Organizations have mostly focused on either developing their executives and senior leaders or the front- line employees. Managers, however, form a very important network who are responsible to drive performance from the front-line employees and could also be future leaders. Therefore, it is important to hone the necessary behavioral and functional managerial skills with unique sets of training programs. It would lead to greater effectiveness as managers and an overall increased productivity for the team and the organization.
Training program for managerial skills is different for the first-time managers as compared to senior managers. Let’s first talk about the First Time Managers. It is a crucial transition from being an individual contributor to a people manager role. Most employees promoted as a people manager struggle to adapt to the realities of a managerial role. A survey indicated that 60% of first-time managers fail in the first two years of their new role and about 85% do not get any training required to be in that role. No preparation to take up the next role leaves them in an ambiguous state, only to manage and learn the ropes alone.
Therefore, training program for First Time Managers involve more handholding, practice sessions and focus on basic managerial competencies such as directing & delegating, creating a motivating environment, conflict management, goal setting, giving constructive feedback, planning and organizing, assertiveness, influencing skills, emotional intelligence and team management. The training would focus on resolving the dilemmas of first-time managers, helping them understand what aspects of being an individual contributor wouldn’t help them in their current role and developing a manager mindset in them. First Time Manager training programs are usually longer in duration – minimum of 3 months and maximum of 12 months – so that each of the competencies can be developed with proper practice and application.
Training program for managerial skills
Training program for managerial skills at a mid to senior level managers wouldn’t focus on the basic but the advanced competencies – developing the competencies of the future in them so that they not just enhance team performance but also demonstrate leadership skills to prove themselves as future leaders.
Competencies such as
- performance management,
- strategic thinking,
- decision making,
- risk management,
- risk taking,
- problem solving,
- critical thinking,
- emotional intelligence,
- change management,
- coaching and mentoring would be focused on for mid to senior managers.
At senior levels, competencies such as global business etiquette, cultural sensitivity, cross cultural communication etc needs to be focused on so that the senior managers can be promoted to higher leadership, global roles. These training programs for mid to senior level managers could be comparatively shorter in duration – say about 2 days to 3 months – depending on the number of competencies to focus on. More individual focus with coaching sessions is provided at the senior managers level which may not be required for first time to mid-level managers.
Apart from the differences in competency levels and duration, a common element for all the training for managerial skills is the methodology. All the training programs can take a blended approach wherein multiple learning elements can be clubbed together for an effective learning journey. Elements such as classroom training, live virtual instructor led training, eLearning, mobile learning, leader connect or industry expert sessions, storytelling, coaching and mentoring, seminars, learning cafés, projects and assignments can be used in various permutation and combinations to create holistic learning paths. This is especially true for First Time Manager training since the duration is longer and different elements ensure greater adoption and sustenance of the planned journey.
To sum, when planning any training program to develop managerial skills, consider the level of the managers, the competencies that needs to be addressed based on thorough need analysis, the duration for the training and finally, the methodology to be used with its different elements.