Manager Training: Developing Management Confidence – The Business Case

manager trainingMost of the HR, Training and Learning and Development professionals I know agree that one of the purposes of manager training is to help the manager develop their ‘management confidence’

Recently when I was talking to someone about management confidence they asked

What difference does management confidence make to business performance?

Good question. Let me explain why management confidence is a critical issue – not just for the manager themselves, but for your organisation


Manager Training: What do confident managers do?

Let’s begin with what confident managers actually do. In short, confident managers take action

They use a planned and structured approach to:

• Identifying, writing and agreeing performance objectives or standards

• Discussing how the objectives or standards contribute to the organisation’s goals

• Monitoring and measuring staff performance so that they can provide ongoing, regular and specific feedback on performance

• Identifying and acknowledging outstanding performance, and taking action to deal with areas for improvement

• Discussing the staff member’s development aspirations and objectives

• Discussing the staff member’s job satisfaction

And because confident managers take action to effectively manage their staff confident managers get results

Manager Training: How does this confidence and action impact business performance?

A whole body of research can tell us that employees who are effectively managed are more productive, and teams that are effectively managed are more profitable. Research also shows us that one of the key reasons for lost productivity – and one comprehensive piece of research suggests that in the UK and US at least 18% of time spent at work is unproductive – is because of poor staff supervision or ineffective management. And of course we know that a lack of effective management has a negative effect on staff satisfaction, engagement and retention

Put simply, confident managers take action to ensure that their staff are effectively managed because effective management positively impacts business results

Manager Training: What about the manager?

So how does this confidence impact the manager? Let me ask you a question. If you were a manager, who would you prefer to work with and manage:

A) A group of people who are clear on what’s expected of them, who get the feedback they want and need and who are consequently willing and motivated to perform well


B) A group of people who don’t know what’s expected of them, who don’t know if they are performing well or not and who consequently just don’t care?

I know it’s a stupid question, but I want to illustrate the importance of the management role because effective management of people is both a critical commercial issue – because it’s about the business results – and a satisfaction issue, for both the staff member and the manager

So, how do managers get to be confident?

The way we build confidence, in any area or field, is by taking action and getting results, by reviewing those results and then taking action again. By way of illustration I’d like you to think of something you are confident in. It might be that you’re a confident driver, tap dancer, parent, it may be that you are confident in the technical aspects of your job, for example you might be a confident Trainer. Now I would like you to think about how you became confident in that area

Would I be right in assuming that you built that level of confidence by taking action, by reviewing what you did and then by taking action again?

But of course we can’t take action if we haven’t been taught which actions to take! We can’t expect the managers in our business to effectively manage if we haven’t help them learn what effective management looks like in practice. Without effective manager training, how can we expect managers to know how to

• Agree powerful performance objectives with their staff

• Effectively monitor, review and appraise staff performance

• Work with staff to improve their job satisfaction

• Deal with underperforming staff by giving positive criticism and gaining agreement to performance improvement

And so on?

 Management Confidence: Put manager training in place first

Of course there can be challenges in providing easily accessible, effective manager training (time constraints, budget constraints etc.) One neat option is to use online learning. A good example (!) would be the 10 Minute Management Toolkit online video management training series. Here managers can have access to proven, practical tools and techniques (delivered in easy to absorb 10 minute sessions) which will give them an excellent foundation in how to effectively manage and motivate their staff to high performance

Read more about the videos and how to access your FREE manager training sessions HERE


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