With the incredible speed at which things move in the business world, sometimes we as managers miss opportunities to let people know that we really care about them as individuals and we are honestly interested in their development. Case in point: we sometimes encounter participants in the classroom who were just informed the previous day of their training appointment with us. They are frustrated and unable to focus because they fear what is happening back at work. Others, when asked why they are here and what they expect to learn, say that they don't know or worse yet, they believe they are being punished. That's a shame, because preparing people for training and including them in the discussion, can make a manager's stock soar.
We were pleased when a recent request for training was accompanied by a willingness to engage in some pre-training discussion. The champion of the initiative gathered his managers and asked them to give thought to their needs for future supervisors. Each came to the meeting with a list of objectives and questions. It was wonderful to have the chance to share with them not only our curriculum information, but all the extra tools CAI provides for managers themselves. Now, they have a plan that includes reinforcing the concepts once the training is complete.
Research has proven time after time that training by itself is an "event", but training in conjunction with manager support allows for real change in behavior and performance. Managers who take time to work with employees both before and after the training experience the best long-term results while at the same time building up credibility in the eyes of their direct reports.