Ask an Advisor: What Training Should Managers Receive?

As a SHRM HR Knowledge Advisor, I have recently been receiving more questions about what type of training managers should receive.

The short answer is anything and everything that benefits the work, workers, and workplace. Figuring out the “anything and everything” is the challenge. The initial thought is to look at training that may be required by law, industry, or position, such as safety training and harassment prevention training, but managers will need other training, as well.

Sometimes, managers don’t have the proper experience to manage effectively, or they don’t know what it means to be a manager. Have you ever promoted an employee to a manager role and then everything seemed to fall apart? You’re not alone. It is an especially unique area to navigate for newly promoted managers who will now be supervising their peers. Employers offer training to new employees coming into the organization on their job responsibilities, policies, and procedures, as well as performance expectations, but often neglect doing the same for newly hired managers and internal promotions. Without management development training for those newly hired or promoted, managers might just do what they think is correct until they are told differently. This isn’t always the best approach and usually   leads to trouble for employers along with frustrated employees.

In my experience, the only way to get managers performing at or above company expectations is through training. It’s up to employers to ensure that their managers have the tools available to them to do their jobs correctly, which includes understanding job expectations, employment laws and employer policies as well as how to handle employee relations. Employers may want to provide managers with training on employment discrimination in interviewing, hiring, and promoting. If the organization has a performance review process, appropriate training should be provided to ensure there is no bias in that system. Managers might also need training on how to address employee issues such as conflicts between employees, leave/absence management, and disciplinary action. The training that “should” be provided is unique to every employer.

Remember, training is not a one-time action. You should continually train your managers, even if it is just a refresher. This should make your managers and business more successful.  

Check out SHRM’s award-winning People Manager Qualification (PMQ) for help building and enhancing manager competencies.

If you want to know more about management training or have other HR questions, we’d love to help! Give us a call or send an e-mail. We’re also available by chat. It’s one of the most valued benefits of SHRM membership!

SHRM’s Ask an Advisor service is a member benefit through which SHRM’s HR Knowledge Advisors share guidance, real-life personal and professional experiences, and resources to assist members with their HR-related inquiries.

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