Some managers, particularly those responsible for a small team or have little to no budget available at present to spend on training and staff development, may get into the mindset of thinking that they have to provide all of the training or business coaching to their employees themselves.
Not only is this often impractical in terms of the manager's time available to provide the training, but it is highly likely that the manager does not have enough knowledge, experience or expertise to make employees proficient in their particular workplace duties.
Additionally, whilst they may be good managers, they may lack specific skills which allow them to sufficiently perform the training and impart their knowledge from themselves to their team members.
Instead of trying to muddle through and provide a less than comprehensive level of training for them, managers should wherever possible call on others who may be better placed to provide a more effective training session.
This will often be through finding the funds necessary for an external training provider, but can also be a person within the organisation who has the time, knowledge and training skills necessary to provide valuable training which greatly facilitates the development and proficiency of these workers.
So a manager who has a desire to provide their team with training and coaching to develop their abilities does not have to take on the entire responsibility of providing the training or being a coach themselves. They can act as an organiser and facilitator of any business coaching services and programmes, rather than performing the actual training themselves if they do not have the skill or time resources available to dedicate to the task.
Along with the many other benefits of business coaching, it can also be ideal for developing new managers, particularly in conjunction with relevant management training courses.
Those new to a first line management position who have not received much, or indeed any, training in the past will often find themselves lacking the knowledge about how to do certain tasks or how to do them in the most effective and productive manner, as not only have they not been taught anything before but they will not have the experience to call upon like a seasoned veteran manager or executive will have.
This is why it is so important to provide a new and inexperienced manager with the support, training, coaching and guidance required as they settle in and acclimatise to their new job role.
Whilst management training such as first line manager courses teach lots of useful and practical information on the course syllabus, it is also highly beneficial for the new manager to regularly see a qualified business coach. Although it will not teach any information like a training course, by engaging in business coaching the individual will find that a person who has a lot of knowledge in this particular field will be able to work with the new manager to create relevant goals and objectives, along with the action plans regarding how to achieve them.
New manager training courses can be viewed more as the providing of information, whilst business coaching is more to do with helping the manager to put that new-found knowledge to practical use when back in the workplace. This will be achieved by discussing with the person which areas of their training they are having difficulties with in terms of its implementation and how effectively or otherwise they are succeeding in achieving their objectives when it comes to being a successful manager within the business.
Although both training and business coaching can be provided independently of each other, for maximum effectiveness utilising the benefits of both in conjunction with each other gives the new manager the best chance of progressing quickly when it comes to their abilities as a manager.
Where a manager is yet to begin their duties as a new manager, there will sometimes exist with the organisation an opportunity for the person to gain some experience of the role by temporarily taking charge of a team or department. This can allow the senior management of the company to observe and evaluate how well the person does before promoting them to a permanent managerial position.
It is also not unusual for certain employees to be "loaned out" to other companies in order to pick up new skills and observe different ways of working, sometimes being exchanged with employees from that company in a similar way to how university exchange programmes work in terms of learning new skills in new surroundings.
Once a manager has organised training for one or more of their employees it can be tempting or seem logical for them to believe that their work is done and to sit back and relax.
In actual fact it is an extremely good idea for the manager to sit in on the training session so that afterwards they can provide effective business coaching for their staff members which builds upon the information taught on the training course.
Workers will learn a lot from a good training session, but it is likely that even from the best session which incorporates interactive and participative elements they will not remember everything! Course handouts, books and materials which the attending delegates can take away and keep can be extremely valuable for reference later on when back in the workplace, but one of the most effective ways of reinforcing the learning and ensuring that employees use the information taught on the course is to schedule regular follow up sessions. These can either take the form of short additional training courses, or business coaching sessions between the manager and the employees to monitor progress on the changes to procedures or working practices that have been brought about as a result of the training.
When the manager has sat in on the training session, they will have a much better understanding of what was taught and the goals and objectives that the training session aimed to achieve. They can also use the information taught to form the basis of the additional coaching and training sessions to not only reinforce what staff members have learned, but also to further build and expand upon this information to create a truly effective and proficient workforce. Only by knowing what exact information they were given in the original session can it be built upon.
Developing employees and increasing their productivity and effectiveness in their current or potential role within the company is seen as highly important by virtually every manager, no matter which industry they are involved in. Even so, one of the most significant reasons for not providing employees with business coaching or sending them on training courses - aside from the cost - is the requirement for time to be taken away from the workplace.
Although some have tried to circumvent this requirement through the creation of distance learning or online courses, they are nearly always far less effective than taught courses not only for imparting information which can be utilised in the workplace, but also for those accredited qualifications which require an assessment to be passed at the conclusion and as such a recollection of the applicable knowledge (imagine trying to recall information that you read bleary-eyed on the computer screen late at night after a hard day at work!).
In order to attend a classroom-based training course taught by an actual physical tutor, individuals will need to be given the permission to be absent from the workplace by their manager. Obviously whilst they are away they will not be contributing to the organisation in any way, which can cause disruption and lower output as fewer people or indeed nobody is performing the task(s).
This consequence can be responsible for many managers simply letting things carry on as they are and not allowing or arranging business coaching or training sessions for their employees.
Managers need to think of development brought about by training and coaching as an investment, and that a short-term drop of production or small period of disruption will in all likelihood be far more greatly offset by the gains in performance that will be enjoyed in the future after the training wisdom has been imparted or the business coach has discussed the issues which are holding the individual back and created suitable action plans with them for them to enact which will likely make them a much more valuable member of the company's workforce, hopefully for a long time to come.
Not only can training be a desirable luxury in terms of something which managers would like to provide if only they had the time and budget to spare, but sometimes it is a legal necessity, for example health and safety training.
Whilst certain areas of training are intended to significantly improve the fortunes of the company, such as increasing revenue or providing better customer service, a failure to take the required actions to prevent accidents and injuries to employees or members of the public can result in heavy fines or even criminal prosecution in serious instances.
For more information about health and safety training and courses, click here to visit the health and safety section of our website.
As well as incorporating training and business coaching when changes are made to processes or operations in order to increase the chances of a successful implementation and reduce the transition time required, it is also a sure sign that it is required when employees are asking a lot of questions of the manager. If different employees are frequently and consistently asking the same sorts of questions regarding a certain issue, then it is a telltale sign that there is a deficiency in their knowledge regarding this particular topic or process, and that there is subsequently a requirement and a need for training.
These areas can be varied. For example there may be questions regarding a particular process, which suggests that it is not fully understood and has not been explained to staff members thoroughly enough in sufficient detail. Or, if there are a lot of questions being directed to the manager regarding health and safety or the welfare of workers, there is likely to be a requirement for health and safety training or general safety qualifications so that they are more aware of the dangers and risks, and how to work safely. This can be particularly serious in high risk places of work where there is a significant probability of being seriously injured or killed.
The training and business coaching may require an initial investment in terms of time as workers need to be away from the workplace in order to undertake the training session(s). But like virtually all forms of training and development the time required in the short term will be more than made up for over the long term. In this case, if the information taught on the training sessions and re-enforced by the business coaching sessions allows workers to get on with the job rather than having to constantly wait for the manager to become free and then bother them with their questions, it will provide much more free time for the manager, not to mention greater productivity and output from those employees as they get on with the tasks using their own initiative.
Any form of training, whether it be management training, health and safety training or personal development training will be far more effective when the person being trained is involved in the session, rather than simply being talked at or made to read through a textbook from cover to cover.
This is because without engagement they are likely to switch off and lose concentration as their attention begins to wander. In this situation the delegate will miss or fail to fully understand what is likely to be vital information, and will therefore lower the overall effectiveness of the training session.
Asking questions is one of the most effectual methods of engaging and involving workers in the training session, and it is imperative that managers or indeed whoever is providing the training or business coaching to the employee(s) encourage questions to be asked.
Whist it may disrupt the flow of the session slightly, it is often useful for delegates to be allowed to ask questions as the session goes along rather than having to wait until the end. This is because not only can it help to clarify points as and when they come up during the training, but by the end of the session the person may have forgotten their question! They may then only remember it after they have returned to their workplace duties, by which time it will be too late to ask and their knowledge will remain incomplete.
Not only should the asking of questions be encouraged, but those running the session need to respond to them positively. If they are dismissive of questions or say that there is no time for them just now, it will put off the asking of further questions and create the lack of engagement mentioned in the opening paragraph above.
Along with being beneficial for those attending the session, many trainers in fact say that training to a quiet room with no interaction is hard going for them too!
The BCF Group have evolved from the Business Coaching Foundation, which was established in 2001. We have leadership development and business coaching at our core. Having representation from global learning leads, executive coaches and talent development specialists, we deliver accredited people development programs.Find Out More
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