Remember when dialogue about your performance with your manager was reserved for your “once a year” review? Remember when merely producing employee training for your people was enough? Remember when working from home was the exception, not the rule?
The world is changing. There’s new technology, new organizational approaches to feedback, new learning methods, new communication channels, and new situations requiring many to adapt to working remotely instantly. How are these current trends in our industry and changing work environments impacting employees’ expectations of their organizations, especially about training and development programs?
We went straight to the employees to find out. One10, together with our partner Market Cube, gathered data from over 3,000 US employees across various industries and roles, with a particular focus on those in sales roles. Employees surveyed represented a wide range of industries in the United States to determine the impact of employee and sales team expectations on their relationship with their organization.
We leveraged our recently relaunched proprietary analytics tool, rsX℠, to quantify and examine the relationship strength (trust, alignment, and commitment) between employers and employees. This research sought to answer the most critical questions on the minds of HR executives and sales team leaders everywhere. We, along with our clients, were particularly interested in the desire for employee recognition as well as employee training.
We learned that employees, more than ever, have high expectations of their organization and their leadership. They want relationships built around trust with their supervisors. They need to feel aligned with their organization’s purpose. Luckily for you (and us) all of these goals can be achieved with a proper employee training program.
Here’s what your employees want from you:
According to the results of our survey, employees overwhelmingly believe that their managers are passionate about their jobs and agree that their managers’ enthusiasm makes them want to do their job better. However, the third question in this area caused us some concern. When asked, only fifty-percent felt their managers were interested in employee performance.
Why it’s important: Managers must continue to lead their teams effectively by modeling the way. This includes providing managers with training that goes beyond the “what” for new programs and into performance management principles, particularly for less-experienced managers. Managers set the tone for the team or departmental priorities, building their confidence in this area increases the likelihood they’ll adopt this mindset and talk to their teams about performance.
And when designing incentive programs, it’s crucial to include manager eligibility requirements to reinforce managers’ roles in performance and ensure leaders are incentivized when they support their teams meeting training goals.
Employees in our survey agreed that their manager takes time to listen to concerns. Additionally, employees agreed that they feel supported by their management team when it comes to the development of skills and access to proper training.
Why it’s important: There’s a tendency with some organizations to prioritize the development of training to support the roll-out of new programs, processes, and products. The data suggest that including basic soft skills training, such as interpersonal skills for management, should not be undervalued. When managers listen to employee concerns about readiness on the job, or additional professional development, it goes a long way toward increasing the strength of the employee’s relationship with the organization. Formal training curricula combined with coaching and mentoring programs for new managers can bolster these skills in your management team. And to further stimulate the development of new skills, it’s often beneficial to include a “champion” role for new programs and culture change initiatives.
According to our survey, employees strongly agree that their managers are capable of doing their jobs and have the skills necessary to lead effectively.
Why it’s important: While the degree to which employees felt leaders inspired and mentored was a factor in their relationship with the organization, in this area, it is particularly impactful. When respondents agreed their managers were competent, the relationship strength more than doubled. Managers’ competencies in this area can be built in several ways. Ensuring they are sharing leadership efforts with teams and bringing team members into the process creates a stronger connection with the organization. A role-based curriculum that differentiates content for managers and individual contributors is also beneficial.
And survey results show that most employees agree that their company provides access to training to help them develop new skills. Employee training and development is extremely important—the survey results only reaffirm our knowledge.
Why it’s important: Revisiting and refining the “basics,” then communicating this to your team consistently, is essential. This includes ensuring employees are aware of what’s available, making training available in relevant media given new work environments, and that employees understand employee training programs and their requirements.
If you’ve read this blog and thought, “I knew that,” that’s precisely the point. As workplace trends continue to evolve and our workplaces shift to adapt to new situations, it’s essential to keep the basics when it comes to employee training in mind. Meet employee expectations. Managers overwhelmingly hold the key to ensuring employees feel trust, alignment, and commitment to the organization. That’s a tall order for managers that likely already have a full plate. Training to equip them to lead this charge is as important—and perhaps even more so now—than ever.