Over the last few years, managers experienced unprecedented challenges. No amount of training could have prepared them for what happened. They made tremendous strides. Now, leadership is making more permanent changes, and the time is ripe to reward your managers. One of the best rewards you can give them is training.
Training is something employees seek out from employers. It is so important to employees that according to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. (This includes your managers.) Yet, according to the State of Association Workplaces Post-Pandemic Survey, offering training is not a high priority among leaders. Only 29% of respondents offer manager coaching and development, and only 15% offer senior leader development. This is a huge missed opportunity for organizations. Training is like oxygen – with minimal amounts, you can survive, but without sufficient oxygen over time, you perform less efficiently.
Giving your managers oxygen
If you have ever flown, then you are familiar with the flight attendants’ pre-flight safety demonstration. Specifically, “In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you.” Managers had oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling two years ago. They have worked at high levels with them on since then. Now that the plane (i.e., organization) is steadying out again, it is time to pump oxygen back into the cabin at optimal levels and move away from an “in case of emergency” mindset.
Training is crucial for optimizing employees to be their most efficient and happy selves. Middle managers are the crux of communication and workflow within a team. Particularly in the remote environment, their role becomes even more critical as the culture carriers of your organization. Thorough and targeted training for people managers means equipping them with the skills and knowledge to:
- Communicate effectively and empathetically
- Support employees’ mental and physical health from a distance
- Administer positive coaching towards goals and development
Help your managers carry the culture
Culture is the underlying system of values, beliefs, and behaviors that shape how actual work gets done at an organization. Everyone in an organization contributes to its culture, but managers are the culture builders and connectors between staff and upper leadership. They are the cultivators of employee development. Before takeoff, flight attendants remind passengers to “secure your mask on first, and then assist another person.” By training your managers, you help them secure their masks first. Then, they can use the knowledge they gained to help their teams.
According to Gallup, “Managers account for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement scores.” In other words: people leave managers, not jobs. If you don’t take the time to invest in your managers, employee engagement decreases, and your culture will tank. If your manager feels frustrated, unsure, or burned out, they will pass those feelings down to their teams.
Managing, particularly in hybrid or fully remote workplaces, requires intentionality and different skill sets and tools. Helping managers better connect and communicate with their distanced teams, facilitate accountability, and understand employee wellness virtually will foster a positive culture. Training allows your managers to step away from the tactical, day-to-day tasks that bog down leaders. It provides managers “strategic time” instead of “tactical firefighting,” which is often the more frequent way they operate. They can take the time to step away and get a higher view. This will enable them to connect with solutions that will ultimately help them connect better with their staff.
Improve your bottom line
In addition to the cultural benefits, there are financial benefits to training your managers. According to HR Magazine, companies that invest $1,500 on training per employee can see an average of 24% more profit than companies that invest less. Likewise, in the wake of the “Great Resignation,” employers wanting to retain and attract top talent would benefit from investing in their managers. IBM conducted a study finding that employees who feel they cannot develop in the company and fulfill their career goals are 12 times more likely to leave the company.
Investing in your people generates a return on investment beyond hard dollars. They will be more engaged, have higher morale, and be better able to advance your organization’s goals. Once you decide to provide your managers with training, the next step will be deciding on where to turn to get that training. This is where Achurch can help. We offer a comprehensive Remote Manager Training Series. It equips fully remote or hybrid-remote managers with the tools they need to lead distributed teams successfully. Click training to learn more and sign up.