In our last post, we discussed the importance of doing a good job of hiring and promoting great managers into your organization. The next logical step seems like it would be to provide training and support to make sure those new managers are able to effectively manage employees.
Wouldn’t you think that providing training to new managers would be a no-brainer? Many organizations apparently don’t agree.
HR.com estimates that 47% of new supervisors receive no supervisor training. That is an amazing number. The result is that many managers aren’t prepared to manage. Another study of over 1,000 managers and executives found that just 10% of them were ready for a leadership role prior to or just after being promoted. Another outcome of the same study is that “roughly 65% of managers learn leadership by ‘guessing’ how to lead people.” (See Why 60% of new managers fail from the International Success Academy.)
Guessing – that sounds like using a roulette wheel that involves people’s jobs and livelihoods. That is so scary to me!
Not Good Business Fundamentals
The two practices combined, not hiring managers effectively PLUS not providing effective training, is setting your organization up for poor results. These are not good business practices. If you want good results, you need to hire good if not great talent, and you need to help that talent to develop.
Think About the Numbers
Say, on average, your manager has 8 employees and their average pay + benefits totals $80K per year not including other overhead. So, you are spending $640K a year but not setting that investment up for success.
Is that how you would manage an expensive piece of machinery or equipment? Of course you wouldn’t. First of all, you would labor over the decision of choosing the right equipment in the first place. Installation would be top-notch. You would provide training to the employees who operate and maintain it. You want it to be productive, reliable and to deliver quality output over a long period of time. Why not also invest in your managers?
Why Don’t Companies Invest in Manager Training?
I am betting that the following are some of the most common reasons that companies don’t invest in training their managers.
- They assume that, if someone is competent in their previous role as an individual employee, they are smart enough and capable enough to be an effective manager. Unfortunately, the skillset for an effective sales person, for example, is not necessarily the same as being a successful manager of a sales team.
- They, the hiring manager, learned to manage effectively via the ‘sink or swim’ approach, so, their new hire should be able to also. Plus, the hiring manager can be a role model and teach the new hire how to manage people and teams. Really?? It may be time for a reality check. Is the hiring manager an effective leader? Do they have followers? How long will it take the new hire to come up to speed? Will they ever come up to speed? How many dead bodies will there be along the way? Can you afford those? The actual outcomes aren’t great. An estimated 60% of managers fail in the first two years on the job.
- Management training isn’t effective. I completely understand this rationale. When you ask ‘What type of leadership or management training did you have?’ often the answer is an afternoon or even a whole day seminar. Woohoo if it’s a full day seminar! This typically is not very effective. Development into an effective manager typically requires trying out different behaviors and building new skillsets. You don’t learn this in an afternoon seminar. This is why many companies believe they don’t get any return on investing in management training.
Does this mean you should give up? No, you need to invest in ‘effective’ management training. Next week, I will share ideas on what to look for in leadership and management training programs.
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