High Performance Management Q & A

The Importance of Management Training

An interview with John Bonner, Industry Liaison and EvCC Vice President of Corporate & Workforce Training.

Q: Why is manager training important?

A: Because quality, profitability, value are important—and mangers are at the center of a company’s performance in those areas.  New managers benefit from help transitioning to a manager’s broad role and responsibility.  But both new and experienced managers produce better results when equipped with proven knowledge and tools used by the best managers in the most successful companies. Quality manager training provides that opportunity.

Also, research demonstrates that manager training is key to employee retention and succession planning.

Q:What key skills must managers learn to be successful?

A: CEOs tell us that they want their managers to be more proactive and innovative in their problem solving and more focused on key results.  Yet managers are often pulled in many directions, spending time ‘putting out fires’ or dealing with day to day challenges and employee issues.

The most successful managers have learned how to drive performance by focusing and prioritizing their time and efforts on what matters most.  Part of that is identifying the true root causes of persistent issues--not the symptoms--and learning how to address those issues effectively with proven approaches to quality, process improvement, employee management, and team development.    

Q: What should one look for when considering a manager training program for their employees?

A: There are a number of important factors to consider. 

First, you want a program that is tied to the best thinking available, worldwide.  The ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence, Baldrige, or other recognized quality improvement and management associations have assembled management frameworks that are tested and proven to drive performance excellence. Surprisingly, very few management programs out there really focus on those standards. Instead, they try to re-create the wheel when a better approach is to tie their curriculum to the best thinking currently available.  So look for management training that is tied to a recognized industry credential.

Second, employers should not stop there.  Proven industry frameworks are a starting point, not the end.  They’ll need to work with a competent training provider to customize and align the content and delivery based on their specific organizational goals, identified through a thoughtful needs assessment process that involves the management team, employees, and content and curriculum experts.  This does not need to be labor intensive and should in most cases cost nothing.

Third, management training produces the best results when the participants are exposed to the practical, hands-on knowledge and tools that can be immediately applied to the workplace. Exercises and assignments should be directly related to employee professional development needs that align with the organization’s mission and needs.  Keeping it highly focused and practical will produce a much better return on investment for the employee and employer.

Finally, if possible, it is great to have the management training courses integrate with a larger certificate program.  So employees that receive company training can count that training toward a larger certificate program they pursue on their own time.  This provides powerful incentive for employees to keep learning and improving their skills.

Q: What programs does EvCC have and who are they designed for?

A: Our programs are designed for managers and those with management potential working in any area, including quality, service, sales, operations, and HR; and we have electives for individuals interested in specific areas of learning.  I think our programs are particularly useful if you are employed in aerospace/manufacturing, healthcare, or in a small business because of our special emphasis on quality, process improvement, and customer focus.

The High Performance Management Certificate Program is for individuals with supervisory experience who are currently working as a manager or who have strong management potential.  The six month program focuses on developing leadership skills, driving performance excellence, achieving financial intelligence, and integrating and improving these disciplines to produce results.

Employers should know that any of the individual courses in our two programs can be broken out, tailored, and delivered on-site as customized training for their employees. A good place to start is to come to one of our free information sessions or just email us at trainingsolutions@everettcc.edu