Sunday, June 13, 2021

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One of the most common questions we receive from learning and performance professionals globally is, “How do we get managers and supervisors on board?” After some probing, we typically discover that the more specific question is, “How do we get managers and supervisors to actively participate in coaching and developing their direct reports?”

Here are four simple suggestions to involve managers and supervisors in the entire learning and performance process:

1. Involve managers and supervisors in the pre-training process. For example, when new training content is being developed or revised, ask for their input. They are an important source of job performance gap information that will translate nicely into learning objectives and course content. Get them to "sign on" from the start to avoid setting the expectation that all they have to do is sign off on allowing you to hold the training event. If your stakeholders are not yet ready for this step, click here to learn initial strategies for building the bridge to them. 

2. Ask managers and supervisors to deliver a pre-training message to their direct reports. Since you have engaged them early in the process, they will are more likely to say yes to delivering a message, something like, “I am looking forward to hearing about what you learn in training, and I will help you to apply it when you return.”

3. Create a comprehensive follow-up program including managers and supervisors. During training design and development, build a post-program follow-up package that includes coaching, support and accountability to ensure on-the-job application. Give managers and supervisors a key role in coaching and supporting the desired behaviors, and make sure they know what to do when they
catch people doing things right. Partner with them to measure performance and subsequent results. This also creates a safety net in the event you don’t have all managers on board.

4. 
Showcase the application levels and movement of key indicators to the organization to show the success of this teamwork approach. All of the information you gather in this process will come in handy when it is time to compile quantitative data and testimonials for your program's chain of evidence.

The Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program can help you gain the confidence to follow these steps. 


Join the Discussion

We welcome your feedback about this quick tip. Here are some ways to join the conversation:

  • Log in and leave a comment below.
  • Contribute to this current LinkedIn discussion in the Kirkpatrick Evaluation discussion group to help a fellow training professional who is having difficulty inspiring change and regaining optimism within his organization.

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Additional Resources:

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program

Training on Trial

Don't Have Them Sign Off, Have Them Sign On

Could You Be Replaced By An App? - Part 2

Do You Catch People Doing Things Right?

Real World Tips for Building Business Partnership

1.  Involve managers and supervisors in the pre-training process. For example, when new training content is being developed or revised, ask for their input. They are an important source of job performance gap information that will translate nicely into learning objectives and course content.

 

2.  Ask managers and supervisors to deliver a pre-training message to their direct reports. Since you have engaged them early in the process, they will are more likely to say yes to delivering a message, something like, “I am looking forward to hearing about what you learn in training, and I will help you to apply it when you return.”

3.  Create a comprehensive follow-up program including managers and supervisors.During training design and development, build a post-program follow-up package that includes coaching, support and accountability to ensure on-the-job application. Give managers and supervisors a key role in coaching and supporting the desired behaviors. Partner with them to measure performance and subsequent results. This also creates a safety net in the event you don’t have all managers on board.


4.  Showcase the application levels and movement of key indicators to the organization to show the success of this teamwork approach. All of the information you gather in this process will come in handy when it is time to compile quantitative data and testimonials for your program’s chain of evidence. 

1.  Involve managers and supervisors in the pre-training process. For example, when new training content is being developed or revised, ask for their input. They are an important source of job performance gap information that will translate nicely into learning objectives and course content.

 

2.  Ask managers and supervisors to deliver a pre-training message to their direct reports. Since you have engaged them early in the process, they will are more likely to say yes to delivering a message, something like, “I am looking forward to hearing about what you learn in training, and I will help you to apply it when you return.”

3.  Create a comprehensive follow-up program including managers and supervisors.During training design and development, build a post-program follow-up package that includes coaching, support and accountability to ensure on-the-job application. Give managers and supervisors a key role in coaching and supporting the desired behaviors. Partner with them to measure performance and subsequent results. This also creates a safety net in the event you don’t have all managers on board.


4.  Showcase the application levels and movement of key indicators to the organization to show the success of this teamwork approach. All of the information you gather in this process will come in handy when it is time to compile quantitative data and testimonials for your program’s chain of evidence. 

1.  Involve managers and supervisors in the pre-training process. For example, when new training content is being developed or revised, ask for their input. They are an important source of job performance gap information that will translate nicely into learning objectives and course content.

 

2.  Ask managers and supervisors to deliver a pre-training message to their direct reports. Since you have engaged them early in the process, they will are more likely to say yes to delivering a message, something like, “I am looking forward to hearing about what you learn in training, and I will help you to apply it when you return.”

3.  Create a comprehensive follow-up program including managers and supervisors.During training design and development, build a post-program follow-up package that includes coaching, support and accountability to ensure on-the-job application. Give managers and supervisors a key role in coaching and supporting the desired behaviors. Partner with them to measure performance and subsequent results. This also creates a safety net in the event you don’t have all managers on board.


4.  Showcase the application levels and movement of key indicators to the organization to show the success of this teamwork approach. All of the information you gather in this process will come in handy when it is time to compile quantitative data and testimonials for your program’s chain of evidence. 

1.  Involve managers and supervisors in the pre-training process. For example, when new training content is being developed or revised, ask for their input. They are an important source of job performance gap information that will translate nicely into learning objectives and course content.

 

2.  Ask managers and supervisors to deliver a pre-training message to their direct reports. Since you have engaged them early in the process, they will are more likely to say yes to delivering a message, something like, “I am looking forward to hearing about what you learn in training, and I will help you to apply it when you return.”

3.  Create a comprehensive follow-up program including managers and supervisors.During training design and development, build a post-program follow-up package that includes coaching, support and accountability to ensure on-the-job application. Give managers and supervisors a key role in coaching and supporting the desired behaviors. Partner with them to measure performance and subsequent results. This also creates a safety net in the event you don’t have all managers on board.


4.  Showcase the application levels and movement of key indicators to the organization to show the success of this teamwork approach. All of the information you gather in this process will come in handy when it is time to compile quantitative data and testimonials for your program’s chain of evidence. 

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Comments

#
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 2:31 PM
This is really a great series of tips, including the links to previous articles and posts.
Buy-in is my major concern as I look forward to the certification program and to continuing my previous, so far unrewarding efforts at making training effectiveness matter to my management. My organization recognizes training as a "good thing." It always has. In fact, there is a tendency to see training as the solution for challenges that are probably not the province of increasing knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Rather, these challenges are systemic in nature.
Probably inaccurately, I am reading this post as a training event, preceded by manager and participant orientation and followed by coaching and evaluating. In our environment, training occurs intensively for new hires and then is pieced together as changes occur. These changes occur often, as the training involves supporting Agile-ly changing software. I am struggling with how to get managers to focus enough on these frequent, small chunks of training, both before and after, and how to give them enough visibility in the organization among the helter-skelter of day-to-day work. So far, I have had trouble getting any response to requests to follow-up after training and only slightly more response to pre-training preparation. It seems managers are either "busy" or "not sure what to do." Obviously, I need to provide better tools that are "in the workflow" in order to improve my record.
# Wendy Partners
Friday, November 15, 2013 10:03 AM
Thanks for posting your comment, and I think I understand your dilemma. My first thought was, don't call it pre-training preparation and post-training follow up. Find a way to call it training too; just make it part of the frequent chunks of training that you disseminate.

I may be over-simplifying here, but I wonder if a change of language would increase receptivity to these critical activities, and gain the same acceptance as you seem to enjoy for ongoing training.

Let me know if this idea is on track.

Wendy Kirkpatrick
#
Friday, November 15, 2013 11:33 AM
I think reframing and re-characterizing the mission of pre-a and post-training processes can be helpful. I think more of a cultural change needs to take place, however.
Earlier this week, some of the managers attended a session on post-training coaching, offered by Training Magazine. They have agreed to further discussion with management about this session. I hope this will be a starting point for more teamwork between me and these folks.
# Wendy Partners
Sunday, November 17, 2013 8:36 PM
That's great to hear. A cultural change is definitely the most effective path, but I know it is not always feasible. I'm so pleased to hear that your management is open to a discussion.
# Anonymous User
Monday, November 18, 2013 11:26 AM
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