Train the people and coach their managers
Have you ever had managers tell you it was your job to develop their people? They are only half right. Developing people, closing the skill gaps in the workforce, and increasing knowledge must be a partnership between you “the trainer” and managers. Given that managers may not have thought about it this way in the past, you will most likely need to get them started and coach them along the way. You will need to clarify their role as a developmental manager and show them how to embed development into the work the employees are doing. Managers will tell you they are too busy—they can barely get their real work done, so how can they be expected to “do your job too?”
We want to share with you an important video by Kevin Burns who makes a great argument in a couple of minutes about what the “Real” job of a manager should be.
Watch the Kevin Burns Video below:
With the help of the above video (It would be great if you can get the manager to watch it) also Wendy Axelrod, author of Make Talent Your Business: How Exceptional Managers Develop People While Getting Results, assures all trainers that it is possible to “graciously guide” them with some of these ideas.
• Help managers learn how to think about developing their employees as they plan work assignments.
This is a matter of a mindset shift. It requires managers to think about the long term. What could be completed over the next half year if employees were given a chance to be developed?
• Show managers how to think differently.
If managers can begin to think about what needs to be accomplished and connect it to what needs to be learned from the training materials and job aids you can support them with, they will turn the work into the development tool. Managers need to hold employees accountable for both the performance results and their development. EXAMPLE: One finance manager tells his staff members that every project has one finish line but two ribbons: one ribbon for results, and one for development.
• Work with managers
To analyze which employee skill improvements would best fulfill the ability to accomplish more. Help managers select developmental assignments that align with anticipated results, not simply stretch assignments that are easy because they are available and visible.
• Help managers rethink how they delegate work.
Benefits occur when managers learn to reshape an everyday work assignment to include a developmental component. Show them how to break deliverables into new smaller stretch tasks that will expand employees’ expertise.
All this requires honing skills for managers. It requires that you put a coaching plan in place to bring the managers up to speed in addition to your training materials development and preparation. In fact, you are modeling exactly what you are requiring of managers.