59% of managers who oversee one or two employees report having no training at all. 41% of managers who oversee three to five employees also report having no training. Which means that in most organizations, the list of training topics for managers is…nil.
It can be frustrating when you’re an employee, managed by someone with zero training.
I’ve spoken with people about it before, and employees can tell. It’s in everything from how their manager deals with superiors to how they organize a meeting.
So, what training topics for managers should you focus on to build a happier and healthier team? Let’s take a look:
When someone moves into a management position, it’s important they know how to effectively communicate with their employees. They need to be able to keep the peace, maintain employee well-being, manage conflict, and speak to different groups of people.
Intercultural communication is vital for managers to understand. Some words have negative connotations that aren’t always recognized by people outside of a particular group (like “mastering” a skill). Accordingly, inclusive language is important when thinking about training topics for managers.
Negotiation and conflict resolution
Managers will inevitably have to deal with some form of conflict in their roles. This is true whether it’s between team members, pushing back against unrealistic executive expectations, or confronting clients.
To successfully navigate these murky waters, it requires adequate training. Otherwise, someone—often employees—will suffer.
For instance, if a manager knows that the date by which higher-ups want a project completed would require employees to work significant overtime, it’s important that they can fight in their employees’ corner to suggest a more realistic completion date.
Giving and receiving feedback is a unique art and science that requires training. Managers need to ensure employees feel valued while also offering guidance to help them improve.
It’s important to be able to provide positive feedback alongside anything negative.
Unnecessarily harsh or blunt tones (which can be an unintentional default when giving written feedback) can upset employees. It can even cause them to shut down, especially if they’re learning a new skill or are new to the business.
Managers need to be able to provide feedback that’s compassionate and empathetic, while also being honest.
It’s a skill that requires education, feedback (on the feedback itself), and practice to get it right, so it should definitely be on your list of training topics for managers.
We all have unconscious biases. Until we actively work to address and overcome them, they can impact everything from hiring decisions and promotions, to how we speak to different generations or cultures.
What steps can managers take to make the workplace as inclusive as possible? To different backgrounds, abilities, and disabilities?
With people retiring later than ever, and living longer, managers now often have to manage four generations at a time: baby boomers, gen X, millennials, and gen Z. These groups all have different expectations from work and therefore different requirements from their supervisors.
This obviously then requires you to offer a wider array of training topics for managers.
Another key element of inclusion training can focus on supporting people with disabilities.
Every disability is different. And every person with a disability needs different things.
Managers need to know how to discuss accommodations with their employees in an understanding way. And how to implement those accommodations.
In-person and virtual management
The modern workplace offers more ways to work than ever.
Managers therefore need to understand how to manage distributed teams. This includes what technology to use, how it changes communication, and the difference it makes to company culture.
The new world of work requires new training topics for managers versus those that were necessary in the past.
One of the keys to effective management is being able to delegate tasks to the right person.
There’s no point giving someone a creative task if their skills lie more in analytics.
It’s important for managers to get to know their teams’ strengths and weaknesses. That way, they can help team members grow the skills that will propel them toward their future goals and benefit the rest of the team, too.
Managers play a key role in employees’ well-being. So it makes sense that they should understand how to support it. They need to know things like:
- How to spot the signs of burnout
- How changes in employees’ behavior might reflect something going on
- How their own mood can affect the atmosphere in the office—and therefore employees’ moods and behavior
Awareness of these things, and knowing how to deal with them, means they have a lower impact on the team and therefore the business. It’s a crucial addition to your training topics for managers.
Confidence and presentation skills
Managers need to come across as confident, even if they don’t always feel it. This confidence is contagious and can rub off on the rest of their team.
Anxiety can have the same impact. When managers exude anxiety, it can make their employees doubt their own abilities and the capabilities of their manager. Which can impact morale as well as productivity.
Managers also often have to speak up in meetings or present during them. They need to be able to do this confidently, clearly, and within the time constraints.
Therefore, offering training topics for managers around public speaking and presenting can make a big difference.
The more seriously managers take cybersecurity, the more seriously employees will take it.
And as hackers get more and more sophisticated, employees need to know how to spot the signs that they’re being targeted to help protect not just them, but the company as a whole.
It only takes one small mistake by someone not paying attention to bring a whole system down. Implementing relevant training topics for managers is an important first line of defense.
Hiring and firing
Providing managers with training on how to hire and fire people in the right way eases some of the stress of these processes.
It means that it’s not uncharted territory for new managers. They have guidelines in place that they can adapt to suit their own approach and the company’s hiring and firing processes.
Managers need to understand how to bring the best out of their employees.
And be aware that the approach is likely to be different for everyone. It depends on each person’s personality, current skills, and where they want to go in their careers.
There are lots of training topics for managers that supervisors need to understand to excel in their roles.
Investing in this training both when they’re promoted and during their tenure will make them more confident managers. And therefore more effective managers.
This will improve employees’ confidence in their abilities and make them more productive, too.
Want an easier way to ensure your team members have access to all the training topics for managers they need to succeed? Workrowd can help.
With all your programs, groups, and events centralized in one place, you can set your managers up for success no matter where or when they work. Plus, automated feedback requests and real-time analytics ensure you always have a pulse on employees’ needs.