Managing a team is daunting. However, when it comes to training teams, nearly 75% of managers are unhappy because the training offered didn’t accomplish goals.
Yet offering opportunities for employees to develop and improve their skills and talents is crucial for businesses to succeed. According to research, employees offered internal progression are more likely to stay with a company than those who aren’t. Training plays a significant role in fostering this internal mobility and improving employee retention.
For many managers, the cost of training may seem like a massive financial investment—the annual global budget for training in 2020 was approximately $357.7 billion. However, the cost of high employee turnover could be even higher because replacing an employee can cost up to 16-20% of their annual salary, including the cost of induction training, recruitment, and loss of productivity during the onboarding process.
By actively supporting training opportunities and encouraging an active learning culture, managers can help keep valuable employees. Moreover, according to research, training is worth all the money because investment in training is linked to substantial improvement in business performance.
Qualities of a Good Leader
Whether leading a team or running your own business, the best leaders should have strong leadership qualities to help them interact positively with their teammates, employees, and customers.
Most behavioral studies suggest that leadership qualities aren’t inboard and can be taught—leaders can gain leadership qualities through learning and being taught these skills over time. Here are five leadership qualities that make a good leader:
- Integrity: It involves doing the right thing, even if no one is watching. Without integrity, you can’t expect your teammates or employees to be honest. Managers succeed when they follow through, lead by example, live by their core values, and stick to their word. Integrity is the backbone of all other leadership skills.
- Empathy: A good leader should be open-minded enough to understand their followers’ hopes, motivations, problems, and dreams so they can build a deep and personal connection with them.
- Accountability: Excellent leaders are accountable for their team’s results, good or bad. They hold themselves and their team responsible for their actions, creating a sense of responsibility among the team. Also, accountable leaders give credit where it’s due, taking the blame when necessary. Being responsible is one of the most effective ways leaders can build trust with their teams.
- Humility: Once you become a manager, it’s tempting to become blinded by the new status or title. However, a great leader focuses on solving problems and team dynamics much more than self-promotion. A leader will never succeed if they’re concerned with themselves rather than the wellbeing of their followers. Being vulnerable and humble with your team will make you more effective and relatable.
- Delegation: A challenge for most managers and leaders is transitioning from doing to leading. Many new managers are accustomed to doing all the work themselves and struggle to allow others to handle tasks and responsibilities independently. Managers and leaders must shape others’ ideas and thoughts toward achieving a common goal.
4 Ways Managers Can Support Their Team’s Learning Journeys
Since managers significantly influence employee engagement, they must feel empowered to facilitate employee training. So let’s discuss four practical ways managers can encourage employee engagement and retention by supporting employee development.
1. Promote a Learning Environment
Ashna Patel notes, “to lead is not to be followed. To lead is to inspire, educate, motivate, and accelerate growth… in yourself and others around you.”
A manager’s role in employee training and development is crucial because they spend a lot of time with employees. Managers can leverage simple daily interactions to show their subordinates that training is a top priority. They can use their constant interaction with employees to improve training and development by consciously creating a learning environment within the company. Top leaders must foster a learning environment throughout the company.
A conducive learning environment promises:
- Improved productivity and more profits.
- Increased employee satisfaction rates.
- Decreased staff turnover.
- Increased learning agility.
Employee training programs must also take advantage of managers’ frequent interaction with employees by incorporating them into structured post-training activities. These may range from on-site assessments to encouragement when employees feel changes are challenging to execute and maintain.
2. Create Opportunities for On-Site Practice
New knowledge and skills gained from training courses won’t stick if employees don’t get an opportunity to apply them in their roles. This means that businesses risk wasting a substantial portion of their training budget if employees don’t have time to practice.
Managers should collaborate with trainers to offer their employees opportunities to practice what they learned in “safe to fail” environments, like eLearning scenarios and role-plays with colleagues.
Also, managers should provide hands-on supervision to help their teams apply new skills they learned in training or complete new tasks with their teams.
3. Manage and Align Expectations
Managers should manage and align their team’s expectations regarding training by collaboratively setting goals. Setting goals can improve focus, boost motivation, signpost success, and provide metrics to measure progress. When enrolling in a training and development program, having concrete expectations and goals can help employees be more successful during the training program and in applying what they learned in their role.
You can use objectives and key results to identify training needs and set learning objectives for the training and development course. Goals and expectations must be:
- Relevant to the company, department, or team KPIs.
- Measurable and achievable.
- Aligned with the training program.
- Time-bound by giving the employees time to apply what they learned.
For instance, if an employee attends a training course on how to write a successful pitch, their expectation could be to win two or more pieces of work within the first month after the training. After the training course, they must revisit their progress towards their goals with the support of their manager.
4. Train to Each Employee’s Needs
Proper employee training is the cornerstone of any successful business. Employees who receive adequate training are more efficient and satisfied with their job. You’d be surprised at the ways proper training can shape the landscape of your work environment. If managers want to offer excellent training, they should start by making a list that addresses the specific needs of each employee involved.
To provide train that caters to each employee’s needs:
- Explore overall performance. Examine each employee in your team instead of the whole department. Evaluate them and identify what skills they’re lacking—identifying what each employee lacks will show you where to focus your efforts. Then, devote most of your time to those targeted areas and skills and lightly point out things that your team seems to do well.
- Perform individual assessments. You may have few people doing the same tasks. Some tasks might be delegated to individuals or even small groups. Evaluate the performance of those individuals to establish their strengths and weaknesses. For example, training can improve efficiency, but only if it’s tailored to the areas where efficiency needs improvement. You may also realize that some employees need customized training.
- Offer different training and development programs for different roles. For example, an accountant doesn’t require the training a file clerk needs. There are many roles within your company and team, and the employees who fill them must understand how you expect them to do their job. To improve your team’s productivity, you must have training programs that cater to different roles. Adopting a one-size-fits-all approach will only leave certain employees lacking vital information and skills, which may cause problems in the future.
Leverage Zight (formerly CloudApp) to Deliver Excellent Customer Experiences
Zight (formerly CloudApp) is a powerful customer support software that can help your customer support team save time by explaining complex concepts visually. By leveraging its HD videos, GIFs, and screen recordings, your team can respond promptly to colleagues and customer questions by embedding visuals directly into shared docs, collaboration tools, email, and even productivity apps. For instance, Gainsight saves over $10,000 yearly from delivering a better customer experience using Zight (formerly CloudApp).
Gainsight’s team uses videos and annotated screenshots to answer customer queries. Also, using Zight (formerly CloudApp), the team takes two to three typed customer interactions and combines them into one HD video or GIF, eliminating the need for customer support agents to type out long-winded responses.