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Low-Cost, Effective Training for People Managers
By Judy Kneiszel

Developing more effective leaders and people managers is a priority for 60 percent of HR professionals this year, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2022-2023 State of the Workplace Report.

Finding ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency is a focus for 61 percent of the HR professionals surveyed.

Those two priorities training managers and reducing costs do not have to be mutually exclusive.

Use scenarios, shared experiences for manager training

If you don't have the budget to send your supervisors to formal training, but you would like to improve the on-the-job learning process, consider implementing an informal program where supervisors can develop management skills by examining real-world scenarios in a collaborative group environment.

How it works

Once per month (or whatever frequency works for your company), an HR representative will act as a facilitator and gather all supervisors (both new and seasoned) either virtually or in a conference room for a one-hour session. Heres how the training should proceed:
  1. The HR facilitator will divide the attendees into groups of three to five people and give each group a workplace scenario to discuss. The scenarios could range from conflict resolution among team members to claims of sexual harassment or discrimination.
  2. Each group will have five minutes to discuss the scenario and come up with the best way to handle the situation.
  3. At the end of the five minutes, each group will present its solution to the rest of the attendees, and the entire room (including the HR rep) will weigh in on the solution and offer additional insight.
This informal gathering provides an environment where supervisors can learn from shared experiences (with HR input) on the best approaches to real-world situations they are likely to face.

New managers benefit

Sometimes employees are promoted to the role of supervisor or manager with little management training. Once they are in the role, they don't always have the opportunity or time to attend formal training in leadership and related skills.

As a result, these supervisors usually learn through their personal successes and failures on the job. Unfortunately, such real-time learning experiences can result in mistakes that can be costly to businesses.

Using the informal group training described above can help speed learning and avoid those types of mistakes. In addition, the sessions can also serve as team building exercise for leaders, boost morale, and improve engagement for all participants.

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