Overcoming the Top 5 manager training challenges

The Benefits of Online Management TrainingIt’s a fact:  20% of your managers will do well no matter what you do, 20% will fail no matter what you do, and the remaining 60% will do well if you do the right things.

In other words, the highest performers will succeed and the lowest will fail. But for the rest — which is actually 75% when you factor out the failures — good training makes a huge difference.

Trouble is the path to quality training is full of challenges.

Here are the five biggest manager training challenges, and some ideas on how to overcome them.

Challenge No. 1: Managers won’t participate

It sounds simple to think you can “order” a manager to participate and this challenge would be resolved. But not so fast. If a manager doesn’t engage, if he or she only goes through the motions but never participates in a meaningful way, the manager will absorb very little, and act on even less. Nothing gets better.

However, those aspiring to be better managers will engage on the topics they know they need to make them better! That’s the trick. The lure of the right topics will entice avid participation, much like people are drawn by the aroma of a good meal without ever having to actually see the food. Give managers what they truly desire training-wise, and they’ll stand in line for it.

Challenge No. 2: It doesn’t apply to the job

This is somewhat related to the first challenge, in that people will participate most when they can put the training into practice right away.  For instance, a manager might knock down your door to get helpful training on interviewing job applicants. But if that person doesn’t actually interview as part of the job, where’s the benefit? If there is no need to use the training, people quickly forget it.

Managers will improve most when you can mix and match objectives and topics.  (Bonus: A training set-up that allows a course to be ready and available for any manager at the time he or she most needs it, would be an ideal training program.)

Challenge No. 3: Training is boring

Any subject can be made interesting, and hence, any subject can also be made boring! Manager training is no exception.

The best training engages people through creative content and interactivity. Effective training is designed to put the learner in a position to interact with the subject matter as it is being presented and in the most meaningful way. Training in shorter doses also helps overcome boredom. Day-long training is almost always too long because very little is retained. Even sixty minutes is probably too long. Training experts says 20 minutes is about right. Any topic can be broken into 15 to 20 minute segments, and then immediately put into practice.

Challenge No. 4: No one has the time

“I don’t have the time” is the workplace mantra of this Millennium. But managers who want to grow and improve must find the time to do so. Sending your managers half way across the country to a three-day training seminar somewhere is a huge investment of time. What’s more, will they really come back having learned with what they needed to?

It’s reasonable to think that managers can make time for a 20-minute, engaging, interactive course that applies directly to what they are doing and is something they actually want to learn. That’s why so many organizations in recent years have turned to online training, where courses are available at the click of a mouse, whenever it is convenient for the learner, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Challenge No 5: Training is too expensive

All the top business schools preach that reducing expenditures on manager development is short-sighted and counterproductive. It’s great advice. It’s probably even true! But what good does it do you if you don’t have much money in your training budget?

Welcome to the real world, where deciding to send half your managers out to a training seminar is not only pricey, but could get you fired if you can’t show a real and immediate return on investment.

Manager training is an excellent way to improve business processes, business streamlining, and the execution of business strategies. Training managers to be better “people” managers will boost employee morale, increase employee engagement and drive productivity. That’s been proven time and time again.

Finally, the best manager-training strategies include a mix of seminars, professional training programs and online training.

This is the second in a series of articles on the benefits of online management training. To see the other articles, please go to The Benefits of Online Management Training page.

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