Why is Management Training so Important?
by Janna Evans
When was the last time you entered an establishment to obtain a service or purchase something and you left feeling like you just had the best experience of your life? This is very rare today and if we were to examine the breakdown we would find that it exists between the front line manager and the front line employees. So many good employees are promoted to managerial positions when they don’t have the appropriate knowledge, skill or training to do so. Not everyone is meant to be a manager; however, companies that invest time and money into management training have better employee morale, engagement, attendance, and productivity which leads to better sales and service.
A little more than a year ago I accepted a seasonal position with Fry’s Electronics. On our first day of work we stood around waiting for someone to just talk to us, let alone give their new hire’s direction and training. When someone finally greeted us we were handed a stack of paperwork and an employee manual and instructed to complete the paperwork and read the manual. A few hours later someone else came by and handed a gentleman in the front row a stack of DVD’s and instructed us to watch them all and someone would be back later. The most troubling part of the day was that the first DVD included multiple messages from the CEO of the company explaining how they value and invest in their employees. None of what he talked about was provided as part of the new hire process.
The second day was much like the first and the third day included what they called “training”. Training consisted of standing behind a cashier and watching them operate the register all day long. There was no introduction to their POS system, and no hands on practice with supervisors or managers present. The next day we were all supposed to be ready to operate our own register with the training we had received. While I have had experience operating a variety of cash registers this one still used the MS Dos prompts and required use of function keys in a particular order to finish the sale. Most of us felt completely inadequate the first day on the job and did not provide the best service possible. When we asked for help or further training the managers and supervisors on the floor were not interested in helping. Some were even too busy playing on their smart phones.
In most cases in the retail world it is the front line managers or supervisors who are responsible for training, coaching, and ensuring the success of the employees as well as the company. So often in companies and businesses people are promoted and not trained, coached, or held accountable. This leads to poor employee engagement, performance, productivity, service, etc. The better an employee understands their role, duties, and expectations the better they will perform.
In the long run a company’s return on their training investment includes savings on labor cost, repair and injury costs, increased productivity and sales, improved customer satisfaction, improved employee satisfaction and retention.
What do your training programs look like? Do you offer meaningful new hire and new manager training? What about ongoing employee and managerial training? What is stopping you? It is proven that the ROI is in your favor if you do.
Janna Evans, Assistant Coach of Operations