In my previous post, I make the case that the manager is the most high impact trainer in any organization. The manager has the ability to subvert anything that was trained merely through one comment or gesture.
But what about the opposite? What if the manager reinforces what was covered in training? What happens then?
The answer: The employee performs according to the training.
Let’s assume, for now, that the training actually has something valuable in it. That the people who created the training did the research, know what the proper performance ought to be, and trained a great class designed to help employees on the job.
The employee leaves the training and now has to apply it to the work environment.
Here are the things that the manager can do to reinforce the training:
1. Ask the employee what he learned in training
How often has this happened? Not enough! If an employee goes to a training class, industry conference, safety briefing, or any other “learning”, this should be the first course of action. It is unlikely that the manager attends all of the training that the employees attend, so now the employee has to share the content with the manager. It’s the manager’s job to listen.
The Manager by Design blog explores the core skills that managers need to be good at being managers. A key skill is the ongoing use of behavior-based language. In previous posts, I discussed the kind of language that is decidedly NOT behavior-based: Language that makes generalizations about an employee’s behavior, and language that that makes value-judgments. In these posts, I make the case that there is no use for this, even in the effort to be efficient. In today’s post, I attempt to describe what behavior-based language is.
By its nature, language is a slippery thing, so I don’t make the assumption that there is a clear distinction between what is and is not behavior-based. What I advocate is for managers to at least attempt to slide in the direction of behavior-based language in performance discussions with their employees.
This is the first of two parts identifying if you are using language that is behavior-based:
In this post, I begin to explore the tenets of the new field I advocate called Management Design. Management Design is a response to the bad, or lazy, existing design (cataloged here) that currently describes how managers are developed or found. These existing designs demonstrate how people managers are often created by accident, rather than by design. To improve this, I’m proposing design tenets and here’s the first tenet of management design: Treat people and team management as a functional skill. Read more