Business Owners Training Managers (It All Rolls Downhill)

When you first started your business, you were enthusiastic, excited, and ready to tackle anything. You might even still feel those butterflies of anticipation today as you grow and scale your enterprise. But as you bring in other managers and leaders to help you steer the company ship, you wonder if your methods of training somehow inspire similar sentiments of excitement to your teams. And are they operating as leaders within your business with the same vigor and enthusiasm?

I had a business leader once tell me that only 50% of what I actively trained my teams to do would stick. And cascading in a downhill spiral, those team leaders would only effectively convey 50% of their knowledge to their subordinates. Meaning that by the time you gauged the front-line employees’ expertise, it would be next to nothing of what the original company leader tried to teach.

So, how can you, as a top-tier level manager or business owner, be sure you’re sharing your enthusiasm and expertise effectively with your managers? And how can you be sure your managers areFree Image by Tumisu from Pixabay conveying the same to their teams? The old saying is that, well, “it” rolls downhill. And today, we’ll share some insights to help you develop training initiatives that stick in a positive way, consistent with your original vision and mission for the company.

  • One survey found that 55% of CEOs and owners said that developing the next generation of top leaders is the biggest challenge they face right now.
  • Another dataset found 63% of millennials believe they aren’t being properly groomed for leadership roles or prepared for management positions.
  • In 2020, companies worldwide invested $357.7 billion in leadership training initiatives, with $165.3 billion of that representing organizations in North America.
  • Only 10-20% of company training is effectively disseminated in the workplace. The other 80-90% is viewed as “wasted” in both time, resources, and money.

If these stats resonate with your current company situation, consider these insights and suggestions to help you bridge the leadership and management training gap.

Companywide Brand Image and Messaging Is Separate

Before you embark on leadership or technical training initiatives, create a strong foundation of common brand messaging and image first. Develop a robust effort for everyone within your organization to expect and embrace ongoing education. Foster an environment of learning with every aspect of your brand alignment and image. Training shouldn’t exist in a silo or as a one-off event. Everyone should expect and enjoy training, support, and guidance ongoing and regardless of their role.

From a position of widespread learning, your managers can then be actively involved in training initiatives that might include:

  • Your company’s business model
  • Revenue channels and strategies
  • Company goals and processes
  • Company messaging and marketing

How to Effectively Convert Your Knowledge into Training Materials

Knowledge and expertise transference into effective training materials starts with a few key pillar elements. Regardless of your niche or business training topics, these are the strategies to consider first. You might know everything there is to know about your business model. But you might not know everything about sharing that knowledge. Strategizing the best methods, channels, and language will ensure your teams won’t be yawning or easily forgetting the materials you put before them.

What’s in it for me?

With any training initiative, product or leadership, you’ll need to root the purpose in a “what’s in it for me” statement. Your participants, managers or entry-level employees alike, will need to know there is value in attending and absorbing your knowledge and materials. Connect training materials with the individual, so they’ll believe in its importance as much as you do.

Segment the various topics into digestible discussions

Your knowledge might make sense to you but avoid overloading information in one sitting to your teams. Instead, create an outline whereby you can segment your various topics into more digestible bits of content and conversation. This will also allow you to address questions within each chunk of materials before proceeding to the next topic. And you can develop follow-up training support resources so managers and employees know where to go for help with those precise training topics.

Speak in relative terms and create associations

Speak their language during any training sessions and create relatable associations with concepts your teams already know well. The most influential leaders know how to use analogies and comparisons that resonate with their audiences, which is critical when introducing more complex topics. When you introduce new terms or concepts, devote enough time to proper definitions and understanding before moving on to the next topic.

Align topics with real-life company scenarios and job duties

Look for ways to align your concepts with your audience’s real-life working experience. Talk about how the subject matter you’re training translates to a real-life, applicable solution within their roles. Demonstrate how you’d implement new ideas in their roles to align those objectives.

Generals Training Generals

Don’t just share concepts and strategies with your leaders and managers. Look for ways to demonstrate leadership skills. Imagine them stepping in to take your role as the brand leader. And help them develop the skills they need to be effective leaders. Your managers will need coaching on different strategies and will face unique challenges. Make sure your training addresses those specifically and from general to general.

Developing Soft Skills

Any training agenda you develop should also include insights supporting the improvement of soft skills. It’s these skills that tend to be some of the hardest to “train,” yet remain some of the most important. Learning how to autonomously problem-solve and engage challenges is just as essential as understanding the technical elements of your product or service. Soft skills encompass teamwork and customer service. They also lead to professional growth. These methods can be helpful in promoting soft skill training with each session. And it’s about how you train as much as it is about what you train.

  • Invite Feedback from Participants
  • Emphasize Teamwork
  • Form Positive Relationships
  • Embrace Workplace Change Positively
  • Be an Active Listener

When it comes to training your managers, soft skills might be the most significant. Even the most capable and knowledgeable leader can unravel your teams if they’re not savvy about management techniques. While you’re training your managers, make sure you’re also providing instruction for improving how they handle:

  • Communications Among Staff
  • Conflict Resolution
  • People Management & Oversight
  • Decision-Making
  • Goal Setting
  • Ability to Delegate
  • Fostering Empowerment
  • Leading with Empathy

Effective Training Methods in Today’s Workplace

Another way to improve how you disseminate knowledge among your teams involves technology. Tap into the power of tech to reach your teams, reinforce trainable concepts, and provide learning support ongoing. Change up the channels with which you train, so those with varied learning preferences can soak up everything you have to teach them. And redundancies are ok, too. Reiterating materials will only ensure they’re being absorbed.

  • Tech-based Learning
  • Work Simulators
  • Instructor-led Training
  • Interactive Training Modules
  • Social Learning
  • Roleplaying Activities
  • Films & Videos
  • On-the-Job Training Initiatives
  • Mobile & Online Training Resources
  • Group & Individual Learning

Mentorships and Management Communities

One way to ensure that your business owner-level of enthusiasm and expertise successfully rolls downhill onto your managers is with mentorship. Managers can be isolated and lonely, feeling as though they need to maintain a role very different from those of their subordinates. And facing challenges and driving to achieve goals alone can lead to burnout and mistakes. Managerial burnout is real, by the way. Check out these stats:

  • 59% of today’s managers believe their companies take “some” steps to prevent burnout. But almost one-third of them secretly wish their organizations would be more empathetic.
  • 60% of leaders report feeling “worn out” at the end of every day.
  • 44% of those worn-out leaders admitted to making plans to move to another company altogether. Of those 44%, 26% planned to leave their current roles within the year.

Developing mentorship strategies whereby your managers know where to go for support and advice will ensure they can continue to operate with your influence in mind. Hold mentorship meetings and be available for those in-the-moment questions that arise.

You can also encourage fellow managers to rely on each other for similar mentorship and support. Invite managers to collaborate regularly, sharing ideas and methods and collectively tackling departmental challenges. When your managers feel they’re just as supported as everyone else within your organization, the more empowered they’ll be to become more effective leaders.

Leading By Example Is Still King

Despite all your best training efforts, if you or your managers aren’t leading by example, there will be a significant undermining of your initiatives. Gallup found that only 18% of managers actually demonstrated a higher-level talent for managing others. And a SHRM study found that 58% of employees who quit their jobs because of workplace culture blamed their managers. To combat these scenarios, it’s best to invest heavily in training your supervisors and company leaders. And leading by example is still king.

If you can “walk the talk” and inspire your managers to follow your lead, you’ll reap the benefits of growing an authentic group of leaders. When you mirror the behavior you expect from your managers, you’ll essentially show them how to manage. It will ultimately boost company morale, build levels of trust among your teams, and increase productivity. Contradictory behaviors will lead to increased turnover, inefficiencies, and poor work ethic – which is where the “quiet quitting” movement comes into play.

Consider these tips for improving how you lead by example, so you can inspire your managers to do the same:

  • Sharpen your own leadership skills ongoing.
  • Approach conflicts constructively and kindly.
  • Accept failures and bounce back quickly.
  • Practice ethical leadership, which includes integrity, fairness, and transparency.
  • Celebrate diversity and inclusion.
  • Practice self-care publicly.

Grading Your Own Leadership Paper

If your managers are not leading and training others the way you’d like, it’s probably not them. If you’re experiencing high turnover, low morale, and poor work ethic among your ranks, it’s probably not them. Remember, you’re setting the pace for everyone who follows your lead. If you’re not an enthusiastic hustler, solving problems and celebrating good work, your managers won’t either. And some business owners aren’t willing to get honest about their own methods, which directly affect every aspect of their businesses. Get honest and be transparent about what changes you can make. Ask and answer these questions about your own behavior to start grading your own leadership paper.

  • How can I show up and be available for my teams today?
  • What challenges are my teams facing right now for which I have solutions?
  • Am I doing what I’m asking my teams to do?
  • How can I celebrate my teams’ wins today?
  • Were all of my employee interactions ethical and respectful today?
  • Am I focusing on the most important things or details that aren’t significant?
  • Did I perform with excellence today?
  • What can I do better tomorrow?
  • Did I check in with all of my managers for mentorship today?

In the end, being an inspirational leader means being the change you want to see among your teams. Training is an essential aspect of your company’s growth and success. But consider these insights for improvements, especially the how and why being your training initiatives. Sharing your knowledge and expertise is only the beginning. If “it” rolls downhill, strive to offer the best you have to offer. You won’t always get it right. However, understanding how to be better will ensure you continue to spot failures in yourself and among your managers, allowing you to adapt quickly and overcome them.

Today’s workforce dynamics are entirely different. And the rulebook has changed for management styles and training. Consider these tips and industry trends to find improvements you can make for your company. And remember, when you need help with brand messaging, content, and marketing initiatives, let the talented team of writers at Ghost Blog Writers help bring your vision to life! Let us help you share your thought-leadership ideas and create training materials that inspire change.

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