adopt the “Learning Sprint”

Traditionally, any employee or management training involves an inundation of information to trainees. It’s a lot being thrown their way all at once, and they’re expected to retain the flood of information throughout the duration of training. This can cause a lack of attention and retention of the information. They have all of the information, but are they able to act on it effectively?

Modernizing management training in the form of “learning sprints,” or small bits of information at a time presents opportunities within the training program. In delivering training content in micro-amounts, like short lessons, trainees are more likely to retain the information. This also allows for more time to practice what they are learning. 

So not only are we teaching new managers new skills, but we are also doing so with the intention that they will practice it in real time. This makes the information being delivered more manageable, less overwhelming, and more valuable through hands-on learning opportunities.


Rule #2. Provide One-on-One Support

Consider the situations we face throughout our lives where we’ve received support of some kind. When we are children, we rely on the support of parents for comfort, growth, stability, and so much more. As college students and those diving into the professional world, we rely on professors, mentors, parents, and others to guide us and provide support through the big changes happening in our lives. As new employees, we rely on our managers and trainers for support as we learn the ropes. So why should switching gears to management be any different? 

Forming a stable support model for managers-in-training is crucial to the development and growth of those managers into their new roles. Providing support in the form of weekly check-ins could make a huge difference. Aside from using the weekly meeting as a checkpoint for where an individual is in their training process and what they need to work on, these weekly meetings can also provide a bit of psychological encouragement for budding managers. 

Personalizing support during a career transition, especially for a manager-in-training that will likely carry heavier responsibilities, is crucial in the learning and development of your team as a whole. In providing these weekly meetings, you’re displaying both personal and professional support that will encourage them, reinforce their training, and help them stay committed to their goals. 

Keying in on the well-being of your managers (and team) will assist in how productive and profitable the company is as well. And while the initial stages of management training are important, ongoing one-on-ones with managers and team members will ensure continued success down the road.

Rule #3. Build New Habits

As a manager, your trainee may not be able to maintain the same old routines and habits that they’ve held up to this point. Employees are held to their own job title, responsibilities, learning path, and whatever engagement they choose to carry with others in the workplace. This shifts in a big way when it comes to management, so providing a training program that enables a manager trainee to build new habits in this leadership role is crucial.

Connecting and engaging with employees are new habits that managers will need to acclimate to both during and beyond training. It’s an ongoing effort to create an open work environment and offer opportunities for managers to get to know their team, what drives them, and how to support them. When management shows the initiative for conversation, the team will be more receptive, and everyone wins. 

As an employee, you’re responsible for yourself. As a manager, the focus shifts to being responsible for your team. Management requires building regular habits of employee check-ins and ongoing training, much like the support and ongoing development we would expect for our managers. 

Building healthy work habits, fostering an environment where career growth is possible, offering constructive feedback, and providing hands-on learning opportunities are habits a manager should adapt into their team’s routine. If your managers aren’t engaged and excited by what is to come, why should the rest of your team be? Keeping the team engaged relies on training managers to provide new opportunities and fresh perspectives. Those ideas are carried down through leadership via management training, so keeping your managers focused and encouraged is key.

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