Managers are a vital element in the structure of a company. They are the building blocks that connect the strategic board or managing director with the tactical customer-facing employees. Great managers bridge the gap between the C-suite and the shop floor, to ensure communication flows both ways and the business runs effectively.
One of the key responsibilities of a manager is to promote staff personal development through training. Training is an essential part of an innovative team, as without it employees’ skills become outdated and competitors can gain an edge when it comes to innovation.
However, there is more to training than just ensuring your staff have the skills necessary to keep up with the evolving market. Training has been found to increase employee morale and motivation. Investing in training someone – if it is carefully selected rather than perfunctory – can be a huge indicator that the company values that person and their contribution. For that reason it boosts morale, motivation and staff loyalty.
Great managers know this, and look for ways to mentor and coach their team members by providing training that builds on their strengths and reduces the impact of their weaknesses.
But, while managers recognise the importance of training for their team, they rarely invest in training for themselves. And this is important: Managers are the glue that holds an organisation together, so failing to train these vital cogs could result in a management team low on morale and less open to innovation than the teams they manage.
If you’re a manager ask yourself, in the last year how many days – or more likely how many hours – did you spend learning or taking training? The answer is usually frighteningly low.
This is something we experience first-hand. We’ll find many companies are willing to invest in Business Improvement training for their employees, but not key management staff. Or, just as often, the management are expected to take training but can never find the time between their existing job requirements. As a result, the staff that have been trained find it challenging to complete their projects in a management climate that has no experience or understanding of what a Lean Six Sigma implementation will look like.
Projects face delays or are cancelled completely as managers do not see the benefit, mainly because they have not received the relevant training themselves.
Investing in the training of management, or insisting on taking training if you are a manager yourself, can have a huge ripple effect on the rest of the business. Not only can it improve the outcomes of training delivered to teams, but it can also make managers more effective and adaptable in their role.
Lack of time is not an excuse. Managers must make time and prioritise their own professional development, both to improve the success of the company, the morale of their team and their own career progression.
If you’d like to learn more about how to be an effective manager, why not take a look at our infographic exploring some top management productivity tips. Or to take your first step to improve your personal development, contact us today on 0800 066 3749.