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Six Key Steps to Develop a Successful Supervisory Training Program

Supervisory training programs are essential for the success of newly hired or newly promoted supervisors to the organization. Many supervisors are moving from individual contributor to roles where they will not manage others. They need training to be successful in their new roles.

Consider these six key steps to develop a successful supervisory training program in your organization:

  1. Interview current supervisors to understand:
    • Challenges in their roles
    • What skills they use frequently
    • What they wish they knew when they started their new role
    • Where they go for support when needed

    Interview managers to whom the supervisors report to understand:

    • Their expectations of supervisors
    • Challenges they have seen in the supervisory role
    • What their best supervisors do better than anyone else
    • What they believe will be the skills needed for supervisors in 3 and 5+ years
  2. Determine competencies of supervisors
    • Consider your best supervisors along with current and future organizational needs – what competencies are required for success in the role
  3. Include a mentoring component in the program and prepare for it early on in program development by getting mentors in place and training them in what it means to mentor someone
  4. Develop case studies and mini problem solving scenarios that depict real life situations and challenges faced by supervisors within the organization
  5. Ensure a component on organizational culture so that individuals hired from outside of the organization in supervisory roles get to know the culture of the organization (informal communication channels, how things get done in the organization, etc.)
  6. Pilot test the program with a select group of supervisors of varying skill levels from throughout the organization

I have seen too many organizations jump into developing a new supervisor training program or purchasing something “off the shelf” without doing the necessary up front research and planning required to ensure it is a success. Take the time to make it right the first time rather than quickly rolling out a program and having to take the time to re-do it later on. You’ll build more credibility when it is done right the first time.