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Build a Better Manager: Manage Your People

Drive higher IT results through practical communication tactics.

  • Management skills training is needed, but organizations are struggling to provide training that makes a long-term difference in the skills managers actually use in their day to day.
  • Many training programs are ineffective because they offer the wrong content, deliver it in a way that is not memorable, and are not aligned with the IT department’s business objectives.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • More of the typical manager training is not enough to solve the problem of underprepared first-time IT managers.
  • You must overcome the key pitfalls of ineffective training to deliver training that is better than the norm.
  • Offer tailored training that focuses on skill building and is aligned with measurable business goals to make your manager training a tangible success.

Impact and Result

Use Info-Tech’s tactical, practical training materials to deliver training that is:

  • Specifically tailored to first-time IT managers.
  • Designed around practical application of new skills.
  • Aligned with your department’s business goals.

Build a Better Manager: Manage Your People Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why and how you should best support new IT managers’ transition into leadership, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Train managers to communicate effectively

Understand the importance of effective communication for first-time managers, and deliver practical training in communicating with a variety of people and settings relevant to first-time managers.

2. Train managers in performance management

Give your first-time managers a solid foundation in setting meaningful goals and metrics for their teams and employees.

3. Train managers to give coaching and feedback

Understand the difference between coaching and feedback, and give your first-time managers the skills to use both tactics as appropriate to assist their staff in meeting their performance and development goals.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

9.5/10


Overall Impact

$1,239


Average $ Saved

2


Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Lee County Clerk of Courts

Guided Implementation

9/10

$1,239

1

San Diego County Office of Education

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

2

Cascades, Centre des Technologies

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

San Diego County Office of Education

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

N/A


Onsite Workshop: Build a Better Manager: Manage Your People

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Communicate Effectively

The Purpose

Train managers to communicate effectively with a variety of people, in settings relevant to first-time managers.

Key Benefits Achieved

Managers gain skills and confidence in:

  • Interaction with different communication styles
  • Tailoring communication methods to activities
  • Making meetings more effective

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Deliver the Communicate Effectively manager training module

  • Completed Participant Workbook for the Communicate Effectively module, including an action plan for the attendees

Module 2: Performance Management

The Purpose

Train managers to set meaningful, business-aligned goals and metrics for their team and individual employees.

Key Benefits Achieved

Managers gain skills and confidence in:

  • Setting SMART goals based on business and department objectives
  • Developing meaningful measures to track goal achievement
  • Using an objective basis for feedback to employees

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Deliver the Performance Management manager training module

  • Completed Participant Workbook for the Performance Management module, including an action plan for the attendees

Module 3: Coaching and Feedback

The Purpose

Train managers to coach employees and give constructive feedback.

Key Benefits Achieved

Managers gain skills and confidence in:

  • Coaching employees for personal and professional development
  • Giving feedback in a constructive way

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Deliver the Coaching and Feedback manager training module

  • Completed Participant Workbook for the Coaching & Feedback module, including an action plan for the attendees

Build a Better Manager: Manage Your People

Drive higher IT results through practical communication tactics.

ANALYST PERSPECTIVE

Managers are the connective fiber of your department. How are you supporting them?

"Ninety-eight percent of managers say they need more training, but 93% of managers already receive some level of manager training. Unfortunately, the training typically provided, although copious, is not working. More of the same will never get you better outcomes.

How many times have you sat through training that was so long, you had no hope of implementing half of it?

How many timed have you been taught best practices, with zero guidance on how to apply them?

To truly support our managers, we need to rethink manager training. Move from fulfilling an HR mandate to providing truly trainee-centric instruction. Teach only the right skills – no fluff – and encourage and enable their application in the day to day. "

Jane Kouptsova,
Senior Consulting Analyst, CIO Practice
Info-Tech Research Group

Our understanding of the problem

This Research Is Designed For.

  • CIOs, department leads, and senior managers in charge of overseeing the training of first-time IT managers.

This Research Will Help You:

  • Equip first-time IT managers with the fundamental skills necessary to tackle their new responsibilities.
  • Easily apply a consistent training program throughout your department, increasing compliance

This Research

  • First-time IT managers

This Research Will Help Them

  • Acquire essential management skills and tactics for addressing the expectations of their new role.
  • Develop a foundation of competencies on which to build more advanced leadership skills.

Executive Summary

Situation

  • IT departments often promote staff based on technical skill, resulting in new managers feeling unprepared for their new responsibilities in leading people.
  • The success of your organization hinges on managers’ ability to lead their staff; by failing to equip new managers adequately, you are risking the productivity of your entire department.

Complication

  • Despite the fact that $14 billion is spent annually on leadership training in the US alone (Freedman, 2016), only one in ten CIOs believe their department is very effective at leadership, culture, and values (Info-Tech, 2019).
  • Training programs do not deliver results due to trainee overwhelm, ineffective skill development, and a lack of business alignment.

Resolution

Use Info-Tech’s tactical, practical approach to management training to deliver training that:

  1. Is specifically tailored to first-time IT managers.
  2. Is designed around practical application of new skills.
  3. Is aligned with your department’s business goals.
  4. Equips your new managers with essential skills in the following key competencies:
    • Team management
    • People development
    • Self governance
  5. This blueprint is part of a three-part series and specifically focuses on team management.

Info-Tech Insight

When it comes to manager training, more is not more.

  • Attending training is not equal to being trained. Even good information is useless when it doesn’t get applied.
  • If your role hasn’t required you to use your training within 48 hours, you were not trained on the most relevant skills.
  • Good intentions don’t make a good manager. Will needs to be backed up by skill.

Effective managers drive effective departments by engaging their teams

This image contains three circles. In the outermost circle are the words Enterprise Effectiveness. In the next circle are the words Department Effectiveness. In the middle circle are the words Effective Managers. There is a legend to the right of the image which reads: Engaged teams are: 52% more willing to innovate; 70% more likely to be at the organization a year from now; 57% more likely to exceed their role's expectations. Engaged teams are driven by managers: 70% of team-level engagement is accounted for by managers.

(1 McLean & Company; N=3,395; 2 McLean & Company; N=5,902; 3 Gallup, 2018)

Despite the criticality of their role, IT organizations are failing at supporting new managers

87% of middle managers wish they had more training when they were first promoted

98%of managers say they need more training (source: Grovo, 2016)

IT must take notice:

IT as an industry tends to promote staff on the basis of technical skill. As a result, new managers find themselves suddenly out of their comfort zone, tasked with leading teams using management skills they have not been trained in, and more often than not, having to learn on the job. This is further complicated because many new IT managers must go from a position of team member to leader, which can be a very complex transition.

The truth is, many organizations do try and provide some degree of manager training, it just is not effective

99% of companies offer management training (1) Fewer than one in ten CIOs believe their IT department is highly effective at leadership, culture, and values. A circle is depicted, showing that 14% of CIOs believe that their IT department have Very Low Effectiveness, 33% believe that it is moderately effective, 45% believe that it is moderately effective, and only 9% believe that it has high effectiveness.

(1)Grovo, 2016; 2Chief Executive, 2016
(2)Info-Tech’s Management & Governance Diagnostic, N=337 CIOs

93% of managers attend it (1)
$14 billion spent annually in the US on leadership training (2)

There are three key reasons why manager training fails

1. Information Overload

Seventy-five percent of managers report that their training was too long to remember or to apply in their day to day (Grovo, 2016). Trying to cover too much useful information results in overwhelm and does not deliver on key training objectives.

2. Limited Implementation

Thirty-three percent of managers find that their training had insufficient follow-up to help them apply it on the job (Grovo, 2016). Learning is only the beginning. The real results are obtained when learning is followed by practice, which turns new knowledge into reliable habits.

Lack of departmental alignment

Implementing training without a clear link to departmental and organizational objectives leaves you unable to clearly communicate its value, undermines your ability to secure buy-in from attendees and executives, and leaves you unable to verify that the training is actually improving departmental effectiveness.

Overcome those common training pitfalls with tactical solutions

Move From TO
1. Information Overload Timely, tailored topics
The more training managers attend, the less likely they are to apply any particular element of it. Combat trainee overwhelm by offering highly tactical, practical training that presents only the essential skills needed at the managers’ current stage of development.
2. Limited Implementation Skills-focused framework
Many training programs end when the last manager walks out of the last training session. Ensure managers apply their new knowledge in the months and years after the training by relying on a research-based framework that supports long-term skill building.
3. Lack of Departmental Alignment Outcome-based measurement
Setting organizational goals and accompanying metrics ahead of time enables you to communicate the value of the training to attendees and stakeholders, track whether the training is delivering a return on your investment, and course-correct if necessary.

This research combats common training challenges by focusing on building habits, not just learning ideas

Manager training is only useful if the skills it builds are implemented in the day-to-day.
Research supports three drivers of successful skill building from training:

Three concentric circles are depicted. In the innermost circle are the words Personal commitment. In a text box the same color as the inner circle, are the words Info-Tech's methodology builds in activities that foster accountability and an attitude of continuous improvement. In the next circle are the words Learning Structure. In the textbox are the words Training activities are customizable, flexible, and accompanied by continuous learning self-evaluation. In the outer circle, are the words Organizational Support. In the text box, are the words The training modules include committing to implementing new skills on the job and scheduling opportunities for feedback.

Info-Tech Insight

When it comes to manager training, stop thinking about learning, and start thinking about practice. In difficult situations, we fall back on habits, not theoretical knowledge. If a manager is only as good as their habits, we need to support them in translating knowledge into practice.

This research focuses on building good management habits in in order to drive enterprise success

This image contains three circles. In the outermost circle are the words Enterprise Effectiveness. In the next circle are the words Department Effectiveness. Inside this circle, surrounding the inner circle with the words Effective Managers are the words: People; Self; and Team.

Set up your first-time managers for success by leveraging Info-Tech’s training to focus on three key areas of management:

  • Managing people as a team
  • Managing people as individuals
  • Managing yourself as a developing leader

Each of these areas:

  • Is immediately important for a first-time manager
  • Includes practical, tactical skills that can be implemented quickly
  • Translates to departmental and organizational benefits

Info-Tech Insight

There is no such thing as “effective management training.” Various topics will be effective at different times for different roles. Delivering only the highest-impact learning at strategic points in your leadership development program will ensure the learning is retained and translates to results.

This blueprint is part three of a three-part series, and will focus on the foundations of successful team management

This blueprint focuses on the essential skills necessary to lead a team.

This blueprint can be used alone to kick-start your first-time managers’ team leadership skills, or in conjunction with the people- and self-development modules for a well-rounded management primer.

This blueprint covers three key skills:

  • How to set and track realistic goals and metrics as part of successful performance management.
  • Tactical approaches to clear and effective communication in meetings and 1:1s.
  • The fundamentals of giving feedback and coaching to employees for development.

Info-Tech Best Practice

This blueprint is not a replacement for formal leadership or management certification. It is designed as a practical, tactical, and foundational introduction to key management capabilities.

This image contains a breakdown of the features of an effective manager, the People, the Self, and the Team. Under People are the words: Master Time; Delegate; and Accountability. Under Self, are the words Conflict & Difficult Conversation; Your Role in the Organization; and Your role in Decisions. Under Team are the words Communication; Feedback & Coaching; and Performance Management.

Info-Tech’s training tools guide participants through successful skill building

Practical facilitation guides equip you with the information, activities, and speaker’s notes necessary to deliver focused, tactical training to your management team.

This image contains three screenshots from Info-Tech's Practical Facilitation Guides.

The participant’s workbook guides trainees through applying the three drivers of skill building to solidify their training into habits.

This image contains a screenshot of Info-Tech's participant's workbook.

Measure the effectiveness of your manager training with outcomes-focused metrics

Linking manager training with measurable outcomes allows you to verify that the program is achieving the intended benefits, course-correct as needed, and secure buy-in from stakeholders and participants by articulating and documenting value.

Use the metrics suggested below to monitor your training program’s effectiveness at three key stages:

Program Music Calculation

Program enrolment and attendance

First-time manager (FTM) turnover rate

FTM turnover cost

Attendance at each session / Total number enrolled in session

Turnover rate: Number of FTM departures / Total number of FTMs

Number of departing FTMs this year * Cost of replacing an employee

Manager Effectiveness Metric

Engagement scores of FTM's direct reports

Departures as a result of poor management

Cost of departures due to poor management

Use Info-Tech's Employee Engagement surveys to monitor scores

Number of times "manager relationships" is selected as a reason for leaving on an exit survey / Total number of departures

Number of times "manager relationships" is selected as a reason for leaving on an exit survey * Cost associated with replacing an employee

Organizational Outcome Metric

On-target delivery

Business stakeholder satisfaction with IT

High-performer turnover rate

% projects completed on-target = (Projects successfully completed on time and on budget / Total number of projects started) * 100

Use Info-Tech’s business satisfaction surveys to monitor scores

Number of permanent, high-performing employee departures / Average number of permanent, high-performing employees

Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

“Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful.”

Guided Implementation

“Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track.”

Workshop

“We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place.”

Consulting

“Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project.”

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options

Build a Better Manager – Team Development

1. Communicate Effectively 2. Performance Management 3. Coaching & Feedback
Best-Practice Toolkit

1.1 Prepare to deliver training

1.2 Deliver training

1.3 Review action plan

2.1 Prepare to deliver training

2.2 Deliver training

2.3 Review action plan

3.1 Prepare to deliver training

3.2 Deliver training

3.3 Review action plan

Guided Implementations

Discuss need for training and training structure.

Discuss facilitation plan and tackle challenges.

Discuss long-term skill-building strategies.

Discuss need for training and training structure.

Discuss facilitation plan and tackle challenges.

Discuss long-term skill-building strategies.

Discuss need for training and training structure.

Discuss facilitation plan and tackle challenges.

Discuss long-term skill-building strategies.

Onsite Workshop Module 1:
Communicate Effectively
Module 2:
Performance Management
Module 3:
Coaching & Feedback
Phase 1 Outcome:
Effective Communication training delivered
Phase 2 Outcome:
Performance Management training delivered
Phase 3 Outcome:
Coaching & Feedback training delivered

Workshop overview

Contact your account representative or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

Session 1 (half-day) Session 2 (half-day) Session 3 (half-day)
Deliver Communication Training Deliver Performance Management Training Deliver Coaching & Feedback Training
Activities

1.1 Effective Communication manager training module:

  • Understand Communication Styles
  • Tailor Communication Methods to Activities
  • Make Meetings Matter

2.1 Performance Management manager training module

  • Develop Meaningful Goals
  • Set Meaningful Metrics

3.1 Coaching & Feedback manager training module

  • The 4 A’s of Coaching
  • Effective Feedback
  1. Completed Communicate Effectively Participant Workbook and action plan
  1. Completed Performance Management Participant Workbook and action plan
  1. Completed Communicate Effectively Participant Workbook and action plan

Build a better manager workshop overview

Contact your account representative or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

Session 1 (full day) Session 2 (full-day) Session 3 (full-day) Session 4 (full-day)
Deliver Self-Governance Training Deliver People Development Training Deliver People Development & Team Essentials Training Deliver Team Essentials Training
Activities

1.1 Master Time manager training module

1.2 Accountability manager training module

2.1 Your Role in the Organization manager training module

2.2 Your Role in Decision Making manager training module

2.3 Manage Conflict Constructively manager training module

3.1 Effective Communication manager training module

3.2 Performance Management manager training module 3.3 Coaching & Feedback manager training module
Deliverables
  1. Customized Master Time Facilitation Guide
  2. Completed Master Time Participant Workbook and action plan
  3. Customized Accountability Facilitation Guide
  4. Completed Accountability Participant Workbook and action plan
  1. Customized Your Role in the Organization Facilitation Guide
  2. Completed Your Role in the Organization Participant Workbook and action plan
  3. Customized Your Role in Decision Making Facilitation Guide
  4. Completed Your Role in Decision Making Participant Workbook and action plan
  1. Customized Your Role in the Organization Facilitation Guide
  2. Completed Your Role in the Organization Participant Workbook and action plan
  3. Customized Your Role in Decision Making Facilitation Guide
  4. Completed Your Role in Decision Making Participant Workbook and action plan
  1. Customized Manage Conflict Constructively Facilitation Guide
  2. Completed Manage Conflict Constructively Participant Workbook and action plan
  3. Customized Effective Communication Facilitation Guide
  4. Completed Effective Communication Participant Workbook and action plan

These modules can be mixed and matched to create a customized experience for your team.

Works cited

  • Freedman, Erica. “How to Build an Internal Leadership Development Program.” Chief Executive, 2016. Web. Oct. 2016.
  • Gandhi, Vipula. “Want to Improve Productivity? Hire Better Managers.” Gallup, 3 Aug. 2018. Web.
  • Good Manager, Bad Manager. Grovo, 2016. Web.

PHASE 1

Train Managers in Effective Communication

Build a Better Manager: Manage Your People

Step 1.1: Prepare to facilitate training

This step will walk you through the following activities

  • Understand the importance of effective communication for managers
  • Prepare to deliver manager training
  • Customize the training facilitation guide for your organization

This step involves the following participants:

  • Training facilitator

Outcomes of this step

  • Training facilitation deck customized to organizational norms
  • Training workbook distributed to participants
  • Training dates and facilitator finalized

Phase 1 outline

Call 1-888-670-8889 or email GuidedImplementations@InfoTech.com for more information.

Complete these steps on your own, or call us to complete a guided implementation. A guided implementation is a series of 2-3 advisory calls that help you execute each phase of a project. They are included in most advisory memberships.

Guided Implementation 1: Train managers to communicate effectively
Proposed Time to Completion: 3 weeks
Step 1.1: Prepare to deliver training Step 1.2: Deliver training Step 1.3: Review action plan
Start with an analyst kick-off call:
  • Discuss need for communications training
  • Establish facilitator and workshop participants
Review your plan with analyst:
  • Discuss your facilitation plan,
  • Discuss challenges in customizing the facilitation deck for your organization
Review skill-building action plan:
  • Review training delivery and action plan
  • Discuss long-term skill building strategies
Then complete these activities…
  • Customize facilitation deck for your organization
  • Notify workshop participants and distribute workbook
Then complete these activities…
  • Deliver training
Then complete these activities…
  • Send follow-up emails to trainees and their supervisors solidifying action plan
With these tools & templates:
Communicate Effectively
Facilitation Guide
With these tools & templates:
Communicate Effectively
Facilitation Guide
Communicate Effectively Participant Workbook

Effective communication is the cornerstone of good management

Effective communication can make or break your IT team’s effectiveness and engagement and a manager’s reputation in the organization. Effective stakeholder management and communication has a myriad of benefits – yet this is a key area where IT leaders continue to struggle.

There are multiple ways in which you communicate with your staff. The tactics you will learn in this section will help you to:

  1. Understand communication styles. Every staff member has a predisposition in terms of how they give/receive and digest information. To drive effective communication new managers need to understand the profiles of each of their team members and adjust their communicate style to suit.
  2. Understand what your team members want communicated to them, and how. Communication is highly personal, and a good manager needs to clearly understand what their team wants to be informed about and their desired interactions and when they need to be involved in decision making, as well as determining the appropriate channels for communication exchanges.
  3. Make meetings matter. Many new managers never receive training on what differentiates a good and bad meeting. Effective meetings have a myriad of benefits, but more often than not meetings are ineffective, wasting both the participants’ and organizer’s time. This training will help you to ensure that every team meeting drives a solid outcome and gets results.

Benefits:

  • Better buy-in, understanding, and communication.
  • Improved IT reputation with the organization.
  • Improved team engagement.
  • Improved stakeholder satisfaction.
  • Better-quality decision making.
  • Improved transparency, trust, and credibility.
  • Less waste and rework.
  • Greater ability to secure support and execute the agenda.
  • More effective cooperation on activities, better quality information, and greater value from stakeholder input.
  • Better understanding of IT performance and contribution

Effective manager communication has a direct impact on employee engagement

Communication is the foundation of successful teams. The more an employee agrees that their manager effectively communicates in the following areas, the more they feel engaged:

A graph is depicted. On the X axis are the words Strongly Agree, Disagree, Somewhat Disagree, Somewhat Agree, Agree, and Strongly Agree. On the Y axis are percentages labeled from 0% to 90%. On the graph are three lines. The first line is labeled: I clearly understand what is expected of me on the job. The second line is labeled My manager provides me with high quality feedback. The third line is labeled My manager keeps me well informed about decisions that affect me. Source: McLean & Company, 2018 N=125,105

Effective communication is crucial to all parts of the business

Project Execution

Project Management Institute (PMI) found that organizations with effective communications complete an average of 80% of projects on time and within budget (Source: PMI, 2013). Operations benefit from improved communication as information is shared quickly with more recipients. This increase in efficiency and reduction in mistakes increases production and boosts revenues.

Innovation

Effective communication improves employee/manager relationships and willingness to bring forward new innovative ideas. According to Aon Hewitt, 77% of engaged employees feel that they can speak openly, while only 22% of disengaged employees feel the same way (Source: Aon Hewitt, 2015). This helps improve the attraction and retention of key players (Source: SHRM Workplace Forecast, 2013).

Engagement

According to McLean & Company data, the top two drivers of employee engagement in IT departments are employee empowerment and culture. Both are things that are greatly affected by managers’ communication skills and styles. Engaged teams are the key to meeting the challenges faced by IT departments: innovation, retention, and productivity.

This phase guides you through using Info-Tech’s skill-building framework to develop key communication skills

This module is structured around the principles of Info-Tech’s skill-building framework:

Three concentric circles are depicted. In the innermost circle are the words Personal commitment. In a text box the same colour as the inner circle are the words Workbook and activities guide participants to develop a personalized action plan. In the next circle are the words Learning Structure. In the textbox are the words Tactical training is on communication styles, information modalities, and best practices of effective meetings. In the outer circle are the words Organizational Support. In the text box are the words Group training focus and commitment activities facilitate an integrative, interpersonal approach to learning.

Use the Build a Better Manager Participant Workbook to help participants set accountabilities and track their progress

1.1 Participant Workbook

A key feature of this blueprint is built-in guidance on transferring your managers’ new knowledge into practical skills and habits they can fall back on when their job requires it.

The Participant Workbook is structured around the three key principles of learning transfer to help participants optimally structure their own learning:

  • Track your learning. This section guides participants through conducting self-assessments, setting learning goals, recording key insights, and brainstorming relapse-prevention strategies
  • Establish your personal commitment. This section helps participants record the actions they personally commit to taking to continually practice their new skills
  • Secure organizational support. This section guides participants in recording the steps they will take to seek out support from their supervisor and peers.

This image contains a screenshot of module 1 of the Build A Better Manager training program.

Info-Tech Best Practice

Participants should use this workbook throughout their training, and continue to review it for at least three months after. Practical skills take an extended amount of time to solidify, and using the workbook for several months will ensure that participants stay on track with regular practice and check-ins.

Use the Communicate Effectively Module Facilitation Guide to deliver training to your first-time manager team

1.2 Communicate Effectively Module Facilitation Guide

The Communicate Effectively Facilitation Guide is a ready-to-use resource to deliver effective communication training to your first-time manager team. It is customizable to align with best practices within your organization and includes both slides and speaker’s notes to enable the facilitator to deliver the training effectively.

The Communication Effectively Facilitation Guide covers the following topics:

  • Understand Communication Styles
  • Tailor Communication Methods to Activities
  • Make Meetings Matter

Learning outcomes:

Main goal: Become a better communicator across a variety of personal styles and work contexts

Key objectives:

  • Reaffirm why effective communication matters.
  • Work with people with different communication styles.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively within a team.
  • Make meetings more effective.

Info-Tech Insight

First-time IT managers face specific communication challenges that come with managing people for the first time: learning to communicate a greater variety of information to different kinds of people, in a variety of venues. Tailored training in these areas helps managers focus and fast-track critical skill development.

Set your trainees up for success with by reviewing these training best practices

Cultural alignment

It is critical that the department leadership team understand and agree with the best practices being presented. Senior team leads should be comfortable coaching first-time managers in implementing the skills developed through the training. If there is any question about alignment with departmental culture or if senior team leads would benefit from a refresher course, conduct a training session for them as well. This session may be expedited by skipping activities where senior team leads already feel proficient.

Structured training

Ensure the facilitator takes a structured approach to the training. It is important to complete all the activities and record the outputs in the workbook where appropriate. The activities are structured to ensure participants successfully use the knowledge gained during the workshop to build practical skills.

Attendees

Who should attend the training? Although this training is designed for first-time IT managers, you may find it helpful to run the training for the entire management team as a refresher and to get everyone on the same page about best practices. It is also helpful for senior leadership to be aware of the training because the attendees may come to their supervisors with requests to discuss the material or coaching around it.

Info-Tech Insight

Best practices, when faced with an unaccommodating culture, are doomed to be forgotten. It falls to the training attendees to engage with the training, but it is up to you as a department leader to ensure the current culture allows for the training to be applied on the job, enabling managers to build skills through practice.

Prepare to deliver manager training

1.1 45 minutes

Complete these steps in preparation for delivering the training to your first-time managers:

  1. Select a facilitator
  2. The right person to facilitate the meeting depends on the dynamics within your department. Having a senior IT leader can lend additional weight to the training best practices, but may not be feasible in a large department. In these cases, an HR partner or external third party can be asked to facilitate.

  3. Distribute the workbook to attendees before the first training session
    1. Change the header on the workbook template to your own organization’s, if desired.
    2. Email the workbook to attendees prior to the first session. There is no pre-work to be completed.

INPUT

  • Participant Workbook

OUTPUT

  • Facilitator selected
  • Workbook distributed

Participants

  • CIO

Info-Tech Best Practice

The training is designed to be completed in the modules’ numbered order, in a workshop format, over a few consecutive days. This helps reinforce the learning concepts, as the training modules build on each other.

Customize the Effective Communication Facilitation Guide

1.2 1 hour

Prior to facilitating your first session, ensure you complete the following steps:

  • Read through all the module content, including the speaker’s notes, to familiarize yourself with the material and ensure the tactics presented align with your department culture and established best practices.
  • Customize the slides with a pencil icon with information relevant to your organization.
  • Ensure you are comfortable with all material to be presented and prepared to answer questions. If you require clarification on any of the material, book a call with your Info-Tech analyst for guidance.
  • Ensure you do not delete or heavily customize the self-assessment activities and the activities in the Review and Action Plan section of the module. These activities are structured around a skill building framework and designed to aid your trainees in applying their new knowledge in their day to day. If you have any concerns about activities in these sections, book a call with your Info-Tech analyst for guidance.

INPUT

  • Communicate Effectively Facilitation Guide

OUTPUT

  • Customized facilitation guide

Participants

  • Training Facilitator

Step 1.2: Deliver training

This step will walk you through the following activities

  • Deliver Communicate Effectively training

This step involves the following participants:

  • Training facilitator
  • First-time managers

Outcomes of this step

  • Training delivered
  • Development goals set by attendees
  • Action plan created by attendees

Facilitate Effective Communication training

1.3 2.5 hours

When you are ready, deliver the training. Ensure you complete all activities and that participants record the outcomes in their workbooks.

Tips for activity facilitation:

  • Encourage and support participation from everyone. And be sure no one on the team dismisses anyone’s thoughts or opinions – they present the opportunity for further discussion and deeper insight.
  • Debrief after each activity, outlining any lessons learned, action items, and next steps.
  • Encourage participants to record all outcomes, key insights, and action plans in their workbooks.

INPUT

  • Communicate Effectively Facilitation Guide
  • Participant workbook

OUTPUT

  • Completed participant workbook (for each attendee)

Materials

  • Flip chart and/or whiteboard
  • Notecards and tape OR sticky notes
  • Markers, pens, and pencils

Participants

  • Training Facilitator
  • Training attendees

Step 1.3: Set your team up for long-term skill development

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Confirm a skill development action plan with trainees
  • Secure organizational support from trainees' supervisors

This step involves the following participants:

  • Training facilitator
  • First-time managers
  • Attendees’ supervisors

Outcomes of this step

  • Attendees reminded of action plan and personal commitment
  • Supervisors reminded of the need to support trainees' development

After the training, email participants with key action steps

1.4 30 minutes

After the training, send an email to attendees thanking them for participating and summarizing key next steps for the group. Use the template below, or write your own:

“Hi team,
I want to thank you personally for attending the Communicate Effectively training module. Our group led some great discussion.
A reminder that the next time you will reconvene as a group will be on [Date] to discuss your progress and challenges to date.
Additionally, your manager is aware and supportive of the training program, so be sure to follow through on the commitments you’ve made to secure the support you need from them in order to build your new skills.
I am always open for questions if you run into any challenges.
Regards,
[Your name]”

INPUT

  • The date of participants’ next discussion meeting

OUTPUT

  • Attendees reminded of next meeting date and encouraged to follow through on action plan

Participants

  • Training facilitator

After the training, email managers’ supervisors

1.5 30 minutes

An important part of the training is securing organizational support, which includes support from your trainees’ supervisors. After the trainees have committed to some action items to seek support from their supervisors, it is important to express your support for this and remind the supervisors of their role in guiding your first-time managers. Use the template below, or write your own, to remind your trainees’ supervisors of this at the end of training (if you are going through all three modules in a short period of time, you may want to wait until the end of the entire training to send this email):

“Hi team,

We have just completed Info-Tech’s first-time manager training with our new manager team. The trainees will be seeking your support in developing their new skills. This could be in the form of coaching, feedback on their progress, reviewing their development plan, etc.

Supervisor support is a crucial component of skill building, so I hope I can count on all of you to support our new managers in their learning. If you are not sure how to handle these requests, or would like a refresher of the material our trainees covered, please let me know.

I am always open for questions if you run into any challenges.

Regards,

[Your name]”

Participants

  • CIO
  • Trainees’ supervisors

Track these metrics to monitor the application of skills from this module

Effective Training

Skill-Specific Metrics

  • Number of manager-staff conversations where both parties felt heard
  • Feedback from staff on 360° reviews or informally on whether they feel adequately informed
  • The number of times employees request additional information after a change is communicated
  • Number of emails that go unread
  • Number of individuals who believe the meeting was useful
  • Number of meetings that go over time

Departmental and Business Metrics

  • First-time manager (FTM) turnover rate
  • FTM turnover cost
  • Departures as a result of poor management
  • Cost of departures due to poor management
  • Number of projects delivered on target
  • Business stakeholder satisfaction with IT
  • High-performer turnover rate

Info-Tech Insight

It is important to measure both the overall success of your manager training program and the efficacy of particular skills. Having metrics for each component of your training program allows you to pinpoint areas where more practice may be needed to develop skills to a sufficient level.

If you want additional support, and have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech workshop

Book a workshop with out Info-Tech Analysts

  • To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.
  • Info-Tech analysts will join you and your team onsite at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech’s historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.
  • Contact your account manager (www.infotech.com/account), or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

This is a picture of an Info-Tech Analyst.
This image contains a screenshot from Module 1 of Info-Tech's Build a Better Manager Training. Deliver Communicate Effectively training
Your analyst will work with your team to deliver best-practice training in effective communication for first-time managers.
This image contains a screenshot from Module 1 of Info-Tech's Build a Better Manager Training.

Formulate an action plan for long-term skill development
Your analyst will assist your team in formulating an action plan that includes all three pillars of successful skill development.

Works cited

  • AON Hewitt. “Aon Hewitt Study Reveals Strong Link Between Employee Engagement and Employee Perceptions of Total Rewards. Honest Leader Communication Also Influences Engagement.” PR Newswire. 8 April 2015. Web. July 2015.
  • Project Management Institute. “PMI’s Pulse of The Profession: In-Depth Report.” PMI. May 2013. Web. June 2015.
  • SHRM. “SHRM Workplace Forecast.” The Top Workplace Trends According to HR Professionals. May 2013. Web. June 2015.

PHASE 2

Train Managers in Performance Management

Build a Better Manager: Manage Your People

Step 2.1: Prepare to facilitate training

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Understand the importance of effective performance management for managers
  • Prepare to deliver manager training
  • Customize the training facilitation guide for your organization

This step involves the following participants:

  • Training facilitator

Outcomes of this step

  • Training facilitation deck customized to organizational norms
  • Training workbook distributed to participants
  • Training dates and facilitator finalized

Phase 2 outline

Call 1-888-670-8889 or email GuidedImplementations@InfoTech.com for more information.

Guided Implementation 2: Train managers in performance management
Proposed Time to Completion: 3 weeks
Step 2.1: Prepare to deliver training Step 2.2: Deliver training Step 2.3: Review action plan
Start with an analyst kick-off call:
  • Discuss need for performance management training
  • Establish facilitator and workshop participants
Review your plan with analyst:
  • Discuss your facilitation plan,
  • Discuss challenges in customizing the facilitation deck for your organization
Review skill-building action plan:
  • Review training delivery and action plan
  • Discuss long-term skill building strategies
Then complete these activities…
  • Customize facilitation deck for your organization
  • Notify workshop participants and distribute workbook
Then complete these activities…
  • Deliver training
Then complete these activities…
  • Send follow-up emails to trainees and their supervisors solidifying action plan
With these tools & templates:
Communicate Effectively
Facilitation Guide
With these tools & templates:
Performance Management Facilitation Guide
Performance Management Participant Workbook

Meaningful performance measures drive employee engagement, which in turn, drives business success

Meaningful performance measures help employees understand the rationale behind business decisions, help managers guide their staff, and clarify expectations for employees. These factors are all strong predictors of team engagement:

This image contains a bar graph showing key metrics of performance measures, and the impact that has on employee engagement.

(1Source: McLean & Company Employee Engagement Survey; N=3,394 )

2Source: McLean & Company Employee Engagement Survey; N=5,902

Engaged teams are crucial to IT success.

Engaged employees are:

52%

more willing to innovate.(1)

70%

more likely to be at the organization a year from now.(2)

50%

more likely to exceed their role’s expectations.(2)

Clear performance measures benefit employees and the organization

Talent Management Outcomes

Performance measure are key throughout the talent management process.

Candidates:

  • Want to know how they will be assessed
  • Rely on measures to become productive as soon as possible

Employees:

  • Benefit from training centered on measures that are aligned with business outcomes
  • Are rewarded, recognized, and compensated based on measurable guidelines

Promotions and Evaluations:

  • Are more effective when informed by meaningful performance measures that align with what leadership believes is important

Performance measures benefit the organization by:

  • Helping employees know the steps to take to improve their performance
  • Ensuring alignment between team objectives and organizational goals
  • Providing a standardized way to support decision making related to compensation, promotions, and succession planning
  • Reducing “gaming” of metrics, when properly structured, thereby reducing risk to the organization
  • Affording legal defensibility by providing an objective basis for decision making

This phase guides you through using Info-Tech’s skill-building framework to develop key performance management skills

This module is structured around the principles of Info-Tech’s skill-building framework:

Three concentric circles are depicted. In the innermost circle are the words Personal commitment. In a text box the same colour as the inner circle are the words Workbook and activities guide participants to develop a personalized action plan. In the next circle are the words Learning Structure. In the textbox, are the words Tactical training is on communication styles, information modalities, and best practices of effective meetings. In the outer circle are the words Organizational Support. In the text box are the words Group training focus and commitment activities facilitate an integrative, interpersonal approach to learning.

Use the Build a Better Manager Participant Workbook to help participants set accountabilities and track their progress

2.1 Participant Workbook

A key feature of this blueprint is built-in guidance on transferring your managers’ new knowledge into practical skills and habits they can fall back on when their job requires it.

The Participant Workbook is structured around the three key principles of learning transfer to help participants optimally structure their own learning:

  • Track your learning. This section guides participants through conducting self-assessments, setting learning goals, recording key insights, and brainstorming relapse-prevention strategies
  • Establish your personal commitment. This section helps participants record the actions they personally commit to taking to continually practice their new skills.
  • Secure organizational support. This section guides participants in recording the steps they will take to seek out support from their supervisor and peers.

This image contains a screenshot from module 2 of Info-Tech's Build a Better Manager Training.

Info-Tech Best Practice

Participants should use this workbook throughout their training and continue to review it for at least three months after. Practical skills take an extended amount of time to solidify, and using the workbook for several months will ensure that participants stay on track with regular practice and check-ins.

Use the Performance Management Facilitation Guide to deliver training to your first-time manager team

2.2 Performance Management Facilitation Guide

The Performance Management Facilitation Guide is a ready-to-use resource to deliver effective communication training to your first-time manager team. It is customizable to align with best practices within your organization and includes both slides and speaker’s notes to enable the facilitator to deliver the training effectively.

The Performance Management Facilitation Guide covers the following topics:

  • Develop Meaningful Goals
  • Set Meaningful Metrics

This image contains a screenshot from module 2 of Info-Tech's Build a Better Manager Training.

Learning outcomes:

Main goal: Become proficient in setting, tracking, and communicating around performance management goals

Key objectives:

  • Understand the role of managers and employees in the performance management process
  • Learn to set SMART, business-aligned goals for your team
  • Learn to help employees set useful individual goals
  • Learn to set meaningful, holistic metrics to track goal progression
  • Understand the relationship between goals, metrics, and feedback

Info-Tech-Insight

Goal and metric development holds special significance for first-time IT managers because it now impacts not only their personal performance, but that of their employees and their team collectively. Training on these topics with a practical team- and employee-development approach is a focused way to build these skills.

Set your trainees up for success with by reviewing these training best practices

Cultural alignment

It is critical that the department leadership team understand and agree with the best practices being presented. Senior team leads should be comfortable coaching first-time managers in implementing the skills developed through the training. If there is any question about alignment with departmental culture or if senior team leads would benefit from a refresher course, conduct a training session for them as well. This session may be expedited by skipping activities where senior team leads already feel proficient.

Structured training

Ensure the facilitator takes a structured approach to the training. It is important to complete all the activities and record the outputs in the workbook where appropriate. The activities are structured to ensure participants successfully use the knowledge gained during the workshop to build practical skills.

Attendees

Who should attend the training? Although this training is designed for first-time IT managers, you may find it helpful to run the training for the entire management team as a refresher and to get everyone on the same page about best practices. It is also helpful for senior leadership to be aware of the training because the attendees may come to their supervisors with requests to discuss the material or coaching around it.

Info-Tech Insight

Best practices, when faced with an unaccommodating culture, are doomed to be forgotten. It falls to the training attendees to engage with the training, but it is up to you as a department leader to ensure the current culture allows for the training to be applied on the job.

Prepare to deliver manager training

2.1 45 minutes

Complete these steps in preparation for delivering the training to your first-time managers:

  1. Select a facilitator
  2. The right person to facilitate the meeting depends on the dynamics within your department. Having a senior IT leader can lend additional weight to the training best practices, but may not be feasible in a large department. In these cases, an HR partner or external third party can be asked to facilitate.

  3. Distribute the workbook to attendees before the first training session
    1. Change the header on the workbook template to your own organization’s, if desired
    2. Email the workbook to attendees prior to the first session. There is no pre-work to be completed.

INPUT

  • Participant Workbook

OUTPUT

  • Facilitator selected
  • Workbook distributed

Participants

  • CIO

Info-Tech Best Practice

The training is designed to be completed in the modules’ numbered order, in a workshop format, over a few consecutive days. This helps reinforce the learning concepts, as the training modules build on each other.

Customize the Performance Management Facilitation Guide

2.2 1 hour

Prior to facilitating your first session, ensure you complete the following steps:

  1. Read through all the module content, including the speaker’s notes, to familiarize yourself with the material and ensure the tactics presented align with your department culture and established best practices.
  2. Customize the slides with a pencil icon with information relevant to your organization.
  3. Ensure you are comfortable with all material to be presented and prepared to answer questions. If you require clarification on any of the material, book a call with your Info-Tech analyst for guidance.
  4. Ensure you do not delete or heavily customize the self-assessment activities and the activities in the Review and Action Plan section of the module. These activities are structured around a skill building framework and designed to aid your trainees in applying their new knowledge in their day to day. If you have any concerns about activities in these sections, book a call with your Info-Tech analyst for guidance.

INPUT

  • Performance Management Facilitation Guide

OUTPUT

  • Customized facilitation guide

Participants

  • Training Facilitator

Step 2.2: Deliver training

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Deliver Performance Management training

This step involves the following participants:

  • Training facilitator
  • First-time managers

Outcomes of this step

  • Training delivered
  • Development goals set by attendees
  • Action plan created by attendees

Facilitate Performance Management training

2.3 2.5 hours

When you are ready, deliver the training. Ensure you complete all activities and that participants record the outcomes in their workbooks.

Tips for activity facilitation:

  • Encourage and support participation from everyone. And be sure no one on the team dismisses anyone’s thoughts or opinions – they present the opportunity for further discussion and deeper insight.
  • Debrief after each activity outlining any lessons learned, action items, and next steps.
  • Encourage participants to record all outcomes, key insights, and action plans in their workbooks.

INPUT

  • Performance Management Facilitation Guide
  • Participant workbook

OUTPUT

  • Completed participant workbook (for each attendee)

Materials

  • Flip chart and/or whiteboard
  • Notecards and tape OR sticky notes
  • Markers, pens, and pencils

Participants

  • Training facilitator
  • Training attendees

Step 2.3: Set your team up for long-term skill development

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Confirm a skill development action plan with trainees
  • Secure organizational support from trainees' supervisors

This step involves the following participants:

  • CIO/Training facilitator
  • First-time managers
  • Attendees’ supervisors

Outcomes of this step

  • Attendees reminded of action plan and personal commitment
  • Supervisors reminded of the need to support trainees' development

After the training, email participants with key action steps

2.4 30 minutes

After the training, send an email to attendees thanking them for participating and summarizing key next steps for the group. Use the template below, or write your own:

“Hi team,

I want to thank you personally for attending the Performance Management training module. Our group led some great discussion.

A reminder that the next time you will reconvene as a group will be on [Date] to discuss your progress and challenges to date.

Additionally, your manager is aware and supportive of the training program, so be sure to follow through on the commitments you’ve made to secure the support you need from them in order to build your new skills.

I am always open for questions if you run into any challenges.

Regards,

[Your name]”

INPUT

  • The date of participants’ next discussion meeting

OUTPUT

  • Attendees reminded of next meeting date and encouraged to follow through on action plan

Participants

  • CIO/Training facilitator

After the training, email managers’ supervisors

2.5 30 minutes

An important part of the training is securing organizational support, which includes support from your trainees’ supervisors. After the trainees have committed to some action items to seek support from their supervisors, it is important to express your support for this and remind the supervisors of their role in guiding your first-time managers. Use the template below, or write your own, to remind your trainees’ supervisors of this at the end of training (if you are going through all three modules in a short period of time, you may want to wait until the end of the entire training to send this email):

“Hi team,

We have just completed Info-Tech’s first-time manager training with our new manager team. The trainees will be seeking your support in developing their new skills. This could be in the form of coaching, feedback on their progress, reviewing their development plan, etc.

Supervisor support is a crucial component of skill building, so I hope I can count on all of you to support our new managers in their learning. If you are not sure how to handle these requests, or would like a refresher of the material our trainees covered, please let me know.

I am always open for questions if you run into any challenges.

Regards,

[Your name]”

Participants

  • CIO
  • Trainees' supervisors

Track these metrics to monitor the application of skills from this module

Effective Training

Skill-Specific Metrics

  • Number of team goals achieved on time
  • Staff satisfaction with their development opportunities
  • Employee engagement metrics, such as on an engagement survey
  • The number of goals employees set that meet the SMART criteria
  • The amount of time spent collecting or analyzing metrics data
  • The number of employees that see performance reviews as useful

Departmental and Business Metrics

  • First-time manager (FTM) turnover rate FTM turnover cost
  • Departures as a result of poor management
  • Cost of departures due to poor management
  • Number of projects delivered on target
  • Business stakeholder satisfaction with IT
  • High-performer turnover rate

Info-Tech Insight

It is important to measure both the overall success of your manager training program and the efficacy of particular skills. Having metrics for each component of your training program allows you to pinpoint areas where more practice may be needed to develop skills to a sufficient level.

Adobe improves performance review through management training

CASE STUDY

Source: WorldatWork Journal, 2012

Problem

At Adobe, managers, especially those in technical roles, were not comfortable providing performance reviews, which negatively impacted employee satisfaction with the reviews they received.

Solution

After launching a feedback survey, Adobe developed a training program for managers on giving effective performance feedback, provided videos demonstrating effective reviews, and distributed a tip cheat sheet to both managers and employees so they could walk into the conversation prepared.

Results

With better prepared and trained managers, there was a 3% decrease in the number of employees who voluntary left Adobe. During exit interviews, 75% of employees rated Adobe as a great place to work, increasing Adobe’s employer brand. Adobe also went up ten spots in the Interbrand Top Global Brand ranking. Managers reported spending less time in preparing for performance reviews, saving 100,000 manager hours per year.

75%

of employees rated Adobe as a great place to work

3%

decrease in voluntary attrition

100,000

manager hours saved per year

If you want additional support, and have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech workshop

Book a workshop with out Info-Tech Analysts

  • To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.
  • Info-Tech analysts will join you and your team onsite at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech’s historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.
  • Contact your account manager (www.infotech.com/account), or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

This is a picture of an Info-Tech Analyst.

This image contains a screenshot from module 2 of Info-Tech's Build a Better Manager Training.

Deliver Performance Management training
Your analyst will work with your team to deliver best-practice training in effective performance management for first-time managers.

This image contains a screenshot from module 2 of Info-Tech's Build a Better Manager Training.

Formulate an action plan for long-term skill development
Your analyst will assist your team in formulating an action plan that includes all three pillars of successful skill development.

Works cited

  • Scott, Dow, Tom McMullen, and Mark Royal. “Retention of Key Talent and the Role of Rewards.” WorldatWork. June 2012. Web. May 2015.

PHASE 3

Train Managers to Give Coaching and Feedback

Build a Better Manager: Manage Your People

Step 3.1: Prepare to facilitate training

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Understand the importance of effective coaching and feedback skills for managers
  • Prepare to deliver manager training
  • Customize the training facilitation guide for your organization

This step involves the following participants:

  • CIO/Training facilitator

Outcomes of this step

  • Training facilitation deck customized to organizational norms
  • Training workbook distributed to participants
  • Training dates and facilitator finalized

Phase 3 outline

Call 1-888-670-8889 or email GuidedImplementations@InfoTech.com for more information.

Complete these steps on your own, or call us to complete a guided implementation. A guided implementation is a series of 2-3 advisory calls that help you execute each phase of a project. They are included in most advisory memberships.

Guided Implementation 3: Train managers to give coaching and feedback
Proposed Time to Completion: 3 weeks
Step 3.1: Prepare to deliver training Step 3.2: Deliver training Step 3.3: Review action plan
Start with an analyst kick-off call:
  • Discuss need for coaching & feedback training
  • Establish facilitator and workshop participants
Review your plan with analyst:
  • Discuss your facilitation plan,
  • Discuss challenges in customizing the facilitation deck for your organization
Review skill-building action plan:
  • Review training delivery and action plan
  • Discuss long-term skill building strategies
Then complete these activities…
  • Customize facilitation deck for your organization
  • Notify workshop participants and distribute workbook
Then complete these activities…
  • Deliver training
Then complete these activities…
  • Send follow-up emails to trainees and their supervisors solidifying action plan
With these tools & templates:
Coaching and Feedback
Facilitation Guide
With these tools & templates:
Coaching and Feedback Facilitation Guide
Coaching and Feedback Participant Workbook

Today’s business environment requires leaders to shift from command & control to influence

Today’s environment is more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) Command-and-control leadership is no longer effective Leaders need influence to succeed
5.1 million jobs may be lost due to labor market changes in the next five years.
(Leopold, Ratcheva & Zahidi, 2016)
Declining organizations are more likely to have managers who are authoritarian, secretive, and risk-averse.
(Worall et al.)
Growing organizations are more likely to have managers who are empowering, accessible, and trusting.
(Worall et al.)

Info-Tech Insight

In contrast to the traditional command-and-control leadership style, leaders who use influence are more successful. This style of leadership assumes that the leader isn’t always the expert and that employees have the potential to grow.

Coaching and feedback are effective methods to influence employees and drive business outcomes

COACHING is a conversation in which a manager asks an employee questions to guide them to solve problems themselves, instead of just telling them the answer.

Coaching increases an employee’s belief in their ability to succeed.(Lawrence)

Employees who feel empowered to make decisions about how they do their work are 4.3X more engaged.(McLean & Company, Engagement Survey Data, 2017; N=148,038)

Coaching increases an employee’s commitment to their organization. (Lawrence)

FEEDBACK is information about the past, given in the present, with the goal of influencing behavior or performance for the future. It includes information given for reinforcement and redirection.

14.9% lower turnover rates in companies that implement regular employee feedback.

Four out of ten workers are actively disengaged when they get little to no feedback.

65% of employees say they want more feedback. (OfficeVibe, 2014)

23%

of employees report that lack of “support from my manager to help me achieve better results” was their moderate to primary reason for leaving their organization.

This phase guides you through using Info-Tech’s skill-building framework to develop key coaching and feedback skills

This module is structured around the principles of Info-Tech’s skill-building framework:

Three concentric circles are depicted. In the innermost circle are the words Personal commitment. In a text box the same colour as the inner circle are the words Workbook and activities guide participants to develop a personalized action plan. In the next circle are the words Learning Structure. In the textbox, are the words Tactical training is on communication styles, information modalities, and best practices of effective meetings. In the outer circle are the words Organizational Support. In the text box, are the words Group training focus and commitment activities facilitate an integrative, interpersonal approach to learning.

Use the Build a Better Manager Participant Workbook to help participants set accountabilities and track their progress

3.1 Participant Workbook

A key feature of this blueprint is built-in guidance on transferring your managers’ new knowledge into practical skills and habits they can fall back on when their job requires it.

The Participant Workbook is structured around the three key principles of learning transfer to help participants optimally structure their own learning:

  • Track your learning. This section guides participants through conducting self-assessments, setting learning goals, recording key insights, and brainstorming relapse-prevention strategies
  • Establish your personal commitment. This section helps participants record the actions they personally commit to taking to continually practice their new skills.
  • Secure organizational support. This section guides participants in recording the steps they will take to seek out support from their supervisor and peers.

This image contains a screenshot from module 3 of Info-Tech's Build a Better Manager Training.

Info-Tech Best Practice

Participants should use this workbook throughout their training and continue to review it for at least three months after. Practical skills take an extended amount of time to solidify, and using the workbook for several months will ensure that participants stay on track with regular practice and check-ins.

Use the Coaching and Feedback Facilitation Guide to deliver training to your first-time manager team

Coaching and Feedback Facilitation Guide

The Coaching and Feedback Facilitation Guide is a ready-to-use resource to deliver effective communication training to your first-time manager team. It is customizable to align with best practices within your organization and includes both slides and speaker’s notes to enable the facilitator to deliver the training effectively.

The Coaching and Feedback Facilitation Guide covers the following topics:

  • The 4 A’s of Coaching
  • Effective Feedback

Learning outcomes:

Main goal: Get prepared to coach and offer feedback to your staff as appropriate

Key objectives:

  • Understand the difference between coaching and feedback and when to apply each one
  • Learn the importance of a coaching mindset
  • Learn effective coaching via the 4 A’s framework
  • Understand the actions that make up feedback and the factors that make it successful
  • Learn to deal with resistance to feedback

This image contains a screenshot from module 3 of Info-Tech's Build a Better Manager Training.

Info-Tech Insight

First-time managers often shy away from giving coaching and feedback, stalling their team’s performance. A focused and practical approach to building these skills equips new managers with the tools and confidence to tackle these challenges as soon as they arise.

Set your trainees up for success with by reviewing these training best practices

Cultural alignment

It is critical that the department leadership team understand and agree with the best practices being presented. Senior team leads should be comfortable coaching first-time managers in implementing the skills developed through the training. If there is any question about alignment with departmental culture or if senior team leads would benefit from a refresher course, conduct a training session for them as well. This session may be expedited by skipping activities where senior team leads already feel proficient.

Structured training

Ensure the facilitator takes a structured approach to the training. It is important to complete all the activities and record the outputs in the workbook where appropriate. The activities are structured to ensure participants successfully use the knowledge gained during the workshop to build practical skills.

Attendees

Who should attend the training? Although this training is designed for first-time IT managers, you may find it helpful to run the training for the entire management team as a refresher and to get everyone on the same page about best practices. It is also helpful for senior leadership to be aware of the training because the attendees may come to their supervisors with requests to discuss the material or coaching around it.

Info-Tech Insight

Best practices, when faced with an unaccommodating culture, are doomed to be forgotten. It falls to the training attendees to engage with the training, but it is up to you as a department leader to ensure the current culture allows for the training to be applied on the job.

Prepare to deliver manager training

3.1 45 minutes

Complete these steps in preparation for delivering the training to your first-time managers:

  1. Select a facilitator
  2. The right person to facilitate the meeting depends on the dynamics within your department. Having a senior IT leader can lend additional weight to the training best practices, but may not be feasible in a large department. In these cases, an HR partner or external third party can be asked to facilitate.

  3. Distribute the workbook to attendees before the first training session
    1. Change the header on the workbook template to your own organization’s, if desired.
    2. Email the workbook to attendees prior to the first session. There is no pre-work to be completed.

INPUT

  • Participant Workbook

OUTPUT

  • Facilitator selected
  • Workbook distributed

Participants

  • CIO

Info-Tech Best Practice

The training is designed to be completed in the modules’ numbered order, in a workshop format, over a few consecutive days. This helps reinforce the learning concepts, as the training modules build on each other.

Customize the Coaching and Feedback Facilitation Guide

3.2 1 hour

Prior to facilitating your first session, ensure you complete the following steps:

  1. Read through all the module content, including the speaker’s notes, to familiarize yourself with the material and ensure the tactics presented align with your department culture and established best practices.
  2. Customize the slides with a pencil icon with information relevant to your organization.
  3. Ensure you are comfortable with all material to be presented and prepared to answer questions. If you require clarification on any of the material, book a call with your Info-Tech analyst for guidance.
  4. Ensure you do not delete or heavily customize the self-assessment activities and the activities in the Review and Action Plan section of the module. These activities are structured around a skill building framework and designed to aid your trainees in applying their new knowledge in their day to day. If you have any concerns about activities in these sections, book a call with your Info-Tech analyst for guidance.

INPUT

  • Coaching and Feedback Facilitation Guide

OUTPUT

  • Customized facilitation guide

Participants

  • Training Facilitator

Step 3.2 Deliver training

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • •Deliver Coaching & Feedback training

This step involves the following participants:

  • Training facilitator
  • First-time managers

Outcomes of this step

  • Training delivered
  • Development goals set by attendees
  • Action plan created by attendees

Facilitate Coaching and Feedback training

3.3 2.5 hours

When you are ready, deliver the training. Ensure you complete all activities and that participants record the outcomes in their workbooks.

Tips for activity facilitation:

  • Encourage and support participation from everyone. And be sure no one on the team dismisses anyone’s thoughts or opinions – they present the opportunity for further discussion and deeper insight.
  • Debrief after each activity outlining any lessons learned, action items, and next steps.
  • Encourage participants to record all outcomes, key insights, and action plans in their workbooks.

INPUT

  • Coaching and Feedback
  • Facilitation Guide Participant workbook
  • Effective Feedback Training Role Play Scenarios Handout

OUTPUT

  • Completed participant workbook (for each attendee)

Materials

  • Flip chart and/or whiteboard
  • Notecards and tape OR sticky notes
  • Markers, pens, and pencils

Participants

  • Training Facilitator
  • Training attendees

Step 3.3: Set your team up for long-term skill development

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Confirm a skill development action plan with trainees
  • Secure organizational support from trainees' supervisors

This step involves the following participants:

  • CIO/Training facilitator
  • CIO/Training facilitator First-time managers
  • Attendees’ supervisors

Outcomes of this step

  • Attendees reminded of action plan and personal commitment
  • Supervisors reminded of the need to support trainees' development

Facilitate Coaching and Feedback training

3.4 30 minutes

After the training, send an email to attendees thanking them for participating and summarizing key next steps for the group. Use the template below, or write your own:

“Hi team,

I want to thank you personally for attending the Coaching & Feedback training module. Our group led some great discussion.

A reminder that the next time you will reconvene as a group will be on [Date] to discuss your progress and challenges to date.

Additionally, your manager is aware and supportive of the training program, so be sure to follow through on the commitments you’ve made to secure the support you need from them in order to build your new skills.

I am always open for questions if you run into any challenges.

Regards,

[Your name]”

INPUT

  • The date of participants’ next discussion meeting

OUTPUT

  • Attendees reminded of next meeting date and encouraged to follow through on action plan

Participants

  • Training facilitator

After the training, email managers’ supervisors

3.5 30 minutes

An important part of the training is securing organizational support, which includes support from your trainees’ supervisors. After the trainees have committed to some action items to seek support from their supervisors, it is important to express your support for this and remind the supervisors of their role in guiding your first-time managers. Use the template below, or write your own, to remind your trainees’ supervisors of this at the end of training (if you are going through all three modules in a short period of time, you may want to wait until the end of the entire training to send this email):

“Hi team,

We have just completed Info-Tech’s first-time manager training with our new manager team. The trainees will be seeking your support in developing their new skills. This could be in the form of coaching, feedback on their progress, reviewing their development plan, etc.

Supervisor support is a crucial component of skill building, so I hope I can count on all of you to support our new managers in their learning. If you are not sure how to handle these requests, or would like a refresher of the material our trainees covered, please let me know. I am always open for questions if you run into any challenges.

Regards,

[Your name]”

Participants

  • CIO
  • Trainees' supervisors

Track these metrics to monitor the application of skills from this module

Effective Training

Skill-Specific Metrics

  • The number of problems employees bring to their manager for solution (this should decrease over time)
  • The number of ideas volunteered by staff in meetings
  • The frequency of (well-received) feedback sessions within your team
  • Staff’s willingness to offer feedback to their manager
  • The time between identifying a performance problem with an employee and its resolution

Departmental and Business Metrics

  • First-time manager (FTM) turnover rate
  • FTM turnover cost
  • Departures as a result of poor management
  • Cost of departures due to poor management
  • Number of projects delivered on target
  • Business stakeholder satisfaction with IT
  • High-performer turnover rate

Info-Tech Insight

It is important to measure both the overall success of your manager training program and the efficacy of particular skills. Having metrics for each component of your training program allows you to pinpoint areas where more practice may be needed to develop skills to a sufficient level.

Coaching program delivers on cultural transformation

CASE STUDY

Source: Athena Training and Consulting

Problem

Coastal Community Credit Union had an employee-focused culture, where negative feedback was often never provided. This created a barrier for the organization in being a high-performance culture.

Solution

Coastal decided to provide its managers, including front-line and first-time managers, with coaching training. After the program, participants received HR support, had conference calls, and formed discussion groups to drive adoption of coaching.

Results

Coaching training was beneficial for both managers and employees. Ninety-two percent of managers reported that the training was very valuable to them. Across the organization, engagement levels rose by 2% after the coaching training was completed. Also, managers were able to adopt their coaching skills into their interactions with employees. Overall, Coastal fully embraced a culture of coaching, which improved performance and employee satisfaction levels with management.

92%

of managers found coaching training to be very valuable

2%

increase in engagement across the organization

84%

of employees reported consistent coaching after their manager had training

If you want additional support, and have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech workshop

Book a workshop with out Info-Tech Analysts

  • To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.
  • Info-Tech analysts will join you and your team onsite at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech’s historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.
  • Contact your account manager (www.infotech.com/account), or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

This is a picture of an Info-Tech Analyst.

This image contains a screenshot from Module 1 of Info-Tech's Build a Better Manager Training. Deliver Coaching & Feedback training
Your analyst will work with your team to deliver best-practice training in coaching and feedback skills for first-time managers.
This image contains a screenshot from Module 1 of Info-Tech's Build a Better Manager Training.

Formulate an action plan for long-term skill development
Your analyst will assist your team in formulating an action plan that includes all three pillars of successful skill development.

Works cited

  • Fermin, Jeff. “Statistics On The Importance Of Employee Feedback.” Officevibe, 7 Oct. 2014. Web.
  • Gossen, Paul. “A Coaching Culture Transformation ~ Case Study.” Athena Training and Consulting. 1 Apr. 2011. Web.
  • Lawrence, Paul. “Managerial coaching – A literature review.” International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring 15.2 (2017): 43-66. Web. Oct. 2017.
  • Leopold, Till Alexander, Vesselina Ratcheva, and Saadia Zahidi. The Future of Jobs. Cologny/Geneva: World Economic Forum, 2016. Web. Nov. 2017.
  • Worall, Les, et al. The Quality of Working Life. London: Chartered Management Institute, 2016. Web. Oct. 2017.

Contributors

This is a picture of Senior Engineering Manager, Brad Armstrong

Brad Armstrong, Senior Engineering Manager, Code42 Software
I am a pragmatic engineering leader with a deep technical background, now focused on building great teams. I'm energized by difficult, high-impact problems at scale and with the cloud technologies and emerging architectures that we can use to solve them. But it's the power of people and organizations that ultimately lead to our success, and the complex challenge of bringing all that together is the work I find most rewarding.

We thank the expert contributors who chose to keep their contributions anonymous.

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A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 9 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Train managers to communicate effectively
  • Call #1 - Discuss need for training and training structure.
  • Call #2 - Discuss facilitation plan and tackle challenges.
  • Call #3 - Discuss long-term skill-building strategies.

Guided Implementation #2 - Train managers in performance management
  • Call #1 - Discuss need for training and training structure.
  • Call #2 - Discuss facilitation plan and tackle challenges.
  • Call #3 - Discuss long-term skill-building strategies.

Guided Implementation #3 - Train managers to give coaching and feedback
  • Call #1 - Discuss need for training and training structure.
  • Call #2 - Discuss facilitation plan and tackle challenges.
  • Call #3 - Discuss long-term skill-building strategies.

Authors

Jane Kouptsova

Carlene McCubbin

Lindsay Ellis

Contributors

  • Brad Armstrong, Senior Engineering Manager, Code42 Software
  • One anonymous contributor
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