Tip #943: Supervisors are Essential to Employee Training Success

Training can’t happen in a vacuum. Unless supervisors are involved before and after a training program, it is unlikely that any employee behavior will change.

There are eight places in the training process where supervisors can have an enormous impact:

  1. Needs assessment: The supervisor is in the best position to identify employee development needs or to recognize a gap in knowledge, skills, or performance that should be addressed through training.
  2. Lesson design: The supervisor can serve as a subject matter expert to identify the key objectives and content for the training program.
  3. Training content: The supervisor provides the relevant policies, procedures and processes that need to be incorporated into the training materials, learning activities, and action plans.
  4. Pre-training reinforcement: The supervisor can focus employees on the skills that they are expected to learn and to bring back to use in the worksite.
  5. Training introduction: When a supervisor takes the time to introduce a training program by talking about its significance, that gives additional weight to the training in the eyes of the employees.
  6. Post-training follow up: After the training program is completed, the supervisor can sit down with the individual employees to review what was learned, address any confusion, and review their action plans.
  7. Post-training performance management: New learning needs to be continually reinforced for several months after a training program if the new knowledge or skills are to become permanent. A supervisor who takes an active role in the entire training process will recognize the importance of establishing and monitoring performance goals based on what was learned in the training program.
  8. Training evaluation: Only by monitoring employee performance can the supervisor assess whether or not the training program has achieved the desired performance results. This information about the effectiveness of the training will serve as critical input to future training design and delivery.

Supervisors are in the best position to identify training needs; provide direction to the nature and scope of the training program; supply relevant content; advocate for, expect, and reinforce newly learned skills; and evaluate the ultimate effectiveness of the training.

Question: How and when do you involve supervisors in the design and implementation of employee training programs?

May your learning be sweet- and safe.



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