Management training workshops what makes management development effective

Management Training workshops

What makes management development effective?

Read this article to find out more about:

· What criteria to consider before investing in management training workshops in your organisation

· What needs to be in place to ensure that management training workshops are effective

· How to evaluate the effectiveness of the management training intervention that you develop

· How to brief external providers to ensure that they understand the purpose of the program

· What Management Consultancy International can do to assist you in developing and delivering effective management training

Why is Management Consultancy International in a strong position to talk to this topic?

Management Consultancy International consults to global organisations on their learning and development strategies and on devising effective workshops to improve management capabilities. With over 19 years experience in developing managers internationally who bring a higher level of competence to their workplaces, Management

Consultancy International has created the following key guidelines for better management workshops.

Management Consultancy International provides a range of management training workshops that encourage a higher level of management effectiveness. Some of these programs are available on a public schedule and others are specifically designed to meet the needs of small or large groups within organisations. There are also train the trainer options to ensure that the process is more affordable.

What criteria do you need to consider before investing in management training workshops in your organisation.

Management training workshops are generally costly – both from the perspective of paying a provider to design and deliver the training and also from the point of view of time off work to attend the courses. So – why spend this type of money without any assurance that the training will make a difference to the level of management effectiveness.

Management effectiveness is after all not something that is readily measurable in a ‘return on investment’ type formula. You are not training tangible skills and it is far more difficult to measure such intangible results. “The managers are dealing more effectively with conflict in their teams” does not sound as wonderful as an ROI type statement that runs along the lines of “our sales training program for the product launch achieved a 50% increase in sales as compared with last month’s figures.”

So what criteria need to be considered before making the investment in running workshops to train managers:

1. Set a clear purpose

It is simply not good enough to have a gut feel that managers need training or to simply respond to verbal requests for management skills. Yes – managers might be asking for training themselves or these needs might be revealed in performance appraisal discussions. BUT if there is no clearly defined objective set for the training, you will not be able to measure the effectiveness of the workshops.

Only once the purpose statement is clearly outlined do you even begin to think of the pathways that are going to lead you to achieving these goals.

This purpose statement needs to be verbally determined and also written down in clear, jargon-free English.

Begin with – the purpose for introducing the management training workshops is as follows….

The sentence continues with – as a result of the management workshops, managers will be able to perform the following tasks more effectively or will have the following improved skills….

Continue your purpose statement by agreeing how these outcomes will be measured – the effectiveness of the program will be measured by follow-up meetings with co-workers or discussions with team members or any other means that you want to put in place to ensure that there has been a change in management behaviours and attitudes.

Remember – do not bother introducing training workshops unless you are totally clear on what the required changes are as a result of the workshop. IF TRAINING DOES NOT LEAD TO CHANGE, WHY DO IT AT ALL!

Rather spend your hard-won budget sending your managers out on a cruise of Sydney harbour and you will have loyal and motivated managers. If you are going to spend the budget on training, there needs to be a serious commitment to changes in behaviours.

There are many times that as external providers that we attend briefing meetings with clients who are seeking input on running management training workshops. At these meetings the purpose statements are not clearly conveyed and this indicates confusion about why the training is taking place at all and what the whole effort is intended to achieve.

2. Determine the best possible route

Once you have created your purpose statement and you can express it clearly to others, you are then in a position to decide on the best ways to achieve your objectives.

There are so many flexible routes available that you do not need to be restricted by restrictive providers as to what is achievable. Insist on working with a provider who will meet your specific requirements and who will provide innovative ways of delivering training even to small numbers in the management team.

Bear in mind that ad-hoc workshops are not going to be nearly as effective as a series of workshops that lead up to your intended outcome. Realistically, in a one day workshop there are indeed skills that one can learn. However in order for these skills to be practiced and entrenched, this is not entirely feasible.

Management training is not necessarily only skills-based. It is in some instances about undoing habits that might have been in place for some time. Management training is about relearning new techniques or discovering more about oneself.

Management workshops provide the forum for discussion and debate. Not all management issues are solved through cut and dried solutions and a range of possibilities need to be placed on the table to be tried out depending on the context.

It is therefore preferable to offer management workshops in some form of continuum where skills can be practiced in the workplace and then re-evaluated in the training room.

The workshops themselves do not need to be only a serried of full day sessions. Consider:

· Smaller groups that work together in shorter 2 or 3 hour sessions.

· Off-site residential sessions

· One on one sessions with managers

· Some own study time between sessions

· Self-directed group sessions where managers work through topics on their own without a facilitator present and then report back to the full group when they re-convene

· Pre- and post-course reading between facilitated sessions

If the program is in-house you also do not want programs that are standardised and pulled off a shelf. Demand that the programs are tailored for your specific needs – AND do not pay a huge premium for this service.

3. Invite managers to the workshops

It is far better to create a sense of excitement about the management training workshops than instruct managers to attend the workshops.

Management Consultancy International trainers regularly report on managers who have been obliged to attend management workshops and are highly resistant to the training. Not everyone finds training exciting and not all managers see training as a wonderful opportunity to learn more about themselves and about others.

It sounds so old and stale, but it is essential to spell out clearly to managers why the training is taking place and what is in it for them. We all like tuning into the radio station – WIFM – what is in it for me. It is no use skirting this or leaving out this step. If this step is skipped, you are only making a facilitator’s task far more difficult in overcoming the steep resistance barriers that are set up.

Give thought to how the management workshops are launched and what type of communication is sent out about them.

Consider:

· There are other alternatives to an email instructing managers to attend the workshops. Yes – the logistics can be sent by email but not the motivation

· Hand-delivered invitations that follow the theme of the workshops are well received

· Phone calls explaining the purpose and outcomes of the workshops are good or even better an induction session where the group hears first hand about why the program has been developed and what the expectations are

4. Workshop feedback

Once the workshops are underway, keep your fingers on the pulse. Solicit feedback from the managers but be careful of the type of questions you ask!

The following feedback questions are huge no-no’s:

Did you enjoy the training? How was the facilitator?

Having fun during the training is certainly an indication of a well-designed session but if the session does not stretch the managers and make them feel slightly uncomfortable in some way, the workshops are not going to be achieving their purpose.

Also, placing the emphasis on the facilitator is simply not going to achieve what you need to in terms of your purpose. Yes, the facilitator cannot be a boring and dry deliverer of information. However, the facilitator could not possibly know as much as everyone in the room and their combined knowledge. Deflect the focus from the facilitator and place it more on the message – what you the participants put into this training workshop is what you will get out of it.

Focus instead on questions such as:

1. What did you get out of the training and how will you apply these skills?

2. What else do you still need to know more about?

3. What will you do more or less of as a result of the workshops?

4. What impact do you think the training workshops have had on your team or on your colleagues?

What needs to be in place to ensure that management training workshops are effective?

Preparation and preparation are the key to effectiveness of the workshops.

Do all the homework as explained in this article and select a provider that will truly partner with you.

Your provider needs to:

1. Listen to your requests and customise at a low price

2. Speak directly to potential attendees on the program and possibly their team members or their managers

3. Include scenarios and examples that are relevant to the group

4. Work with you to improve the impact of the sessions as you receive feedback

Your responsibilities include:

1. Brief the provider clearly and set the purpose of the program out for them in straightforward language

2. Brief and communicate with participants and do not leave the provider to deal with resentful, non-committed participants

3. Ensure that you have an adequate budget and work creatively with the provider to overcome its limitations through careful scheduling and pre- and post-reading or through a train the trainer process

4. Give constructive feedback and work with the provider on improvements.

What Management Consultancy International can do to assist you in developing and delivering effective management training?

Management Consultancy International has a large number of small and major clients who run the Management Consultancy International suite of management training workshops.

Speak to us to find out why clients such as Allianz Insurance, Toll Holdings, Perisher Blue, Daikin and Vodafone benefit from our workshops.

Management Consultancy International ensures that:

You receive a series of management workshops developed specifically for your managers and their challenges

Your workshops are based on models proposed by leading world thinkers on management and leadership

Your workshops are facilitated by experienced and highly inspirational trainers who care about achieving the results you want

Your management training workshops are delivered in a range of flexible ways to meet your needs and your set outcomes

Your workshops make use of exciting examples and stories as well as a range of methodologies to entrench new thinking and motivate managers to try out new skills

Speak to one of our sales consultants on 1300 768 550 to set up a time for a consultant to speak to you about your needs. Alternatively email your requirements to info@mci.edu.au and we would be delighted to assist you.

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