I’ve Got the Power

Children are very smart.  Even those as young as 3 will notice parental patterns and respond accordingly.  For instance, if a 3 year old is told to go to brush their teeth, but the parent has a history of not following up to see if they have indeed brushed their teeth, said 3 year old will not brush their teeth.  Dogs also operate in a similar manner.  If you tell a dog to go outside with a point of your finger and threatening tone of your voice, but then do not get up from the couch to see if they have exited the doggie door; they will not go outside.  We adults also will speed down the interstate since statistics are on our side, and will slow down only when an officer of the law is in sight.

So why is it that we fail to consider how vital follow up is in the workplace?  Phillips and Phillips have found that this is the #8 reason why training efforts fail – Lack of Management Reinforcement and Support.  In fact, the problem may actually lie more in manager’s perceptions.  For example, one major computer manufacturer conducted a training program followed by specific questions about the manager’s performance and actions.  The results were surprising – 40% of the managers said they encouraged and coached their employees while the employees said than an actual 0% coached and encouraged them.

Sometimes a simple inquiry about the training program and its effects will do, other times more detailed follow up is required.  To counteract this problem, managers must also be trained on how to reinforce their employees, showing them their specific roles and responsibilities, and rewarding them for their efforts.

Have you found training managers to be difficult or rewarding?  Or, as a manager, have you been provided with such training and if so, how has that impacted your organization?


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