By Sarah Gibbs, Senior Manager, Human Resources


Let’s face it, being a manager can be tough! From balancing your time and managing competing priorities to learning how to be an effective communicator and lead a strong team, several qualities make a great manager. Managers shoulder a high level of responsibility in organizations. They are tasked with creating and fostering a strong, productive team while ensuring a safe and positive work environment that helps inspire employees to be their absolute best.

Sadly, a recent Gallup poll showed that only 20% of employees say they’re managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work. On the same note, only 15% of employees would strongly agree that the leadership of their company makes them enthusiastic about the future. This data from Gallup begs the question, how can we develop better managers?

Fortunately, there is an answer to this question, training! Trained managers have evolved to do their jobs efficiently, in turn, they create more productive teams and deliver higher-quality results, in a more timely manner. Regardless of experience level, all managers need to continuously learn and grow new skills to keep up with emerging technologies and current best practices.

Let’s explore a couple of important items to consider before instilling management training. One item you should ask yourself is, what are the goals of the training or what would you like to accomplish after training? The answer to this question must be realistic. Other options to consider when looking at management training is who the audience or attendees of the training will be and how it will be delivered. How training can be delivered varies greatly including in-person, online live, or pre-made training modules purchased from a third party. The timing of training should also be taken into consideration. Training should be scheduled for lulls in work whenever possible, taking into account all attendees’ calendars. Studies have also shown that training delivered mid-morning, and mid-week tend to be the most engaging. Training on Wednesday at 10 a.m. anyone?

Realizing the importance of management training, MDT had two full days of Leadership Training for our entire management team this past March. The training covered topics such as Communication, How to Conduct a Great Performance Review, Difficult Conversation Basics, and Interviewing. When determining which items to include in management training, I highly recommend the use of surveys and gaining participant input whenever possible. This will help ensure that your training is tailored to your specific group and provides a return on your investment!

By helping managers develop their skills and mindset, they can then empower their team members to do the same. Having a robust and well-trained management team is crucial. It can directly correlate to an organization’s retention level. As John Maxwell says in his book “Leadership Gold,” “People quit people, not companies.”