News Article


Persuading managers to engage with management training

82% of UK managers have not received any formal management training and are considered accidental managers.

They’ve been promoted into their posts because they’re good at their job, they’ve been doing it the longest, and for retention, because it was the only step left on the progression ladder.

This is a really worrying statistic. Doing the job and leading/managing people are two very different things. The Guardian reported that bad management had prompted one in three UK workers to quit their job.

Why are managers reluctant when it comes to their own management training?

Lack of awareness
You and I know that the skillset you need to DO the job and lead people are two very different things. However, this isn’t the case for many managers.

They simply don’t realise that managing people is a completely different skill set. Why?

Because no one has made them aware. No one has offered them training. They are unconsciously incompetent.

Our first job is to raise their awareness of management mindset, skill set and styles – and get them to a point where they are consciously competent.

While ego can drive a lot of people, it can also prevent them from growing. Without growth they’re unlikely to perform at their best.

Time and a lack of resource
But the reality is also that our managers are too busy to invest the time into learning new ways, or the effort into practising new skills.

We know that many of our managers are player/managers and only have the opportunity to spend a proportion of their time on pure management activities, dismissing training for more urgent activities.

How to persuade reluctant managers to engage with management training?

  • Step 1: Getting reluctant managers to engage with their own management training.
    Empowering our managers to perform to their potential, involves ensuring that they are taking an active interest in their own professional development and are reflective on their own management practices.
  • Step 2: From unconscious incompetence to conscious competence.
    You can gather some key metrics to support reflection by following some practical steps, including:
    • Surveying the team – how well is the manager performing for their people and where can they improve?
    • Sharing exit interview feedback to highlight areas of praise around strengths and development areas from points of dissatisfaction.
  • Step 3: Training needs analysis.
    You’ll want to create engagement in the development process and, therefore, you should work WITH your managers by engaging them in a skills assessment process and in the design of a training programme.
  • Step 4: Designing the training and quick wins.
    You’ll be looking to address a range of management skills to empower your managers.
  • Step 5: Provide time and space.
    Investing time in this project will pave the way for longer term benefits. Create time to ensure that your managers can focus on their learning and space to practice their new skills.
  • Step 6: Celebrate.
    Benchmark against previous metrics to understand the positive outcomes of your programme.
    Celebrate and praise management development publicly. Your employer brand will benefit too.

Engage with managers to help them to understand the benefits that management training brings. Making the time for development will ultimately pay for itself through improved organisational performance.

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