Training makes a difference

June 15, 2009 · Print this post

From Harvard Business Review, a study by Ellen Ernst Kossek and Leslie B. Hammer showing that “Supervisor Work/Life Training Gets Results”.

I haven’t read the full article, but even the brief, cogent summary will give you some ammunition to support manager/supervisor training within your organization. The summary indicates that Kossek and Hammer describe some good approaches to low-cost, low-impact ways to begin helping managers better address the human aspects of work; and that even brief online tutorials focused on these skills made a positive difference to manager effectiveness and employee engagement. Of special note is the final step of setting goals and observing/recording their own experiences: that’s a great tool to motivate people to practice and integrate their skills.

The message is clear: do whatever you can to help your managers get these skills. If you’re a manager whose company doesn’t support this kind of training, start finding your own resources. Download the Humans At Work curriculum (see the program page sidebar); investigate some of my suggested resources; or head straight over to the Harvard Business Review website, where you’ll find a great many ideas, strategies and conversations about what lots of other managers are thinking and doing these days.

2 Responses to “Training makes a difference”

  1. Sue Maden on June 19th, 2009 7:43 am

    The statement that “If you’re a manager whose company doesn’t support this kind of training, start finding your own resources.” is what grapped me. As someone tasked with education & training for my company, that’s an alarming situation to consider. You are right on target…if we don’t provide it, people will find it themselves. Those of us with this responsiblity need to step up and provide the tools so that we know they are a good fit for company culture. And if an employee does find something himself/herself, we need to be open to considering it and including it for others.

  2. Kelley Eskridge on June 19th, 2009 12:19 pm

    Sue, some of the biggest resistance I find to the HAW curriculum in general is some version of “well, we’re doing training already” — which is great, except when employees of the same company tell me they wish they could get management training that would be useful to them. I think your point is a good one: HAW is certainly not the only good training in the world, or even necessarily the best training for many people: but the goal is to get people tools that are a fit for the company and for the people who want better skills in order to do the company’s work. Sometimes people know best what they need, and of course sometimes they don’t (the same way that sometimes people jump at solutions or “quick fixes” instead of considering what’s really wrong with the process on a deeper level). I imagine that navigating these issues is one of the particular challenges of your job.