Most of us have to answer to a manager at some point in our working life or perhaps you have been promoted to a managerial level yourself.
But as you’ve probably noticed, not all managers are the same. A good manager will support, encourage and motivate their staff. A bad manager will do the opposite. But what is at the root of this difference between excellent and poor managers?
The answer is simple: training.
What is an ‘accidental manager’?
An accidental manager starts out as someone who is good at their job. Skilled, competent, efficient. So good, in fact, that someone higher up notices their contribution and decides to promote them.
The promotion means they will be leading a team, but this is where the problems start, as they receive no training whatsoever for this new role. Thrown in at the deep end, they are faced with a new role and a group of people to manage, but little or no idea where to start.
Why do accidental managers need training?
There are two key reasons accidental managers need training:
- They will make a better contribution to the organisation they work for
- They and their staff will be happier and therefore more productive in their jobs
You wouldn’t expect an electrician or an accountant to ‘just get on with the job’ without any training, and yet many managers are put in this position. Even if you are a people person with a natural ability to get on with and motivate others, you can benefit from leadership or management training.
Furthermore, management training is not only about the people you work with, it will also help you to manage the other resources at your disposal, such as budgets, and to appreciate the importance of understanding the culture and goals of the organisation you work for.
What skills does management training teach?
There are too many to list here in full, but a few examples are:
- Motivating staff and giving constructive feedback
- Team leadership and understanding team dynamics
- Communication skills
- Report writing
- Resource planning
- Promoting equality and diversity
Management training can also help new managers with recruitment and interviewing techniques, as well as disciplinary actions.
How is management training taught?
The best courses, such as those run by CMS Vocational Training, will offer a range of options, including Blended Learning, with a mix of workplace driven assessments, access to training materials, including manuals and online resources, and a personal tutor, who will support you on the phone, by email, webinar or face-to-face contact as required.
At CMS, you are not limited to a specific training course date, but can start your training at any time that suits you. Courses available include:
What about costs?
Funding options for management training vary, but you may be entitled to a government funded apprenticeship; alternatively some training providers, such as CMS, offer interest-free instalments.
Ideally your company will help to fund your transition to managerial level, but whether they support you or you fund your own training, the benefits will continue to have an impact on your working life into the future, as you will develop transferable skills and be happier and more productive in your chosen career.
What should I do if I become an accidental manager?
First, thank your boss for the opportunity and the promotion. Second, ask what training you will be receiving to ensure that you can excel in your new role.
If there are no plans in place, draw up a list of potential courses that you feel would benefit you and – crucially – the organisation you work for.
If your boss is resistant to the idea of management training, mention the following:
- It shows that you are taking your new responsibilities seriously
- Any money/time spent on management training will bring dividends and benefit the company in the long term
- Those in your charge will be more motivated and productive
- Valued staff will be less likely to leave the company if well managed
A promotion can become a poisoned chalice if you are not equipped with the skills and training to carry out your new role. Equally, a company will benefit from a happier and more productive workforce if they are managed by someone who has received the appropriate training.