Sticky Notes: Teaching-Style Management
While it is critical nowadays to make available lots of easy-to-use online resources so employees can pursue their own self-directed learning, don’t ever fool yourself into thinking you can neglect the human element in training. The real action when it comes to making training come alive is on-the-job practice with regular coaching from what I call “teaching-style” managers. This means:
- Talking about what's going right, wrong, and average every step of the way.
- Reminding everybody of broad performance standards regularly.
- Turning best practices into standard operating procedures and teaching them to everybody.
- Using plans and checklists when possible.
- Focusing on concrete actions within the control of the individual employee.
- Monitoring, measuring, and documenting individual performance in writing.
- Following up and providing regular, candid feedback.
- Asking good questions, listening carefully, and answering questions.
- Getting input.
- Learning from what your employees are learning on the front line.
- Thinking through potential obstacles and pitfalls— making back-up planning part of every work plan.
- Anticipating and preparing, training and practicing.
- Strategizing together.
- Providing advice.support, motivation, and even inspiration once in a while.