Back to school – why the time is now for management training

Research has shown that the first tier of line management – front line managers, supervisors and team leaders – have the greatest impact on staff performance and engagement to their organisation. Due to having the most regular contact with their teams, it makes sense that line managers have the most potential influence on attitudes and productivity.

Time and time again, having skilled and well-trained managers has been shown to be critical to an organisation’s success. Unfortunately the pivotal role that line managers play in a company is not always fully recognised, appreciated or supported. Nor is the need to provide sufficient training always realised, particularly when it comes to employment law.

This doesn’t just mean training newly appointed line managers who are brought in via the recruitment process, but also those who have risen through the ranks of an organisation. All too often, individuals are promoted but don’t receive formal training alongside this. Being an effective manager of people is an entirely different skill to excelling in a particular area of work and supporting the acquisition of these skills can have a significant impact on an organisation’s culture and ultimate success.

So whilst having directors and managers up to speed with employment law is important for dealing with matters that are allowed to escalate, it is line managers who need to be know how to deal with matters in the first instance. In fact, line managers that are informed and have a good knowledge of how to tackle issues are in a position to be able to nip them in the bud at an early stage and prevent them from becoming a bigger problem for the company.

On occasion, the actions – or inaction – of managers themselves can give rise to an employment claim. Employers are vicariously responsible for the actions of those they employ, so by providing good training in employment law and managing staff, employers can reduce their risk of employee issues – or even claims. Avoiding the Employment Tribunal, which at the less serious level can cost time and lost productivity, and at the most serious can lead to legal fees, compensation payments, stress and damage to reputation, should be a priority for employers.

And considering the number of cases reaching the Employment Tribunal is on the increase, the case for providing adequate training for line managers is becoming ever-more solid.

There are various training resources available from ACAS, which we are currently working with a number of organisations to oversee. KMC Human Resources also work with companies to provide 1:1 coaching for managers.  This long-term approach can help to build the confidence of key managers, helping them to put their knowledge into practice and become effective overall managers and ambassadors for your business.