What training do frontline manager’s need? The answer is leadership training, which covers all the activities they’re responsible for, especially when it comes to managing people.
Thrown into the Deep End
When I was a new manager one of my first tasks was to hire additional personnel. I was handed an ad book (newspaper employment ads) and told to place an ad, answer phone calls, interview candidates, and hire three people. That’s all the instructions I received.
I don’t need to go into details, but I wasn’t very successful at hiring. Unfortunately, most of you reading this can share similar stories. It might not have been hiring; it could have been conducting a meeting, completing a corrective action, or supervising new hire training. Regardless, too many managers, especially new frontline managers, are thrown into the deep end – sink or swim.
What Frontline Managers Need
What frontline managers need are systems and procedures, not only covering what to do, but how to do it, and why it’s important. For example, as a new manager when I was asked to hire three people I needed more than being told what to do, I needed to know how. Knowing what ads had been successful, a script for answering ad calls, and interview questions would’ve been a good start. However, that should only be the beginning. To be competent at hiring, I needed training. I needed to know what systems to use and why to use them.
What Will Your Managers Be Asked to Do?
Whatever responsibilities are given to frontline managers they need more than being told what to do. If they’re expected to conduct meetings, train, and complete corrective actions, then they need the tools to do so – the what, how, and why. Here are a few tasks frontline managers are typically expected to complete:
- Recruit and hire
- Conduct meetings
- Motivate and team build
- Complete employee reviews
- Communicate with staff and other departments
- Manage conflict
- Solve problems
- Time management
These bullets are a few of the most common activities required of frontline managers. Your managers might not do all of these, and there may have other responsibilities. However, my point is regardless of the task, if you want frontline managers to have the best chance at being successful you need to supply the tools.
Do You Have a Management Development Plan?
Does your business have a management development plan? If not, I have a suggestion, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management. The book covers all the bullet points listed above and more. Here’s what one leadership trainer at a 4,000-employee company had to say, “I consider myself a scholar in leadership theory and practice and have enjoyed the academic journey. I have also read countless leadership books written by greats like Collins, Sinek, Maxwell, and others. When I was asked to lead a training and development team for a large company, with a primary mission of developing new manager training for the 24 to 32-year old age group, I knew I had a big project ahead of me.
The company wanted “the basics,” in a crash-course type format (due to a high operational workload) that didn’t need to be instructor-led or seminar based. So, I tried to compose a syllabus that could be translated into a workbook and made available to newly appointed managers—but I could not get ahead of the urgency. Then, almost by accident, I came across Randy Clark’s “New Manager’s Workbook.”
The Perfect Crash Course
“When I opened and viewed the contents, I realized that my outline (brainstorming) had 9 chapters devoted to deficiencies I recognized. Then, when I read the material, I realized how brilliantly put together his book was! Randy saved me many months of work, and he did a fantastic job on the material. I have made this tool available for the company’s new managers with great reviews. This is very much a “crash course” that is perfect for that person who gets thrown into a management role and wants to find early success.
For what it is, the New Manager’s Workbook is perfect. It reduces the high-level and complex theories associated with leadership, theories of motivation, and understanding human behavior, to a manageable, easy-to-follow, ready-available, progressive resource to effectively manage people. Thank you, Randy!
What Training Are Your Frontline Managers Not Getting?
What’s missing from your frontline managers training? What do they need to successfully drive your business? Stop and ask yourself what responsibilities do they have? If you’re not sure, use the bullet points above as a starting point. Next, determine if they have the tools – the policies, procedures, guidelines, checklists, and training to accomplish what they’re responsible for. So, are your frontline managers put in a position to succeed or to fail?