When you’re sending managers on training courses you need to know you’ll get a good return on your training investment.
Finding a programme with relevant content is important, of course, but making sure you can answer these questions before your managers begin may just be the key to unlocking additional value. Managers starting training feeling confident, engaged and supported almost always produce higher value back in the workplace.
So whether they’re asking or not, these may well be on their minds:
What’s all this about?
Managers are busy people and may well feel that they are already doing a good job, so taking time away from their workday issues may make them feel uncomfortable. Discussing the aims of the course and agreeing how they will enhance their future performance will strengthen their commitment and enthusiasm. Providing details about the location, the venue, the timings and, of course, the lunch will ensure that they are fully prepared for a stress-free day clearing down their mind to concentrate on the purpose of the training course.
Will I look a fool?
They say the bigger you are the harder you fall, so no matter how much work/life experience you have, new situations can be daunting. Ensuring the course provides an open and safe and appropriate environment is important. Delegates must be able to share their challenges and experiences with peers facing similar situations without fear of ridicule. This encourages invaluable discussions and makes the learning relevant and enjoyable.
Who’s leading the charge?
Trust is a powerful motivator and it’s hard to remain engaged if you don’t have confidence in the trainer taking the course or qualification. Professional trainers who have personal leadership experience and are able to address the cynic in the room with diplomacy and well-researched information are essential.
Are you talking to me?
On the day, elements of the course may resonate differently with each individual based on their experience and prejudices as well as their preferred learning style. Real and relevant material and examples, a mix of ‘talk and chalk’, individual exercises and group discussions, as well as clearly defined sessions ensure managers remain engaged.
What do I do now?
Learning needs to go into practice. A manager leaving a training room full of enthusiasm is great but not enough. The course should be designed to help them make the real decisions that will improve their performance. They may well need support too. Make sure any senior manager is aware of the things they have learned and is committed to helping them put the learning into practice.
Management training provides improvements in productivity and competitive advantage. If you’re making the investment in training, ensuring your managers are prepared and engaged will pay long term dividends for you, your managers and your organisation’s results.