Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2018 - 55

LEARNER MINDSET
MICHELLE EGGLESTON

GETTING MANAGERS
INVOLVED IN

EMPLOYEE LEARNING
Managers are an integral part of an
employee's work experience. They
communicate
information
from
senior leadership, manage employee
performance and workload, provide
feedback, and offer appropriate
coaching when necessary. If a manager
wavers in any of these areas, then the
adage "People don't leave jobs, they
leave managers" may ring true.
When faced with falling retention rates,
managers must grasp the magnitude of
the impact that they have on employees
- for better or worse.
Do you provide enough input to
ensure your employees are successful?
Do you provide too much direction
and micromanage?
Managers are one of the biggest drivers
of employee engagement, according
to Gallup. They help cultivate the work
environment and set the tone. Since we
arguably spend more time with our coworkers than our own families, we can
begin to see why the manager-employee
relationship is so significant.
A recent LinkedIn Learning report
sheds light on how important manager
relationships are to employee learning.
The research indicates that two-thirds
of employees say that they would
be motivated to learn if their direct
manager was involved. And 56 percent
of employees indicated that they would
spend more time learning if their
manager directed them to complete a
specific course to improve their skills.
With such influence on employee
performance and engagement, managers

must use this to their advantage and
become an advocate for learning and
development (L&D). Here are a few ways
that L&D can get managers more involved
in employee learning.

MANAGERS ARE
ONE OF THE BIGGEST
DRIVERS OF EMPLOYEE
ENGAGEMENT.
IDENTIFYING ESSENTIAL SKILLS
Managers must help employees identify
which qualities and skills they need
to cultivate to get to the next level in
their careers. This requires having some
career coaching conversations to better
understand employee career goals and
interests. These discussions can provide
managers with insight to better motivate
and lead their employees. They can also
recommend projects and tasks based on
interest level when appropriate.
SUGGESTING LEARNING OPTIONS
Identifying learning opportunities can
pose challenges for managers who do
not have a lot of formal training available
at their organization. Research shows
that managers are more motivated to
encourage learning when it is tied to a
path to promotion and when they have
a system that can help recommend
learning opportunities. L&D can help
in this effort by pointing managers to
available resources. This system could
be as simple as a listing on the company
intranet for recommended external
resources or as complex as a learning
management system.

FREQUENT FEEDBACK
Today's employees demand more
frequent feedback. This shift in
employee expectations has changed
the role of the manager from a boss to
more of a coach. This may be adding
more work to a manager's already full
plate, but the outcomes are worth it.
When employees receive more frequent
feedback, they can improve or change
their performance before any negative
behaviors become engrained. Waiting
for a year-end performance review can
be too late to change behavior.
ACCOUNTABILITY
Creating a culture where employees are
accountable for their own performance
can elevate motivation and results.
Increasing
accountability
requires
managers to set specific expectations
and actions to achieve goals. They must
also follow up with employees to ensure
they are making progress and on track
to achieve their goals.
MOVING FORWARD
Becoming an advocate for learning
and development can make a big
difference in employees. Managers
who are involved in the growth and
development of their employees can
improve productivity, motivation and
yield long-term results. L&D can help
foster the critical manager-employee
relationship by establishing ways for
managers to become more involved in
the employee learning experience.
Michelle Eggleston is the editorial director at
Training Industry, Inc. Email Michelle.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - GIVING LEARNING A BOOST 20 18 I WWW. T RAININGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2018

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