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Jill Boone, from Enterprise, outlines some particular challenges when managers are not on board, informed about, or participating in an employee’s development training. Bringing managers into a structured training early will allow for better buy-in and ensure success in building more productive employees.

How do you include your managers so that they easily adopt an evolving company-wide training culture?


Jill Boone:          We have to partner better with managers of the people attending our classes. So whatever level we’re teaching that next level of management, or next two levels of management, we should be creating learning experiences. It should start well before the day they come to the session, whether that’s sending questions ahead of time, some kind of pre-work, which the manager should be involved in. Then we do our day or two, and then we send them back to the manager with, “Great, now you reinforce it.” If you take somebody out of a job and you plunk them in training for a day of 8 hours, 4 hours, whatever it is, and then plunk them back, put them on the job and then expect a done, ready, out of the oven employee… nothing’s going to change. It won’t happen. The biggest problem we would have is if managers don’t know what we’re doing, and then the employee goes back to the manager and says, “Oh, this is what Jill taught me.” And the manager says, “Oh, we don’t do that here.” And it happens when we don’t do what we should be doing with that collaboration piece with managers.

I always suggest to people; when you create something new your manager should be the first ones in. They should know what we’re teaching. They should have seen or already went through themselves what we’re teaching. And then we should explain to them, “Now, once your employee comes through it, here’s what I’d ask you to do to reinforce that if you want better sales, performance, better customer service, better.” Whatever they’re doing.