Create a New Manager 101 Course Emphasizing Management Skills and Firm Values

August 2017

Welcome to “Summertime…and Improving Productivity Is Easy: Eight Ways to Increase Employee Engagement,” a ScottMadden eight-part series.

Based on a recent Gallup study,[1] we know that approximately 70% of employees are not engaged at work, resulting in lower job performance and loss of time and money for the organization. Over the next eight weeks, we’ll provide insights on how employee engagement impacts your business outcomes, as well as tangible examples of how you can increase engagement among your employees. Click here to see the complete series.

In the third installment of the series, we discuss the importance of training your managers beyond the “basic” principles of management and dive more deeply into your firm’s culture.

Benefits to a Thoroughly Trained Manager

Imagine someone becoming a new manager in your company—being a leader is a great step forward in their career, yet if polled many would admit the title comes with challenges. This increased span of authority often also includes supervising others, which can be overwhelming when a newly promoted manager is used to executing tasks as opposed to planning them for others.

A 2011 CareerBuilder survey found more than one-quarter of managers said they weren’t ready to become a leader when they started managing others. Fifty-eight percent said they didn’t receive any management training. In fact, training to assist in development of leading or directing others is, unfortunately, too often provided after problems arise.

Given the complexity of our work environments, companies should develop new-manager training with an emphasis on leadership coaching and proactively provide it to newly promoted individuals. Regardless of the company’s size, first-time managers need to understand the role and responsibilities of their new position and how it is different from what they did before. This level of care and attention provides tangible evidence of how much you value your associates, boosting their feeling of engagement.

Concepts to Include in Training

Some of the best new manager programs share the following characteristics:

  • Timely delivery within the first few months following a promotion
  • Positioned as a well-earned reward, although attendance is mandatory
  • Delivered in a cohort manner, where a group of new managers participate together
  • Internally developed and customized, integrating corporate mission and values
  • Features C-Suite leaders and new-manager training graduates as guest speakers
  • Provides externally sourced readings on leading practices in leadership and coaching
  • Demonstrates clear objectives and goals, with post-class assignments and one-year follow-up

Summary

A professional development program for new managers can significantly improve employee engagement with minimal incremental investment by your existing human resources team. A new-manager program will increase the confidence of the newly promoted and their engagement with the organization, helping them thrive in their new role. The timely delivery of a custom program enables companies to explicitly show high-potential employees how valued they are, gives them unique exposure to corporate leaders, and acts as a forum for companies to share significant content, including reinforcing organizational values and customs.

Additional Resources

  • ScottMadden, Inc., Knowledge Capital, CareerBuilder Survey, March 28, 2011, “More than One-Quarter of Managers Said They Weren’t Ready to Lead When They Began Managing Others”

[1] Gallup, “The Worldwide Employee Engagement Crisis,” 2016

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Contributing Authors

Kate Breen Manager
Harold Lewis Manager

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