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A Manager’s Role in Employee Development

The movie Pygmalion shows us that people will perform according to expectations that others have for them. Companies for which employees rate highest in satisfaction, have structured Leadership Development programs to train their management teams. These programs teach their managers how to provide an environment in which employees can be productive and, at the same time, have high morale. Who in your organization provides your employees this needed leadership? Have you given them the knowledge and tools that they can use in this endeavor?

“Marbles GraphicHuman resource managers identify supervisors as having the greatest influence over employees.  Their relationships with workers impacts workforce retention, employee satisfaction and productivity. We should expect Managers and Supervisors to lead their employees to do WHAT you want done, WHEN you want it done, the WAY you want it done and because they WANT to do it. Sounds good, right? So what does the company need to provide to its Managers in order for this to happen?  The answer is always: People, Tools and Training. We need to give them what they need to succeed along with achievable goals.

Leading by example is more than just doing tasks and then having others do what you just did. That is certainly part of it, and as taught in Job Instruction, it requires learning to take place 3 ways; watching, doing and listening. It also requires a systematic method or format so the training happens consistently.  The best way to keep the training consistent is to have training documentation in a written standardized form. Not only is there a standard for how the employees jobs are to be performed but their also needs to be a standard for how the manager trains them. This training method is best when delivered to your management team by an experienced Leadership Development professional.

“TWI Graphic

Once a standardized environment exists where managers use best practices to teach employees tasks, we then need to define expectations. After determining the desired level of performance needed then the manager must understand how to coach to achieve those levels of performance.  In the movie Pygmalion, we saw Eliza go from a street vendor peddling flowers to a Duchess. Higgins trained her in speaking, walking and etiquette. Similar results can be achieved when using the “Training Within Industry” tools of Job Instruction, Job Methods, and Job Relations.  Job Instruction involves speaking, Job Methods deals with moving about, and Job Relations involves rules of conduct. As with Higgins, our Managers and Supervisors need to know how to tap into the positive effects of high expectations for their employees. Then they can enjoy the benefits of improved productivity and morale.

Once we have engaged our workforce and employees are following our standards, we need to focus on how to guide and measure.  Many organizations develop meaningful metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). These KPI’s provide numerical goals to reflect what levels need to be achieved for the business to succeed. These metrics also give a visual indication of progress or lack thereof. The Manager can then use coaching skills learned in Leader As Coach to support achievement or inform of gaps.

Employee development is indeed best implemented and coached by the manager closest to those involved. The self-fulfilling prophecy approach has proven to lead and empower others toward positive improvement in morale and performance. Providing a manager with the People, Tools and Training, allows for the best potential for success. Monitoring the business with KPI’s equips the manager with ready numerical feedback to keep the organization moving towards a strategic plan.

AKA can facilitate Leadership Development sessions and work with your team to bring direction and purpose to activities. Let Advantage Kentucky Alliance’s Leadership Development experts help your team attain great success.   As the MEP for the state of Kentucky, we do receive funding from the government which allows us to buy down the costs of any of the services that we provide.  To find out more about how AKA can help you with leadership development, business growth, continuous improvement, CyberSecurity or Quality Management Systems and ISO, call our Marketing Specialist, Kurt Felten, directly at (606) 620-0076, and begin the conversation today.

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