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Prioritizing Manager Training for Workplace Success

March 18, 20243 min read

by William Rizzo

This blog post will explore the importance of manager training as a strategic approach to enhance retention and productivity.

In today’s rapidly changing economic landscape, organizations face the dual challenges of high inflation rates and a significant number of unfilled job positions. This situation puts immense pressure on frontline organizations to make strategic decisions that benefit the business and their teams. However, much of this responsibility falls on managers, who are the crucial link between senior leaders and employees. Unfortunately, many workplaces struggle with managerial alignment, leading to decreased productivity and employee dissatisfaction.

The Evolving Role of Managers: From Teachers to Coaches

While managers traditionally focus on teaching employees how to perform their jobs, their responsibilities now extend far beyond initial training. After equipping workers with the necessary knowledge and skills, managers need to provide ongoing support, encouragement, and opportunities for employee growth. Gallup estimates that managers account for 70% of the fluctuation in employee engagement, highlighting their critical role in shaping the employee experience. Consequently, managers need to possess a broad range of skills that go beyond teaching job tasks.

Organizations should prioritize their continuous learning and development to enable managers to become effective coaches. A significant number of workers believe that their managers would benefit from training on how to be better people managers, emphasizing the need for increased focus on professional development. Building strong relationships and interpersonal skills are essential for fostering positive employee experiences and creating successful workforces. However, a mere 47% of managers feel adequately prepared to lead their staff with empathy. Training programs should address this gap by enabling managers to develop emotional intelligence and the ability to care for their team members.

Investing in Technology for Employee Alignment

One of the reasons for the rising skills gaps among managers is the lack of investment in training initiatives. Studies show that a substantial percentage of managers overseeing one or two employees (59%) receive no training, and the same holds true for 41% of those overseeing three to five workers. To bridge these gaps and facilitate effective job training, companies should update their onboarding and upskilling technologies to meet evolving demands. Organizations can foster cross-functional success and drive business growth by ensuring that employees, both new and tenured, have access to up-to-date knowledge about their job responsibilities, workplace expectations, and efficient work processes.

By addressing skills discrepancies, organizations can equip managers with the necessary competencies to handle their day-to-day duties and guide their teams toward greater success. However, it is crucial to strike a balance between ongoing learning and managers’ daily responsibilities so as not to leave employees feeling unsupported or overwhelmed. Seamless integration of training programs throughout the organization can empower managers without adversely affecting other employees or impeding individual progress due to differences in management styles.

The Impact of Managerial Training on Employee Retention

Given the significant role that managers play in the professional development and day-to-day experience of their direct reports, investing in managerial training is vital. A staggering 82% of Americans admit that a bad manager would make them contemplate leaving their jobs, making training an essential component of any retention strategy. Moreover, employee attrition is not solely driven by poor management or negative leadership; 90% of workers believe that empathetic leadership is closely linked to higher job satisfaction. Additionally, 88% say that empathetic leadership fosters employee loyalty, while 79% believe it reduces turnover.


Managers face a critical and challenging role in meeting the immediate and ambiguous needs of their employees. Organizations can support managers by providing tailored training programs that focus on interpersonal skill development and addressing potential skills gaps. This approach enables managers to communicate openly about challenges they face and set a positive example for their team members. By prioritizing manager training, companies can drive employee retention, foster a culture of empathy and support, and create a thriving workforce poised for success. Contact us today to learn more about manager training.

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