When we hear the word ‘leadership training’ we often think of leadership programs specific to the C-suite – the big bosses in the shiny window-filled offices on the top floors.
But for HR and People teams, it’s also important to recognize the power of investing in leadership training programs for managers – whether they’re making the difficult transition from individual contributor to people manager, or have years of experience and face increasingly complex and cross-functional management challenges.
Think of your managers as your frontline leaders – they’re tasked with everything from managing team performance and driving bottom line growth, to helping employees deal with really challenging life situations. It’s not an easy job and crazily, most managers enter the role with next to no training.
When you develop a bench of all-star leaders who have the right skills and resources, the flow on effects across your entire organization and workforce are tangible and hugely impactful on aspects like performance, culture, team morale and much more.
Read on for 9 key benefits of leadership programs for your managers and how leadership training can have a dramatic impact on your organization.
#1. It will have a positive impact on your bottom line
Yes, implementing leadership training for your management team will mean an investment of time and resources. But did you know that if you don’t provide your management team with leadership training, that will also cost you? What’s more, it will likely be a lot more painful.
A Ten Spot survey shows that nearly half of workers admit to having a manager or team leader that makes them want to quit.
By not investing in leadership training for your management team, you risk high staff turnover. This could involve losing both the managers themselves, who feel overwhelmed and unsupported, and the employees who work for them.
But if you do invest in high-quality leadership training, you’ll save substantially in the long run. You’ll see the impact across key business metrics – like productivity and performance, and employee NPS and retention.
And investing in your team now for positive outcomes company-wide is much less painful than the constant cost of replacing staff due to poor management.
#2. It provides a solid leadership foundation so you aren’t reinventing the wheel every time you hire or promote a new manager
For high-growth companies, managers are instrumental to your continued expansion. Yet, when you’re both promoting internally and hiring externally, you end up with different levels of experience and definitions of what good management looks like.
This can result in different, less equitable experiences for employees, which gets more pronounced the larger your company becomes.
Investing in a high-quality leadership program will give you a standard definition of ‘this is how you manage employees’, crafting a consistent expectation on what a manager or leader does at your company.
It will be a common foundation where every employee can know what to expect of their manager because they’ve all received the same leadership training.
And for HR? This means you won’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you hire or promote a new manager. You’ll save valuable resources on training your new managers so that they’re effective in their positions.
It takes the guesswork out of developing and empowering great managers, making HR’s job easier, with less fires to put out.
#3. Leadership training signals to your company that you care about developing great managers
People don’t leave jobs, they leave bad managers. Add to that, the new generation of employees will not stay with your company if you don’t invest or care about the things that they care about.
By investing in training your managers, you are making a statement as a company that you care about your people and are committed to ensuring they have great leadership.
It also sends the message that career training and progression is important, and will instill loyalty in your employees.
#4. Leadership training provides your managers with a framework for success
Leaders are crying out for more training, support and resources. According to research, 98% of US managers want better management training.
By providing quality leadership training for your managers, you are equipping them with a framework for success that they can rely on and fall back on.
Leadership training provides managers with the practical toolkit they need to manage the challenges and situations that arise daily as part of the role.
This might include an easy-to-implement 1:1 template for the new manager that’s never had to conduct regular check-ins with their direct reports, or a how-to guide on managing remotely for managers confronted with this situation for the first time.
By being proactive with your leadership training, you are not waiting until a problem arises and finding a band aid solution to fix it.
#5. It’s a career perk for your managers
Empowering your managers to do and be better will benefit their careers – period.
Leadership training will enable your managers to do their job better and looks great on their resumes.
Often, leadership training is presented to a management team in a way that seems like a burden or just another thing they need to do, where in reality it’s an amazing career perk.
But when HR frames it as an investment that will help managers advance in their careers, regardless of whether they’re at their current company or not, it becomes very compelling for managers.
#6. Leadership training signals to prospective talent that your company invests in its people
Investing in your people is essential in the current climate – particularly when looking to attract new talent (and even new customers).
By investing in your management team (and promoting this fact through your recruitment strategy) you will communicate to prospective employees that your company cares about its people.
Never has this been more important than now. Numerous companies, particularly in the tech space, have been laying off staff in what has been dubbed the ‘tech downturn’.
Some companies have weathered the media storm around layoffs well (think Stripe), whereas others have been heralded as an example of what not to do (think Twitter).
In reality, both companies did the same thing – layoff staff – but it was how they did it, and how they treated their staff in the process, that mattered.
Prospective talent will reverse interview their prospective employer on how they treat their staff and what the company prioritizes.
Candidates want to know where you invest your time, resources, energy and money. And if you can demonstrate you invest in your management team, this will go a long way.
#7. People aren’t born with the soft skills essential to being a manager
Soft skills aren’t an airy-fairy concept or something that are innate to every manager. They are critical management skills that need to be taught through training and cultivated via experience.
Yet, often managers are expected to be naturally good at tasks like communicating expectations or having hard conversations. It’s just not realistic and without adequate training, your managers are being set up to fail.
Empathy, self-awareness, learning agility, communication and motivating others are just some examples of soft skills that are essential for managers to have, but these things don’t come naturally to everyone.
Leadership training teaches and nurtures these soft skills. They need to be learnt and practiced, just like any other skill.
8. The right leadership program teaches managers to handle the hard stuff
A quality leadership program won’t just teach your managers about metrics and goals, it will teach them how to handle the hard stuff too – like how to support their teams through the challenging situations in life – such as death, divorce, mental illness, health, fertility and much more.
These moments happen more frequently than you might think – in fact, recent research from Circle In found that 97% of managers have supported a team member navigating a challenging life issue like one of these, yet 8 in 10 managers have not received training to do so.
Leadership training gives your managers the soft skills they need to approach these situations, and ensures they feel supported and armed with the right resources to say the right thing at the moments that matter.
#9. It will help you – HR and People teams – sleep better at night
A big part of your role as an HR or People leader is to put out fires. “What are my managers doing? What are they saying? How will they approach this situation?”
Investing in leadership training will avoid a lot of these headaches and worries, and will mean you sleep peacefully at night, knowing that your managers are equipped to lead their teams effectively.
Investing in your leaders is a worthwhile and smart move any way you look at it. What are you waiting for?
To talk to The Mintable about how we partner with the world’s most forward-thinking HR and People teams to give their managers the training, tools and community they need to succeed, get a demo today.