Manager and supervisory level trainings, both internal and external to the organization are vital to the growth and development of managers and supervisors and the continued evolution of our organizations. Without adequate, thorough and effective supervisor and manager trainings, we will continue to face challenges in our organizations with unprepared and inexperienced leadership. Many of the trainings I conduct with local colleges and through my consulting business continue to set supervisors and managers for success in their leadership roles, through improved knowledge and decision making skills.
Below are my 9 thoughts on manager and supervisor trainings:
- New Hire Orientation and Onboarding Paperwork: Some organizations require managers and supervisors to oversee the onboarding and new hire orientation process. If these individuals are responsible for the new hire paperwork, ensure they understand what is required. If they sign off on the I-9 Form, ensure they know what to look for, so we are not doing audits 2-years later and finding mistakes. Create a checklist and train folks to work through the checklist.
- HR and Safety Legal Training: Over the past 3-years, I have trained hundreds of managers and supervisors in many organizations on HR law and OSHA. This training is high-level and covers federal legislation. We will discuss state regulations as well, but more focus on the federal laws. The training continues to be a success and the engagement has been fantastic. I would recommend a legal and safety training for supervisors and managers in any organization.
- Performance Reviews and Workplace Feedback: This is an area that many of us have a hard time making the transition, from an employee to a higher-level manager or supervisor. We need to provide training to leaders in our organizations on conducting thorough and accurate performance reviews, while holding these folks accountable. Not every employee should receive a 4 out of 5. The other part of this needs to be employee relations and workplace feedback. This should include workplace communication, emotional intelligence and difficult/crucial conversations. These are not easy skills to learn; practice and training makes improved skills.
- Legal and Effective Interviewing: An area that requires a specific skill set when we are recruiting, interviewing, onboarding and retaining talented employees in our organizations. I have also developed a training on legal and effective interviewing for supervisors, this has run successfully over the past 3-years. We need to ensure our managers and supervisors understand what they can and cannot ask applicants in a job interview and how to treat applicants during the recruitment process. Remember, treat applicants the way you want to be treated during the recruitment process, it will make a difference. Six weeks between application and interviewing with no communication does not work and will have long-term impacts on recruitment.
- Conflict Management: Conflict in the workplace is inevitable, people are people and we all have different personalities. The way conflict is addressed and managed in the workplace will make all the difference to employee engagement and retention of talented individuals. Managers and supervisors need to understand expectations and how to address conflict. Make this training a priority and work through roleplay scenarios. This one is critical, managers and leaders must be trained on critical conversation and conflict management.
- Policy, Procedure and Employee Handbooks: We should not assume that our managers and supervisors understand every rule, policy and regulation in our handbooks or employee manuals. Over communicate expectations, especially information on sexual harassment, retaliation, bullying, harassment, etc. The expectations should be crystal clear and hold folks accountable for enforcing these rules and policies.
- Payroll Processing and Vacation Approvals: This is another area that many organizations face challenges with. At times we are consistently inconsistent with vacation and PTO approvals, inputting FMLA leave, etc. Ensure all managers and supervisors understand how to approve payroll and approve vacation/PTO leave. The efficiency in approvals comes with a payroll system that works. It isn’t complex, at least I hope it isn’t and it is a common area that can be overlooked or assumed everyone knows how to use a payroll or timekeeping system. Not everyone does and we need to address this.
- Workplace Investigations: A crucial area for supervisors and managers to understand. This should include; workplace conflict, workers compensation discussion and the investigation process. Scenario’s and examples are the best training opportunities to use in a workplace investigation training. Another training that we have run successfully with big impacts.
- Succession Planning: This one can be a tricky area to communicate and train managers on, but it is a great opportunity for open communication, while providing the workforce information on the future and direction of the organization. This doesn’t have to be a 3-hour training, it can be a great opportunity to have conversations around expectations, during an annual performance review or during the goal setting process in 2019. This can be done in a small group or one-on-one setting.
As the laws continue to change and the needs of our organizations change; training and open communication is necessary. I offer many of these trainings tailored to the needs of the organizations and they continue to be successful. Make training a priority and designate enough time for training is necessary for impactful and successful training. In one organization I am working with, we are implementing the learning organization philosophy with our managers and supervisors. This is a dramatic change throughout the organization, but one that is necessary. We start each training session with an open discussion about any issues or concerns managers and supervisors are facing and as a group currently developing metrics for the organization. Training is necessary for the growth and development our workforce, make training a priority in your organization!