In a world of rapidly changing markets and technology, you need a skilled workforce to ride the turbulence and drive performance. However, in the face of restricted budgets, it’s impossible to train everyone, at least in a way that makes a difference. This is why it’s crucial to focus on the needle movers in your organization: your managers.
Here are six tips to ensure your training programs deliver maximum impact for your managers and your business:
1. Fit the training to their schedule
Your managers have a lot going on. Between juggling multiple responsibilities and projects and nurturing team collaboration and development, there’s little time for dedicated learning. Therefore, it’s essential to take a more flexible approach to training. Blended learning mixes traditional instruction with online learning activities, helping to complement a busy manager’s work schedule, rather than disrupt it.
2. Learn together, work better together
By encouraging managers to learn together, you can create shared experiences to spark collaborative learning, navigate change, and deliver enduring impact. Peer-to-peer learning not only inspires teamwork, but also boosts employee engagement and productivity. These benefits extend throughout your entire organization.
3. Share the vision and bridge the gaps
Managers are the conduit between leadership and front-line employees, responsible for sharing the company’s vision, mission, and values. This makes them invaluable for driving cross-collaboration. They break down silos and disseminate best practices across the organization.
4. Focus on the skills that matter
Single-skill training isn’t cost- or time-efficient. Instead of investing in training programs that focus on one skill at a time, it’s better to prioritize a curated group of skills that can be applied in real-life scenarios. For managers, this should be centered on contextualized skillsets and leadership practices.
5. Give the learning purpose
To address the real challenges confronting business today, we need an outcome-based approach to learning. Focus first on identifying the issues that your managers face, and then match these to the skillsets needed to resolve them. Focusing on outcome-based learning will increase the motivation of your managers, as learners are more likely to be engaged and motivated when they can see the value and impact of the training on their work.
6. Maintain feedback, maintain budget
To ensure your learning programs meet both the short-term and long-term needs of managers, you should encourage a feedback loop. Identify areas of improvement and make any necessary changes to drive continuous improvement and training efficiency. Also, consider giving managers a stake in the training process, to increase levels of trust and engagement.
In an environment of restricted budgets, it’s crucial to pinpoint the right people and the right skills to make your learning and development budget count. This means focusing on your managers – the conductors of change and the compass of your company culture. By doing so, you will unlock peer-to-peer learning and cross-collaboration, while enhancing company-wide engagement and motivation. Because only with great leaders are you able to see off adversity and meet your company objectives for the long term.