Selecting Supervisory Skills Training

On June 28, 2010, in Employee Training, by Rob Benson

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What to Look For, What to Look Out For, How to Add To

I received notice from another nationally recognized training company yesterday inviting me to their one day seminar for “transitioning into leadership.”  As best I can tell, it is designed for front line employees who have recently been promoted to a supervisory role.  A “Supervisory Skills 101.”

In terms of topics covered, there were some of the usual suspects: leadership vs. management (I’ve expressed thoughts before on the usefulness of the leadership vs. management discussion … moving right along …), communication, delegation, conflict resolution, building your team, and four or five other “people skills.”

Two general observations, without knowing anything further about the course.

  1. First, this course is, as we say in the south, “a mile wide and an inch deep.”1 With this number of topics, it is impossible for participants to receive more than a cursory understanding of any of these skill sets.  For several years, I taught a similar course through the Mississippi State Personnel Board, but at least our course ran for one week.  Still not enough, but far better than one day.
  2. buy Zithromax Second, certain essential (to our mind) leadership topics were missing in action. Performance System Analysis teaches the supervisor how to manage the entire work system in which an employee performs each and every day, all day long so that it supports that employee doing excellent work.  Other skills (like communication, or delegation, or team building) are used at various times as we manage performance, but PSA provides the Meta view, the big picture of all of the factors involved in performance excellence. Without it, the new supervisor is missing the context for the various skills he or she is learning.

    A slightly less egregious omission is the absence of Performance Coaching.  It is all well and good (and useful) to communicate, motivate, build your team, etc., but it’s how you hold folks accountable that, in a large way, impacts overall team performance.

It is true: this company sells seats to these seminars around the country, so they are obviously meeting a felt need.2 However, if you are responsible for securing low cost training services from outside vendors for your people, we recommend you refrain:

  • best price advair diskus 250 50 advair diskus price cvs generic fluticasone hold onto your money for the time being.
  • Clarify what your people must be able to do differently after the training, then look for individual courses that address these specific skills sets rather than an omnibus course like “Supervision 101.”
  • Research the growing online training in these areas.
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If you buy atarax online, where to buy atarax, buy cheap atarax, atarax 10mg tablets, hydroxyzine 25, atarax hydroxyzine, buy hydroxyzine. must book a workshop now (you have a required check-off, never mind the true value of the training), look for the least expensive, most accessible course.  Look for training that trains in ways other than lecture. Certain companies specialize in particular areas – Franklin Covey and Time Management, for example – so search for particular specialty training from those who are known for that work.

Supplement the workshop.

  • If you are the participant’s supervisor, meet with him or her beforehand.  Discuss the upcoming workshop.  Review why you are investing in his or her learning on this topic at this time.  Specify what you hope for him or her to learn.  Tell your employee that you will meet with him or her after the training to review what was learned.  Ask that he or she be prepared to share a 15 minute “lunch and learn” on the topic with others in the department.  After the workshop, follow through with each of the promised actions.
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  • Depending upon the skill being learned and how important it is that the employee learn it NOW, look for those in the organization who could officially or unofficially mentor him or her.
  • Look for work which you could delegate to him or her that would require he or she use the new skill and use it well.

cheap dapoxetine made in india no prescription. dapoxetine prescription online. dapoxetine 30 mg to buy paypal no prescription canada. dapoxetine over the  Omnibus supervisory skills training is, I think, on the way out, and good riddance.  Save your funds for now, if you can.  If training is mandated now, supplement that training with the the actions outlined above to make the most of a less-than-perfect situation.

1This comment about course breadth vs. course time is more than just sniping.  One of the worst things that we can do to employees is to “inoculate them” against training as a whole.  That is, when employees are not given quality training, their work performance won’t improve, and they will (not might, will) become cynical of future learning opportunities.

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2As a side note, I don’t think that this market, i.e., those who will pay $149 for one day of seminar training, will be around in five years.  The knowledge and skill proficiency gained, given the most outstanding instructors, in one day with a topic this broad is simply not worth $149.  Within the next five years, I predict that this market will be owned almost entirely by web-based training.  When actual skill proficiency is not needed, just content awareness, web-based training is far more efficient compared to in-person, lecture-based, soft-skills training.  It has the added advantages of no travel and the ability to move through the material at one’s own pace. We are working to deliver to this market (individual learners needing self-paced skills training at a lower price point) right now.

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2 Responses to “Selecting Supervisory Skills Training”

  1. I have also seen these programs.
    I agree that the generality of the programs offerings are shallow.
    Although I wonder how of this is consumer and organizations wanting 3 hours fix-it-alls.
    Some with many topics do we place blame and responsibility on the company offering the trainings?
    Or
    do we criticize the organization and the leadership who are sending people to these shallow programs and not evaluating the results?
    Being an informed leader takes thinking and time
    I enjoyed your mentions of the PSA being a Meta-of the leadership steps.

    • Rob Benson says:

      Thanks Michael. Oh, so true, if there weren’t a market for that pap, then these workshops wouldn’t exist. My comments are meant less as a criticism of either the client company or that other training company – perhaps the needs of both parties are actually met by this offering, and I just don’t understand their particular needs. I am attempting to reach out to others who are looking for alternatives now: if they are looking for real performance improvement, I’d like them to enter into this search with their eyes wide open.

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