New Year’s Resolution Get Managers Involved for Better Learning Results

By Ed Emde

As you start out another new year, possibly with a more limited budget than in the past, you might be thinking about how to make sure you get outstanding results out of this year’s initiatives.

As we all know, manager commitment is a key factor in getting results, and yet it can be very challenging to get managers to provide the support and reinforcement so critical to success. Why is it typically so difficult to get them involved?

The fact is that with all the competing demands on their attention, managers have to make choices about where to allocate their scarcest resource—time. All too often, they are asked to participate in time-consuming activities for which they feel unprepared and which seem disconnected from their most meaningful business objectives. Unless they see that they can spend a reasonable amount of time for a clear business benefit, you’re just not going to get their mindshare and commitment.

If you want managers to coach, support, and reinforce learning on the job, here are a couple of simple guidelines:

  • Make sure managers are informed and clear about the content and business impact of the learning.
  • Provide them with tips and tools that make coaching and support easy. (An example might be a customized coaching checklist on new skills or behaviors)

In working with our clients, we’ve found we can leverage technology to enhance the quantity and quality of management involvement. We send learners links to activities and tools such as videos, podcasts, or online assessments that demonstrate the value of the learning for their work and career aspirations. Their managers receive their own versions of the same messages, keeping them fully informed and prompting them to support and guide their people as soon as they begin the learning process. Since the messages are triggered automatically on a pre-determined schedule, the platform saves administrative time while giving managers crucial information and tools in the right format and at just the right time in the process.

This approach avoids manager overload, while creating a natural sense of involvement. You can achieve the results everyone wants without the need for special initiatives to gain organizational alignment around learning.

What has worked for you to get managers involved? And what are your biggest obstacles?


Ed Emde

Ed负责Wilson Learning美洲地区的业务战略和运营。过去的25年中,ED与企业高管保持着紧密的合作,将人力资源发展、组织发展、培训和教育与客户企业的战略需求和业务结果相连接。他曾在多家知名的的培训和组织发展机构担任总裁和首席执行官等领导职务。他曾多次成功地使组织扭亏为盈,以及企业的收购、合并和整合。ED的文章多次发表在印刷杂志和在线商业出版物上,其中包括《CLO》杂志和《Training》杂志。