Whether you have recently been promoted to the position of Supervisor, or have been in the role for awhile, gaining access to impactful supervisor training can make your job easier and more productive.
On this page, we will discuss how to find the right supervisor training program for you. Plus, we’ll go over what makes some supervisor training ineffective, and how to ensure you get the most from your training investment. Last, we’ll review another way of building skills with supervisor coaching.
Where to look for Supervisor Training
If you are looking to enhance your supervision skills, you have multiple resources available. Each option has its own pros and cons. We’ll provide insight into where to look and how to make the best decision for your specific supervisor training needs.
First there is in-house supervisor training provided by your employer. Ask your Manager or the person who handles Human Resources what is available. Often times, when there are recurring opportunities for supervisor training, an employer will put the training together and deliver it by either someone in the position with strong skills or with designated trainers.
The advantage of in-house supervisor training is the topics and exercises are often very specific and relevant to your work environment and industry. For example, a manufacturing plant would have supervisor training specific to their production flow and use terms and lingo specific to their industry. A potential downside to in-house supervisor training is confidentiality. If you have a specific issue that you don’t want to make public to your peers or Human Resources, in-house supervisor training may not give you the freedom to fully express your challenges and brainstorm solutions with someone outside of your day to day.
Next, you may find supervisor training at a local training event offered by either a regional or national training company. These supervisor training companies take common themes across all industries to deliver a few key concepts around a topic related to supervisor training. For an example, you may have a supervisor training class to enhance skills around coaching or how to set expectations for your employees. These classes typically last either a full day or a half day. They are often facilitated by trainers who travel to multiple locations and deliver a set list of training classes.
An advantage to local supervisor training events is that you are out of your day to day environment and have a chance to interact with others outside of your industry and culture. This gives you the freedom to discuss and brainstorm solutions regarding specific problems or people. A potential downside of local event supervisor training is no follow-up to the information and how you apply it. Often, supervisors go to training sessions and come back and fall into the same habits of behavior they had before the training.
Last, you have available to you remote supervisor training. With this, online supervisor training are offered either in video form via a webinar, audio through teleseminar or written content and review. The advantage of remote supervisor training is the topics are often more focused to a specific skill or scenario. This means you have the ability to focus and practice a small number of concepts before going to the next topic. Another advantage to remote supervisor training is it usually requires less time commitment for each session. For example, you could cover the subject of how to conduct an effective interview and them apply it before you move onto the next topic. A potential downside is not having interaction with peers in the training environment to bounce ideas and brainstorm or share in groups.
I suggest you factor the combination of time, money and availability into your decision making process. Usually, the most cost effective given time and application is remote supervisor training. If you learn best by physically engaging with others and talking things through, you may be better served with a live supervisor training experience.
How to get the most from your online supervisor training investment
In my experience of delivering supervisor training to thousands of leaders, I have observed a few common reasons why you may not get improvements in results after attending supervisor training programs. If you know how to avoid these, you will get better results and an easier time leading your team.
The first thing to avoid is going back to work and filing away your supervisor training workbook and materials. We are creatures of habit and without consciously thinking about and applying what you learn, the investment in supervisor training goes by the wayside, rarely to be applied.
Instead, take your workbook and notes and create a plan of action on how to apply what you learned. Makes notes in your calendar when you have scheduled conversations remind yourself how you can apply what you learned in your supervisor training class. Review your notes once a week and think about how you can use the information in a way that helps you convert your leaning to a new habit.
The second thing to avoid is keeping the information to yourself. Talk to your manager or a peer about what you learned in your supervisor training program. By talking about you learned, you put the content in your own words, which deepens the learning for you. Also, telling others about it increases the likelihood you will take action and apply the ideas shared because it in some way increases your personal accountability. If you tell your manager about what you learned, he/she can follow-up with you and check in with how it is going.
I will caution you to be careful about what you pronounce as the ‘new you’ to your team. You will build credibility and trust by showing your team what you know versus telling them about what you are going to do now that you have been to a supervisor training class. People believe your actions more than your words, so prove it first, then share what you learned. By doing this, you create a model for your team to follow in building trust and credibility.
The third action to avoid is keeping yourself isolated from outside resources. What I mean is there is lasting value in professional networking both in your organization as well as with others outside of your company. When you go to supervisor training classes, you will likely interact with at least one person in class doing exercises together or chatting over coffee. Make connections and keep the relationships going after the class so you have someone else to talk with about issues or ideas.
If you easily meet people and naturally keep in touch, this will seem very comfortable for you to do. Collect those cards and emails and call or meet for lunch. If you are like me and sometimes feel uncomfortable engaging with people you don’t know, remember you can still do it in a way that is comfortable for you. Find the one or two people you had the most positive interactions with in your supervisor training program and let them know you enjoyed working with them. Then, offer your business card and ask if it is okay to keep in touch. They will most likely immediately offer you their card.
Having professional contacts outside of your work environment can be invaluable for support, to bounce ideas as well as potentially for future job searches. Remember; keep your interactions forward focused on solutions. Not many folks are interested in listening about problems that you don’t have an openness to solve.
Last, steer clear of only seeking development when your manager approaches you about it. You are responsible for your development. While your company may have a set amount of money or time to offer you for your supervisor training investment, there are other things you can do to keep growing.
There is a wealth of information online for tips and techniques you can use in supervising your team. Read books or listen to book recordings to expand your thinking and get exposure to new ideas. Join a group in your field that has lunch meetings or online chat forums. Read magazines in your field and share with others what you learn. All of what I have offered to you here can be done at little or no cost out of your pocket. Doing these things broadens your perspective and gets your creative juices flowing.
How coaching can supplement your supervisor training program
Supervisor training classes are a great way to get exposure to ‘how to’ knowledge. The next part is applying the steps in a way that helps you get better results.
Supervisor coaches can work with you to prepare for feedback conversations, approaches to delegation or how to navigate your organization to get what you need to be effective. Coaches can also talk with you about situations you are concerned about and help you brainstorm approaches and solutions. By having a coach, you can reinforce your supervisor training skills by reviewing what to do and how to do it.
One of the most valuable aspects of having a supervisor coach is in debriefing and redirecting your actions on an ongoing basis to build upon successes and bolster improvements. This is how you can really move forward in developing supervisory skills. When to take what went well and what can be done differently the next time, you are continually improving your skills base in a relevant and specific way. The next thing you know, you’ll be ready for the next level of supervisor training.
Coaching can be done either one on one through a mentor program or an external coaching program. Go to Supervisor Coaching to learn more about how to choose a coach to supplement your supervisor training.
If there is a manager or leader in your organization that you connect with and is a good role model for you in leading your team, you might consider approaching him/her to see if they are willing to be your coach. Often, an informal mentor can give you insight in how to navigate your organizational culture and processes.
A critical aspect of an effective coaching program is trust and confidentiality. Remember though, when you move into the role of leading others, you become an agent of the organization and need to exercise due diligence in how you represent yourself and others. In other words, if you have any topics to review that could jeopardize the business (for example, sexual harassment, discrimination concerns, violations of company policies), you must report these topics to the person who handles your Human Resource issues instead of to your coach or mentor.
Make sure your supervisor training program prepares you for the legal aspects of leading a team. See the Supervisor course tab to learn more about topics to be covered.
The wrap up
You now know how to access supervisor training and how to keep the information alive and woven into a new habit. You know how coaching can supplement your supervisor training and help you apply what you learn with debriefs, support and redirection.
The next step is to identify what skills your need to enhance and then find the supervisor training programs that cover the skills you need.
If you aren’t sure about what skills are needed to effectively supervise your team, check out Supervisor Skills to get more information. If you know what type of class you want, check out Supervisor Course to find out options for supervisor training programs.
If you have questions about anything you have read here, send an email to email@example.com and we will be happy to get back to you with what you need.