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Introduction To Management Training   

This reading introduces you to management training as a way for companies of all sizes and stages of growth/development to improve performance.

Achieving results in the workplace is a proven path to business success. If a company is to invest scarce resources into improving, it should seek lasting results. Whether these results are measured in terms of profit, growth, return on investment, customer satisfaction rating, etc., in today’s highly competitive and changing marketplace companies need to seek improvement on a continuing basis. 

Management Training Learning point: Companies should seek lasting results through a program of continuous improvement. 

How can you achieve the most benefit from your efforts? That is the purpose of our overall program.

This introduction addresses management training in the context of improving a company’s performance. Other skill training areas also are important, as is the need for a continuing assessment of the organization’s policies, procedures and processes, and adapting them to the its evolving culture and enabling technologies.

Management Training - A Search For Lasting Value

What makes the best organizations in the world the “best”? The Gallup organization recently published research based on 25 years of research involving interviews with over a million employees and eighty thousand managers.  The answer: the world’s best organizations have the best managers. (See the Gallup Organization's path to organizational success here and also visit here for other research results). 

The Gallup research established what we all know from experience: good workers join organizations because of an organization’s reputation; but they leave them because of their immediate manager.  Indeed, good employees will decide very quickly after joining a new organization whether the will remain with that organization beyond a year or so. 

Management Training Learning point:  Good employees leave their managers.  So, if a company wants to improve employee retention, its managers need to perform at a higher level. 

Other than produce better bottom line results, what is it that these best managers do that distinguishes them from the rest of the crowd? They exercise certain skills (core competencies) which allow them to help those working for them perform at a higher level of achievement.  

Here are the questions the Gallup organization used to develop its findings:

1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?

2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?

5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?

8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important?

9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?

10. Do I have a best friend at work?

11. In the last six months, have I talked with someone about my progress?

12. At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?

Manager activities can be derived from the results. The best managers helped keep their direct reports focused on the company’s goals and direction, worked with and through others, and – perhaps most importantly -- took the responsibility for the development of their direct assigns.

Management Training Learning point: The best managers maintain focus on company goals, work with and through others, and assume responsibility for the development of their own people. 

The following presents a crosswalk between key manager skill areas and corresponding activities:

Review Core Competency related Training Courses from a leading online training program.

Table1   Table2

How do managers develop the skills necessary to become successful? In fact most managers become managers like we become parents – one day we are one. Indeed, most who arrive in the management ranks have little, if any, formal training in management skills.  And because the skills required to be successful as a manager are not the same skills that get a person into management, it behooves all companies to have a program that develops, maintains and sharpens the skills of its managers. 

What are the characteristics of an effective management training program? We now have considerable evidence that the programs that yield the best results (produce the best managers) are comprehensive (cover the core managerial competencies), are continuous (not one-shot occurrences), are given in small doses and are spread throughout the organization through its managers. 

Management Training Learning point: An effective management training program must be comprehensive, continuous, given in small doses and spread throughout an organization through its managers. 

This is considerable evidence to support these characteristics. We know that real learning in management rests is the process of doing, not the act of preparing to do. We term this learning process “manangement by showing them how.” 

Small dose learning – or measured development – has evolved over time from the experiences of practitioners who have been unable to validate results from traditional instructor-led programs.  Such "soft skills" management and supervisory training produced little – indeed if any -- measurable lasting changes in manager behavior.  

Management Training Learning point: Traditional training methods fail to produce changes in manager skills.

Various authorities like Rogers, Skinner, Miller, Simon and Warfield, had formed similar conclusions in their studies of Adult Learning. The reason that traditional approaches fail is because: 

1.   Learning occurs in small doses (measured development).

2.   Assimilation requires time and practice.

3.   Learning must be reinforced and built upon.

4.   Learning must be measurable both quantitatively and qualitatively over time.

5.   Learners must assume responsibility for their own learning.

Management Training Learning point: Successful adult learning results when participants assume responsibility for their own learning, it comes in small doses, is applied and reinforced over time and is measurable. 

There is increasing evidence of the successful application of these principles to corporate manager training. Research documents long lasting results from "just  enough" training administered by managers and supervisors to their work teams. And, another article "Building Better Bosses" in the May 2000 edition of Workforce Magazine documents another successful program involving continuous training which achieved measurable results (  enter the article title "Building Better Bosses" in the "Search" field on the left, then Log In (free)-- clicking the "here" for new member registration).

In summary, if your existing management training program does not measure up to what we have presented, then your organization is not achieving at its optimum level. Everyone benefits when a company’s managers are exercising the skills, techniques and tools which are used by the world’s best managers. Good employees and managers can use these skills to help themselves and their companies reach for the top. 

Management Training Learning point: If your organization’s program does not measure up, now is the time to act. 


Other Related Pages/Sites

Find articles about training, leadership and other related topics Click here to visit
Find information about online learning systems supporting the approaches outlined above. online-education.html


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Richard Dowell
President, Best Managers on the Net

We are an internet business consulting company dedicated to helping good managers and their companies prosper by reaching for the top.  We help companies use technology to improve business results.

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