One of the benefits of internal/in house supervisor training is that you can implement it as part of a process of performance improvement. By this I mean it could be integrated into performance appraisal, coaching, productivity improvement projects, administrative support, presentations etc.
It’s a bit harder to do this when supervisors are sent to a public/external course, but it’s not impossible. If you want to get the most from supervisors attending public courses, discuss the expected outcomes with the course providers and arrange for pre course briefings and post course implementation and reviews.
It is our desire that delegates do not simply enjoy our courses (which they do). We want them to implement the skills and insights gained from participation. To this end we have developed a few add-ons to our Leadership Skills for Supervisors course - assignments, coaching etc. We offer most of these for no additional cost to clients. Some that will involve us in ongoing support will carry a reasonable fee.
There are off course some decided benefits to public courses. One is that there is less likelihood of participants being called away to attend urgent(?)issues. Another is that delegates benefit immensely from interacting with participants from diverse working environments.
Contact us if you would like to know more about our Leadership Skills for Supervisors course and the added value add-ons (plug-ins for the computer minded)
First off, let me say that I believe that just about any training programme has some benefit in the overall development of people. If one attends training courses over a period of time, changes in knowledge, skills and attitude happen. But this can be a slow process, and it's expensive.
To improve results, supervisor training programmes should be based on a clear understanding of what needs to change. In addition, the material must be presented using well established learning principles. Thirdly (not to mention fourthly fifthly and sixthly) there should be support to ensure that what has been learned is implemented. This may very well be the most important factor in ensuring that the desired change takes place.
Most trainers will have faced a group of learners who say "why don't our managers attend this course, they need to know this too." And of course the managers may very well have the knowledge and skills that have been taught. The issue is that they don't always believe it, or they don't take the time to follow through and coach their staff after the course.
There are ways around this, but they are not always used - Involve managers in the decision as to what will be trained: facilitate a shortened version of the course and add coaching skills for the managers; visible support from the very top. Also, never underestimate the power of administrative systems that support the correct way to do things.
Coming to think of it, all that I have said applies to any training, not just supervisory.
Supervisors are often held back from becoming managers, or very good supervisors, through a lack of basic literacy skills. We all know the situation, a supervisor has come up through the ranks, s/he was a great operator and now is in the position of supervisor without these foundational skills. We see it all the time, managers frustrated that written reports are not up to standard, safety officers frustrated that hazard and incident reports are not comprehensively filled in, and supervisors neglecting to meet formally with their teams because they don't know how, or lack the skills to develop a meaningful agenda and actionable minutes.
We have been addressing these very things in a company we work with, and the results have been astonishing. Our work based literacy assessment tools have uncovered the core skills required by each supervisor and each is now on an individualised one-on-one programme of development. As a result, meetings are more productive and outcomes documented, confidence has increased, proposals to improve shop floor productivity are better articulated and therefore supported by management. The list goes on.
We are encouraged. It takes time and effort but companies who go down this route will reap the benefits and so will the individual supervisors. For them it can be life changing.
Feel free to contact us if you would like to know how we can assist within your organisation, or if you are just curious to learn more.