By Wayne Smith, Trüpp.

The face of your company

I have a friend who worked for a local bank that has a stellar reputation for being a great employer. My friend was well respected in the company as an exceptionally fast and efficient loan processor; however, her direct supervisor was a micromanager that created an unpleasant work environment for her team. 

My friend loved this bank. She loved their values, their hip reputation, and was very happy with the benefits and perks they provided; yet, she was so miserable with the working conditions that it spilled over into her personal life. Eventually, she made a lateral move to a smaller company, for a little less money. She now works with a close-knit team, has received many accolades and promotions, and her new company is reaping the benefits of her skills, hard work, and loyalty.

Good for my friend, right? Not so much for the bank she used to work for. Your managers contribute the greatest influence to your employees’ experience with your organization. Yet, a recent survey found about half of employees are dissatisfied with their direct supervisor. Clearly, many employers are not recognizing the significance of this critical role.

Establish a new manager training program

So what’s an employer to do? First, we must recognize that leadership skills and performance skills are not at all related. Just because someone excels at their job, doesn’t mean they’ll be a good manager—instinctively. We can’t expect our supervisors to succeed in their role if we don’t equip them with the tools they need to manage effectively. Supervisors must gain good communication skills and obtain tools to facilitate productivity despite changing business needs and diverse employee personalities and skillsets. They’ll need to acquire the finesse to provide frequent feedback and contend with employee issues that may arise. Finally, they need to be aware of relevant employment laws and ensure a safe work environment.

That’s a lot of skills that few people possess on their own. Establishing a consistent supervisor training program that covers all the bases eliminates gaps and provides a valuable foundation for developing effective managers.

Consider external management training resources

In addition to internal training, many organizations are discovering the value of leveraging external expertise when providing supervisor training.

Is it Comprehensive?

A program that includes external training resources builds upon your in-house expertise. By providing the flexibility to pick and choose trainers and topics that align with your organization’s needs, you can establish a consistent foundation of management skills along with advanced or elective sessions that enable managers to engage in topics of particular relevance or interest.

Is it Efficient?

By utilizing external resources, there is less disruption to your organization’s day to day workflow. The reduced impact on internal resources, competing demands, and schedules saves time and enables leaders to continue focusing on their primary responsibilities. While your new managers are being trained, productivity stays on course, without missing a beat, and internal manager training is focused on organizational goals and actual work procedures.

Is it Dynamic?

When your supervisor training is entrusted to third-party qualified professionals, managers have the opportunity to interact with managers from other organizations and industries. In the process, they discover common challenges and proven techniques to resolve them. Trainers approach the adult learning process without assumptions or bias about attendees, consequently, managers feel more comfortable sharing challenges they are facing in their current role and environment.

The importance of the role your supervisors play in your organization cannot be overstated. Good managers keep employees engaged, on course, and productive. Whether using internal or external training resources, investing in their success ensures that you retain your top performers and that your employees have a consistent experience with your company values and culture.