New Managers

New Manager Training: the tips, skills and resources to get it right

Good managers are not born, they are cultivated. Even your most talented employee will need some training before they will be able to take on the role of manager and be successful at it.

Ryan Carruthers

August 4, 2022

Corporations spend more to develop senior leaders than train new managers. Little wonder, 98% of managers feel new managers need more training to deal with crucial issues such as employee turnover, project management, and more.

This lack of training and support has made many new managers redundant. 63% feel ineffective after six months, and 50% still don’t feel effective after a year, according to Brian Rollo Consulting Group.

These numbers are staggering and should cause companies to take a good look at their new manager training program. To have effective new manager training in your workplace, you need to keep a few things in mind:

  1. Participant engagement is crucial
  2. The program should be comprehensive
  3. The program should be flexible to meet the needs of each individual and your organization’s goal
  4. There should be a focus on application and practice

What is new manager training?

New manager training is a process through which new managers learn the skills and knowledge necessary to manage a team effectively. This type of training can be delivered in various ways but typically includes a combination of:

  • classroom instruction, 
  • on-the-job training, and 
  • mentorship from more experienced managers.

Why is it critical to train new managers?

Harvard Business Review reviewed training of over 1700 leaders across different organizations. Most people in these companies become supervisors at age 30 and stay in that role for nine years. After promotion, many don't get the necessary training until they are 42. 

This means managers don't get formal training for a whopping 10 years into the leadership role.

This is a problem because, during those early years of transition into a leadership role, new managers are expected to perform at the same level as their more experienced colleagues.

Not training is even more expensive

The high cost of toxic workplace culture report shows that 60% of employees who left blamed their managers. And this turnover has cost companies $223 billion in the last five years. Companies with well-trained managers had significantly lower employee turnover rates than those without well-trained managers.

Leadership pipeline

Training new managers help ensure the company has a strong leadership pipeline (many companies that get this right have leadership mentoring programs). When you have well-trained managers capable of taking on bigger roles, it helps ensure that the company will continue to grow and thrive.

Their success depends on it

To reiterate the lack of training support managers receive, according to Gallup, only 18% of managers possess the required skills to manage others. Most managers lack the necessary skills to lead and motivate their teams. As a result, they are more likely to struggle to achieve their goals and meet deadlines.

This lack of training has a ripple effect throughout the organization, leading to disengaged employees and high turnover rates. Training helps them learn how to manage their teams effectively, handle difficult situations, and make decisions that are in the company's best interests.

What skills do managers need training on?

For managers to reach their full potential they need to constantly refine and honing their managerial skill set. Some essential ones include:

Company Policies

A manager needs to be up-to-date on company policies. They should know when changes are made and be able to explain them to employees. The manager is the one who will enforce these policies, so they must understand them fully. Managers also need to be able to create their policies if needed.

Time management

Time management is another essential skill for managers. They need to manage their time as well as the time of their employees. This includes scheduling work, planning for breaks, and handling unexpected events. Poor time management skill leads to missed deadlines, frustrated employees, and a general feeling of being overwhelmed.

Good time management skills help managers be more efficient and productive. They complete tasks quicker and have more time to devote to other aspects of their job. Additionally, good time management skills can help prevent burnout. Some time management tips and tools to leverage will come in handy.

Management procedures‍

There are many different management procedures that a manager needs to be familiar with. These include performance reviews, hiring and firing, and dealing with conflict. Managers must know how to use these procedures to be effective in their role properly. Effective management skills guide your employees through these processes so that they understand why these procedures are in place.

Leadership qualities

A manager needs to be a strong leader. They need to be able to motivate and inspire their employees. They also need to be able to provide direction and guidance when needed. A good leader gets the best out of their employees and helps them reach their full potential. 

Pair new managers with a senior executive to mentor them on leadership qualities. When new managers have mentors, learning and developing their needed skills is much easier. Here are the top tips to mentor a new manager.

Communication skills

New managers need to be able to communicate effectively with their employees. This includes being able to give clear instructions, provide feedback, and listen to concerns. Employees need to feel that their manager is approachable and that their concerns are heard. Poor communication leads to miscommunication, misunderstandings, and disconnection between managers and employees.

Set goals‍

All managers need to set measurable goals. They need to identify what needs to be accomplished and plan how to achieve it. They also need to make adjustments. It helps ensure everyone is working towards the same objectives.

Conflict resolution‍

Conflict resolution skill helps prevent small problems from becoming bigger ones. It includes identifying the cause of the conflict, mediating between parties, and finding a resolution acceptable to all involved. Managers need to be able to resolve conflict constructively and effectively.‍ To help the new manager improve, you may offer role-playing scenarios or have them attend workshops.

Teamwork ‍

Good managers build strong teams by selecting the right people and providing them with the resources. This includes being able to collaborate, communicate, and delegate tasks. They need to work well with their employees and other managers.

Problem Solving

Good managers are able to identify problems, brainstorm solutions, and implement the best solution. Every manager should learn a few key techniques to hone their problem-solving skills. A big problem-solving skill is getting all the facts before deciding. 

Take the time to gather information from all relevant parties and do your research if necessary. After fully understanding the situation, start brainstorming potential solutions. It's also important to consider each solution's short- and long-term effects and any risks involved.

Decision-making

Much of a manager's job revolves around making decisions that will impact the team, department, and company. However, making good decisions is not always easy. It requires considering all relevant information, analyzing different options, and weighing the pros and cons. 

Provide managers training on the following to help them make better decisions:

  • How to identify objectives,
  • How to gather information and consider options,
  • How to make sound choices

Resources to build great managers

The following resources will equip new managers to lead their teams effectively:

Managers - Rework by Google. It's a compendium of practices, research, ideas and essays on management, organization and leadership. 

The Manager's Path by Camille Fournier. This book covers everything from the basics of management to more advanced topics such as career development and scaling teams from a tech point of view.

HBR Guide to Being a Great Boss by Harvard Business Review. This guide provides new managers with all-round practical advice on how to be successful in their role.

From Bud to Boss by Kevin Eikenberry. This book covers various topics relevant to management, including building trust with your team, giving effective feedback, and managing conflict.

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. This book covers the authors' experiences as Navy SEALs leaders. These principles can be applied to any organization or team to achieve success.

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries is a must-read for any manager who wants to build a successful business. This book discusses the lean startup methodology, a proven approach for creating and scaling new businesses. 

The Armed Forces Officer by SLA Marshall is free online: A great resource for managers who want to learn about leadership from the military perspective. This book covers topics such as the role of the officer, the nature of commands, and leadership styles.

Managing for Dummies by Bob Nelson. This book covers team building, delegation, and time management.

The Manager's Toolkit by Harvard Business Essentials is a comprehensive guide that covers everything from hiring and firing to performance reviews and managing conflict.

The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard Ph.D. (Author), Spencer Johnson M.D. (Author) is a classic management book that covers the three easy-to-master techniques that have proven to change millions of people's lives.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a timeless classic that provides readers with advice on how to build relationships and influence others. This book is relevant for managers who want to build strong working relationships with their team members.

The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail covers how large organizations can fail when they don't embrace new technologies. This book is relevant for managers who want to avoid this pitfall and build a successful business.

Podcasts:

The Manager Tools Podcast—Packed with useful information for new managers, including interviews with experienced managers and tips on effectively managing your team.

The Harvard Business Review Ideacast—A podcast from the Harvard Business Review that covers a wide range of topics relevant to management.

Radical Candor with Kim Scott—A podcast about the management style of Radical Candor is about learning how to be kick-ass at work while embracing humanity.

How to train new managers

The role of a manager comes with a lot of responsibility. Not only do managers need to be able to carry out their duties effectively, but they also need to be able to develop and lead their team members. 

Some ways to train them include:

Appreciation

The old saying goes, "People don't leave bad jobs; they leave bad managers." Show your new manager some appreciation and teach them how to show appreciation. A little recognition goes a long way in making employees feel valued and appreciated.

Appreciation doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming. A simple "thank you" or "good job" goes a long way. You could also give them a small gift, such as a gift card to their favorite coffee shop or restaurant.

Mentorship

Mentorship is key. There's no doubt about it; being a manager is a tough job. Having a mentor can be invaluable for new managers, as they help them navigate the challenges of their new role. To build a mentoring program for new managers, here's our manager mentoring handbook

Mentorship offers the following benefits to managers:

  • Provide guidance and advice on effectively managing a team.
  • Help new managers learn about the company culture and expectations.
  • Provide support during difficult times or challenges.
  • Career advancement opportunities.

Training

Training could come in various forms, from online webinars to in-person workshops, to one-on-one coaching. But regardless of the format, new manager training should include but is not limited to topics:

  • Setting goals and objectives
  • Communicating effectively
  • Delegating tasks and responsibilities
  • Building and leading teams
  • Managing conflict
  • Motivating employees
  • Giving feedback

These are just a few examples, but training should be tailored to their needs and your organization's needs.

Coaching

Depending on the manager's preference, this can be done in person or virtually but embracing a mixed approach is the best. Coaching provides new managers with the opportunity to receive real-time feedback and guidance, which is invaluable as they transition into their new roles. It benefits new managers in two ways—encourages them to get better in their new roles and provides them with new skills to coach the employees they work with.

Coaching and mentoring appear the same on a surface level but differ. Coaching is usually used to improve a specific skill. Mentoring is broader and can focus on anything from career development to work/life balance.

Review

After and while they receive training, reviewing and assessing how they're doing is important. This can be done through one-on-one meetings, performance reviews, or informal check-ins. Schedule regular check-ins to offer feedback and help troubleshoot any problems that come up.

During these reviews, provide feedback on what they're doing well and identify areas for improvement. This helps ensure that they are on track and help you identify areas where additional training may be necessary.

Start a new manager mentorship program

An organization is only as strong as its leaders. That's why it's so important to cultivate the next generation of managers through a mentorship program

Together provides the perfect mentoring platform for new managers to get the training and mentorship they need. It enables you to build a customizable platform to train and provide them with the necessary resources. The platform also makes it easy to connect them with mentors and gives them access to resources and support to help them grow into their new roles.

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Want incredible results from your mentorship program? Then download our comprehensive list of best practices.

We draw these best practices from the first-hand experience of program managers like you and our own expertise. This white paper is a comprehensive guide that will be your roadmap to building a world-class mentoring program.