But it’s important not to forget about training for those slightly higher up in the organisation, and not to take them for granted. As well as retaining them, there are wider benefits to training your line management team, both as they take on a role as a manager for the first time and also on an ongoing basis. Managing a team who are performing a certain set of responsibilities requires completely different skills from those who are actually performing those responsibilities. Appointing someone who is a high performer to manage the team is obviously very common, but the fact that a whole new skill set is required is frequently overlooked.
Here are ten crucial reasons why you should prioritise management training in your small business:
1. Line managers have direct contact with more employees than anyone else, therefore have the biggest impact on productivity and effectiveness of the teams of people who actually do what your small business does, who actually fulfil its purpose on a day-to-day basis.
2. In many, many surveys, the main reason cited by employees for leaving a job is their direct line manager. Develop effective, supportive managers, and morale will go up and retention should improve significantly.
3. The factor with the biggest impact on employee engagement in your business is team members’ relationships with the person who supervises them day-to-day. If that relationship is negative, it will be virtually impossible to engage staff with your business and with their job.
4. A good manager knows and understands exactly how to motivate people, which will undoubtedly increase productivity and performance.
5. Excellent time management, prioritisation and organisation of tasks and responsibilities all lead to vastly improved team performance, and these are skills that a well-trained manager will demonstrate.
6. Good communication within an organisation is absolutely critical to employee engagement, staff satisfaction and organisational performance. This communication comes to a large extent from line managers, so they need to know how to do it.
7. A consistent approach to how things are run in your business is critical to good morale, both within a team and across the organisation as a whole, and this can be achieved with good management training.
8. The individuals who are your line managers now, could be the leaders in your organisation in the future. This is unlikely to happen if they don’t receive adequate training to be a manager in the first place, meaning you’ll have to recruit externally for senior posts instead.
9. Poor people management leads to disruptive staff issues such as poor performance, high absence rates, conflict within teams and complaints against managers. All of these take up huge amounts of valuable time and are enormously detrimental to morale and performance across the team or the whole business, particularly in very small organisations.
10. As well as being disruptive and time-consuming, clearly poor people management also leads to a risk of litigation. Tribunal claims for discrimination or unfair dismissal will be very expensive, regardless of the result, as you will need legal advice, will spend lots of management time dealing with it, and may or may not end up paying damages or a settlement as a result.
If you’d like some help in identifying training needed for line managers in your business, or developing suitable training solutions, do get in touch.