Workshops Are Not the Answer

With hundreds of Baby-boomers retiring daily, companies large and small are starting to experience a shortage of managers. It can be a challenge to decide whom you should promote. Some subject matter experts don’t want to manage people and other’s don’t have the experience and aren’t ready to be promoted.

Getting newly minted managers ready to lead takes more than sending them to a workshop where they (or HR) check a box. How do you even know if someone has the ability to be a manager/leader or even wants too be one?

First things first

You first have to have a baseline of their current acumen, competencies, behaviors and drivers before you can determine if they can lead and the best way to prepare them to lead a team. This information can be the basis for an initial development plan.

Even if someone is not ready to step into a manager/leader role at the moment, you can start to work with him or her to develop the skills they will need before they are promoted. This scenario also allows your company to start having people ready for succession or when a manager/leader role is vacated. I call it a management or leadership pipeline and if you have one your company will be better prepared to deal with the talent wars that are only going to get worse.


If training doesn’t work on it’s own then what other options do you have? In order to make behavior changes stick; you need more than just stand-alone, check the box training. Consider providing bi-weekly coaching sessions to new manager/leader. This will allow the coach to work one-on-one with the new manager to develop their skills and deal with any employee issues that come up during the three to six month sessions.

Numbers don’t lie

There are lots of survey’s (CareerBuilder, Gallup) that show workshops are not the answer; they don’t change someone’s behaviors and it does not give your company any return on your investment. Nor does going to a series of single training events work long-term.

Bottom line

You want to ensure the managers/leaders you have in place are successful and able to do the job. If you don’t you’ll have a bigger issue when employees start walking out the door.

What works best is a full program dedicated to hiring or promoting and developing manager/leader talent in your organization. If you don’t have a program or don’t know how to start one, give us a call or drop us an email. We have experience developing individualized programs for new managers and leaders – we can make your life a lot easier and your business run a lot smoother.