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When to send your Managers on a leadership course

When to send your Managers on a leadership course

Thinking about sending your Managers on a leadership course?

Many people become leaders because they’ve proven their abilities in their role. The trouble is, they haven’t got any proven ability in the role they’ve been promoted to.

The biggest cause of management mistakes is down to new Managers being thrown in at the deep end. I know a lot of people think this is a great way to test their sink or swim, but without the proper help and knowledgement, they’re going to sink!

If the captain of the team is sinking, so will the rest of the ship.

If you don’t want your team in stormy water (I promise, that’s the end of the metaphor!), then I’d recommend you take care to ensure your leaders are fully equipped with the skills they need.

When they’re just transferring to the new role, it can feel like you HAVE to tackle this challenge head on. Usually, I would agree. The truth is, it’s not always the right time to send them on training.

Training can be costly and if you’re making big business changes it might not be the best time to invest. You need to weigh up the pros and cons based on your business needs right now.

Throughout this article, I’ll explore factors you can use to decide if now is the right time to send your Managers on a leadership course or whether you should wait till a better moment.

group of leaders sitting together discussing work

Should I send my Managers to training?

There are a few sirens and red flags that tell you it’s time to send your Managers on a training course.

You may think they’ll be incredibly obvious and there’s no way you’ll miss them. I promise you that I’ve seen dozens of businesses choose to ignore every warning sign and blame the problems solely on the employees, so I know it’s important to talk about it now!

Ignoring the red flags can result in devastating financial losses, especially when your best people exit in the masses.

Here are the glaring warning signs that your Managers need further training:

  • No one has goals
  • High levels of absence
  • Deadlines are missed
  • Departmental conflicts
  • Poor punctuality
  • Time wasting
  • No one speaks to each other
  • No awareness of bigger picture and company aspirations
  • Bad feedback on employee surveys
  • Employee resistance to change
  • Common theme of under-performance
  • The Manager appears to be excessively stressed

Every time you lose an employee, you could be losing upwards of £35k* in new recruitment and training costs. (*This is the average amount lost per employee!)

A Manager has a significant, if not THE greatest, impact on employee retention. Research shows that the relationship an employee has with their Manager is one of the most influential factors to employee engagement and people performance.

The scary thing is that there are so many Business Owners that aren’t measuring the lost time, productivity, and revenue that’s caused by the red flags mentioned above.

What do you have in place to track how your team issues are impacting your bottom line? Do you want to see improvements, or are you okay with letting the money you’re losing fall through your fingers?

I think we all know the answer to that one.

Whilst the red flags may not be solely due to the Manager, the reality is that everything starts at the top!

With that in mind, if you start to see any of these issues it’s definitely time to start considering training for the relevant manager!

Leadership team going over their numbers as to whether they should send their leaders on training

When is leadership training a waste of time and money?

This is a really hard one to answer!

Leadership development is a vital part of developing business results. When a Leader improves, so does everyone else in the team.

That said, there are times when the money could be better spent elsewhere. This all comes down to your situation and whether the Leader is open and ready to learn.

I’ll walk you through the reasons why leadership training might be a waste of money:

The Manager doesn’t buy-in to the training

If this is the case, investing your money into someone who isn’t going to take it seriously will basically be throwing your money straight into the bin.

When a Manager really doesn’t want to improve and puts blockers up, they’re not going to learn much. Even if the trainer is amazing. They’re just not going to listen just so that they can ‘prove’ they won’t learn anything.

Sure, it’s the trainer’s job to engage them and teach the knowledge in an interesting way, but if someone isn’t interested in being there in the first place they’re just setting it up to fail.

The leader is selfish

If you’ve got a leader that hasn’t changed with previous feedback and they’re only looking out for themselves, training will be completely pointless. They simply don’t have what it takes.

I’ve seen businesses lose thousands because they’ve got a power-hungry, self-obsessed leader.

I’m a huge believer that people can change. Even selfishness can be changed if there’s an intention in that person to change. In fact, I’ve seen it happen numerous times and I’ve helped facilitate that change through my work as a Master Practitioner of NLP. So I know it’s possible.

However, it’s all down to that individual. They’re the ones that have to WANT to change.

If they’re happy in their life and they enjoy being selfish without the intention to change (or don’t see any issue with the way they treat people or their work) then I’m sorry to say but you’ve promoted the wrong person.

They’re never going to give you the success that you want.

It’s always good for leaders to develop themselves, and I would never say you should reject someone when they have the desire to improve their skills and knowledge.

However, if they’re already managing people that are highly successful and long standing, it’s unlikely to be the best use of your cash flow right now. They may not even get a chance to implement or practise a lot of what they’ve learnt because everyone’s already working well!

On the flip side, if they’re employing new people frequently or have a large, varied team, it would be dangerous to let them loose without the know-how. A lot of Leadership is about helping other people be the best they can be, so in essence the size and existing skill levels of the team has a large bearing on if training is right for your business at this time.

Team of leaders working together to solve a business problem

If you won’t support them after the training

If you send your Managers on an incredible training experience and they come back inspired and full of ideas, it’s so important that they have your support to implement it all!

If you start yawning when they share ideas and put huge barriers in the way of their ongoing development, don’t bother in the first place.

Training is only ever as good as the follow up.

When they come back and want to allocate time to doing something better or making improvements, you need to be prepared to give them the space for that.

What are the advantages of leadership training?

If you get the time right and the leader is ready to go, there’s huge benefits to sending your Managers on leadership training, including:

  • Higher staff retention
  • Reduction in recruitment costs
  • Time saving
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Higher profits
  • Enhanced reputation
  • Higher output

It’s often the case that business owners don’t realise how closely linked leadership training is with the desired outcomes listed above.

How your Manager deals with their people has a direct influence in all of these areas and you can sit back, watching your profits grow!

Leaders working around a table receiving training

As a specialist in Leadership Development, we always like to point out the positives. However, we’re pretty pragmatic and always want to be entirely honest when it’s not the right course of action.

I hope this article has given you some insights to help you make the right decision with the future of your management team!

If you have any questions on the subject, please feel free to email me personally on natalie@podhr.co.uk and i’ll get back to you as soon as I can! Don’t worry, there won’t be pressure to choose us for your leadership training – I will always advise the best course of action for you and your business.

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