Management and leadership training is an important component to the growth and capability of any manager. Without a dedicated investment in learning and development, companies run the risk of falling behind their competitors, whilst managers can become stuck in their ways and disillusioned. But why is management training so important? How can a learning culture be promoted? In this article we look at the importance of management training and development and answer a few common questions.
Why do I need training in management?
There are many push and pull factors for needing management training. The push factors could include an outdated CV, boredom, not being competitive enough in the employment market, being told by a line manager that you must demonstrate CPD if you wish to be considered for promotion, feedback that highlights specific needs or the requirement for a qualification for membership of a professional body. Pull factors can often be more internally motivated, such as having a growth mindset, enjoying learning, self-development, personal satisfaction and wanting to broaden your knowledge and horizons. Here are four great coaching questions to help you gather your thoughts:
- What will happen if you have management training
- What won’t happen if you have management training?
- What will happen if you don’t have management training?
- What won’t happen if you don’t have management training?
Should I be investing in my own training or should my employer pay?
At inspired2learn we experience lots of different funding scenarios for management training and qualifications. There is no single answer to this question and will depend on the culture and policies of your organisation, which in turn will influence budgets. It will also depend on the context of your answer to the first question, regarding need. If your needs are personally motivated and there isn’t organisational support, you might well invest significant time and money in yourself. About half of all our clients on management training programmes are readily paying for their own CPD. Where employers are unable to pay for your management training, they might be able to provide different types of support such as a mentor or study time. Some employers offer no support and don’t value investing in people, in which case you will need to self-fund and be self-reliant in your approach to learning and studying.
How can I encourage my employees to learn and develop?
Over the years you have probably had different levels of support from your own manager. Notice what has been of value to you personally and how poor managers have failed to encourage you to learn and develop. Noticing your own experiences will give you great awareness of what works and doesn’t work. Here are a few tips from inspire2learn:
- Model the growth mindset and lifelong learning – talk about your own development and learning needs, ask for feedback and show you value investment of time and energy in your management and leadership capability. Why should others bother if you don’t?
- Undertake management training and qualifications yourself, so that you can talk about the return on investment first and whet the appetite of others for doing something similar.
- Integrate CPD into performance management and HR processes, both formally and informally
- Secure budget for courses, qualifications and other CPD. You might need to prepare a case / justification for this, so be prepared to do some research into potential return on investment and case studies
- Have regular development conversations, give feedback and ask coaching questions. Show an interest in the challenges, aspirations and motivations of those you manage. Ask about their needs and gaps.
- Use a reflective learning cycle to underpin your development conversations. At inspired2learn we particularly like ‘What, so what, now what?’ (Rolfe et al 2001).
- Reward engagement in learning and training with incentives, new opportunities, praise, feedback and celebration
- Encourage peer learning and sharing of learning through presentations, teaching others or briefings. Add CPD as a standing agenda item for team meetings, both to identify needs and share the knowledge from courses or other learning activity
- Make it easy – share links to interesting content, free webinars from professional bodies or discussions and articles that are readily available on social media
Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., Jasper, M. (2001) Critical reflection in nursing and the helping professions: a user’s guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.