The ability to manage groups of people is not innate. In today’s complex business world, even natural leaders must be aware of the implications of their management style. Therefore, it essential for Company X to develop an in-house training program to ensure that new and prospective managers are responsibly fulfilling all the essential duties of management.
There are four main topics that any management training must cover. The first is Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO). Studies have shown that improved diversity leads increased profits. As a company’s diversity grows, it is able to better serve diverse markets. For example, once IBM decided to target multicultural and female-owned businesses, they were able to grow their revenue in that market from $10 million to $300 million. Embracing diversity will also help avoid allegations of discrimination. All managers must be aware that discrimination allegations are part of today’s business environment. By taking the steps necessary to avoid discrimination, managers will go a long way toward protecting the company and themselves (Dessler, 2008).
Managers must also have an understanding of the recruitment process. The organization is only as strong as its employees, and care must be taken to secure the highest quality employees available. Managers should understand that although internal candidates have the advantage of already understanding the company culture, candidates that are not selected for the position might feel disillusioned. This creates a new problem, especially if the employee decides to take negative action (Dessler, 2008). Additionally, managers must understand the testing process that Company X uses. This includes not only background checks, but also tests that indicate how successful a candidate might be in a position (Dessler, 2008). Finally, the most important skill a manager needs to development relating to recruiting is how to conduct a successful interview. It must be understood that structured interviews provide a greater opportunity for the manager to judge multiple candidates fairly. Conducting an interview is a delicate balance between letting the candidate speak and knowing when to move on to the next topic (Dessler, 2008).
Essential Topics (Cont.)
Motivating employees is a skill that all managers must develop. The company provides financial incentives in the form of bonuses and an employee stock ownership plan. Although a manager should understand the details of these plans, it’s more important for the manager to understand how financial motivators affect employees. Not all employees are striving to earn these financial rewards. All managers should therefore be prepared to introduce non-financial motivators into their team environment. Non-financial motivators such as affirmations of quality work and challenging work assignments can go further to motivating employees on a daily basis than financial motivators (Dessler, 2008).
The final essential topic for management training is a focus on ethics and fair treatment of employees. Although this can be seen as two topics, they can go hand-in-hand. Company X has worked to develop a culture that encourages all employees to make the “right” decision. Managers must understand that their attitudes toward right and wrong can influence the behaviors of their employees. For example, getting the job done at all costs suggests that breaking the rules is OK if it helps speed the production process. This is the kind of attitude that can lead to unethical behavior. Similarly, attitudes that result in unfair treatment of employees might also be hard to detect (Dessler, 2008). As Kenneth Recknagel pointed out in 1974, these attitudes can create interpersonal contracts between management and employees that result in preferred treatment of some employees at the expense of others (Recknagel, 1974).
The training delivery for Company X’s management training program should focus on two methods. The first is a presentation on the topic. The goal of the presentation is to deliver the information related to the essential topic, and then allow the group a chance to ask questions as necessary. Group involvement in the presentation, as this is an opportunity for shy participants to benefit from the questions of their more extroverted colleagues. If delivered ineffectively, presentations lose their usefulness. Therefore it is important to develop a group of trainers that excel in delivering presentations (Dessler, p. 303). Each presentation will be followed up with a series of case studies. If the training group is large, they should be divided up into smaller groups. The group is then presented a description of an organizational problem and works to resolve it. Case studies have the advantage of giving trainees a real world example of the material just discussed. Additionally, case studies can be used to highlight particularly important pieces of the training topic (Dessler, 2008).
Issues and Solutions
There are two main issues to be prepared for when designing a management-training program. The first relates to the trainees. Motivation can be seriously problematic for those trainees that feel the training is unnecessary or beneath them. Effective trainers will understand how to motivate trainees at the beginning of the training be getting each trainee to see the training as beneficial to them personally. Additionally, trainers will keep trainees involved, especially during the presentation phase. This is the time when unmotivated trainees are most likely to become problematic. By bringing them into the presentation, the trainer can redirect their focus onto how this training is specifically benefiting them (Dessler, 2008).
The other issue relates to the trainers. If a trainer does not present the material properly, they open themselves and the company up to charges of negligence. If the company does not properly train managers then it can be held directly responsible for the mistakes they make due to negligent training. Therefore, it is important that trainers be well versed in the legal and ethical aspects of each topic. Not only does this ensure that the company cannot be accused of negligence, but it also gives the management trainees the best opportunity for success (Dessler, 2008).
Dessler, G. (2008). Human Resource Management. (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Recknagel, K. H. (1974). Why management training fails and how to make it succeed. Personnel Journal (pre-1986), 53(000008), 589. Retrieved January 31, 2009, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 98496193).