As a manager, you are often evaluated on your team’s outcomes. And when your team is made up of trained employees with a few skills gaps, you will deliver greater outcomes. Most job candidates state that they want to work with a manager whom they can learn from, and this is a big factor when making an employment decision. From the perspective of a team member or prospective candidate, their manager is the most important person in the company.
With all of this in mind, managers should be a part of the training and learning process.
Managers who are actively a part of the learning process have the power to connect employees to the subject matter, and inspire them to learn. These managers can also better support the team’s workplace performance after training has been completed. They understand what the employee struggles with and what they have learned, and can assist empathetically when the employee begins to implement these new skills. These managers are also able to see what works and what fails in the learning process, allowing them to make training course adjustments when need be – ensuring all training goals are met effectively.
The biggest issue around this is that training takes up time, and most managers do not have training in their job responsibilities, which makes training a very low priority on a manager’s to-do list. However, there are ways to get managers involved in the training of their employees, ensuring results with minimal time investment.
Here are a few tips for managers looking to increase their team’s productivity, without giving up too much of their time:
Be vocal about your own training
The fact is that managers are expected to critique their employees, while employees spend a lot of time critiquing their managers. As a manager, you can take this mutual criticism and turn it into something positive. This is about developing self-awareness. This refers to having a complete understanding of your behaviour and the impact it has on your team.
You need to be honest with yourself and your employees. Swallow your pride and be vocal about the areas that you need to develop. Then you need to show your team that you are working to upskill yourself and are invested in making progress in your own performance. This will make all communication barriers crumble. Because of this your employees will be more open about their own issues, and be vocal about the progress that they need to make.
Filling your own learning gaps with the correct training is the first step to training your employees. Once you begin your own training, keep your employees up to date about your experience and the progress you are making. Employees will then become more amenable to improving themselves through training.
This kind of behaviour creates an organisational culture of learning.
Initiate an informal learning session
Once you can begin training your employees, it helps to start with informal training. You can do this by initiating conversation around a specific topic, ask employees to share their experiences, host a lunch and discuss important business issues and how to solve these problems. Essentially, share knowledge outside of a formal training environment.
Informal training is very beneficial as it ups the quality of conversation around streamlining processes, improving performance, and getting the required results. Through this process you will be able to gain insight and information around learning objectives that you need to reach. Then you can line up Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) to help you begin formal training courses.
Once your informal training gains momentum, you will have greater insight into the types of formal training that would be effective for your team. You need to consider the design, development, and delivery of the training yourself. By being closely involved in the training process, you will be able to keep your finger on the pulse of the team’s development.
There are a variety of ways to deliver your training. eLearning courses or online training is an excellent choice. This is where Learning Management Systems (LMS) come into play. With a professional LMS in place, you can turn your course content into a compelling and engaging online training course, complete with simulations, pop quizzes, chat rooms, and forums.
Gain feedback from your employees and make the necessary course adjustments. Review and refine your courses and work with an experienced LMS to help you create an interactive learning system, ensuring you reach your training goals effectively.