What is the best way to launch your supervisor training program?
Many of our clients ask us to help train their front-line supervisors on how to be more effective leaders. This is truly one of our favorite kinds of projects because helping supervisors and other mid-level management be more effective is very gratifying. Not only does it help managers become more confident and better at doing their jobs, the payoff for the organization [and its customers / clients] is huge.
What is the best way to get started? It depends. If there is a very specific need that the organization has identified, addressing that first is a great place to start. But many times there is an undefined sense that training is needed but you cannot quite put your finger on what is missing. We often hear things like, ‘our supervisors aren’t good at giving feedback’, or ‘our managers don’t solve problems but pass them up to senior management to solve’. When you are having a hard time getting started, here are some ideas that might help you:
- What kinds of traits or behaviors are important for your employees or managers to possess? Is effective communication important? Problem solving? Customer service? If these are important skills and you are not sure all managers are up to speed on them, they can be a great place to start your work.
- How well do your managers and supervisors use the employee handbook as a resource? We often think in very employee-centric terms when it comes to the handbook but it can be a really useful tool for supervisors when working through employee issues. Many of our leadership development programs start off with a review of the employee handbook and how it can help the supervisor be more effective. Not only does this help the manager do their job better, a workshop gives them a way to discuss common challenges they experience and share solutions.
- What are the top 3 to 5 employee challenges your supervisors have? Looking back on the kinds of issues you have addressed over the past year or so, or simply polling them to see what is on their minds, you can come up with some common challenges and develop workshops to address them.
Supervisor training can be one of the best investments an organization makes in its people. Mid-level managers become more confident when addressing employee issues. They solve employees’ problems effectively. They learn how to coach people and help them in their careers. All of this helps you, your organization, and your customers.