woman being thought new manager skills

Setting up your new managers for success is crucial to making sure your organization is able to keep top talent in all areas of the business while operating efficiently and meeting business goals.

Although this may seem like a straightforward concept, research on developing new management and leadership shows us that many organizations don’t quite understand how important it is to invest resources into creating robust new manager training programs. DDI, a leadership research firm, found that at least 57% of employees have left a job because of poor management, with 14% having left multiple organizations for that reason.

Providing new managers with training to gain the skills they need to manage their teams efficiently should happen early and often. This will ensure you can minimize losing talented employees due to poor management issues and will prove to have a big ROI in the ways we discuss in this blog.

We Touch on:

What is New Manager Training?

The Importance of New Manager Training

3 Key Skills Your New Managers Need

How to Develop Your New Manager Training Program

Online Learning and Manager Development

What is New Manager Training?

New manager training is training that is specifically designed to equip first time managers with the tools, skills, and mindset they need to successfully manage a team of people.

A new manager can be someone who has never managed people in their professional lives, or someone who may have had experience managing a team in a previous organization but not with your company.

Leadership training for new managers offers an introduction to what it’s like to manage a team of people within your organization. It can cover everything from key performance metrics, soft skills, and building a managerial mindset, to core skills managers need to create high performing teams. There are three main buckets of information new manager training should cover:

  1. Fundamentals of Management
  2. Delegation, Feedback, and Communication
  3. Conversations, Reviews, and Conflict Resolution

Within each one of these categories live key soft skills like effective communication, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence. A robust training program will also evaluate where each new manager stands regarding their proficiency in these (and many other) key skills and should create custom learning paths for each person to accelerate learning.

The Importance of New Manager Training

The importance and advantages of incorporating new supervisor training into your employee training program can be laid out in an article of their own, given how much there is to point out, here are some of the main factors that highlight the crucial nature of this type of training.


It’s no secret that a well-trained manager is often what makes the difference between your organization being able to keep top talent or not – and the research shows it. Gallup’s State of the American Manager study found that teams with well-trained managers that focus on engagement see 21% higher productivity and 65% less turnover than teams without well-equipped managers.

This speaks to the crucial nature of providing manager-specific training that enables your new leaders to drive employee retention and engagement, two of the most important metrics within your HR/L&D strategy.  

The long term effects of having management that can positively impact engagement and retention rates can also have a “future proofing” effect for your organization that will allow you to keep valuable talent in a fast-changing labor market, where employees are leaving organizations that don’t engage and develop them more than ever before.

Improved Company Culture

Managers set the tone for workplace culture and can determine if people feel heard and valued as employees or not, which makes it crucial for new managers to be trained on how to go beyond their technical knowledge and positively influence their teams.

SHRM’s Workplace Culture Report found that 76% of employees say their manager sets the tone for their workplace culture – 36% reported that their manager doesn’t know how to lead a team. Providing comprehensive training for incoming managers can ensure they can uphold your company’s’ values and use them as motivating tools to keep their people engaged and motivated.

When your training program incorporates topics like how to create a positive and inclusive workplace culture, it can help foster a sense of belonging and being a part of something bigger than their day-to-day task for employees. This also helps to encourages curiosity, creativity and other productivity boosting behaviors in both managers and employees.

Return On Investment (ROI)

Finally, another key factor and advantage of providing new manager training for your employees is the return on investment (ROI) the business will see from allocating resources into this area of your learning and development program.

On one side, the organization would see ‘qualitative’ returns, which in this case would mean improvement in people’s happiness with their work environment, satisfactions with supervisors, and desire to bring their best to work. On the more ‘quantitative’ side a, research study done by Training Industry Magazine showed that organizations could see an “ROI of 29% within just the first three months post-training and a final annualized ROI of 415%” on their leadership training investment”.

This is a fundamental aspect of your new manager training program to understand from its inception to implementation given that L&D teams need to be able to convey this to their leadership when working on creating buy-in for the program, and to the rest of the organization when promoting it internally. Of course, any organization will be looking to implement programs that positively impact sales, revenue, productivity, and other key business metrics overall – new manager training is undoubtably tied to these metrics as well.

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3 Key Skills Your New Managers Need

fundamentals of management graphic
Discover your management style
New manager pitfalls and opportunities
Creating a fair and equitable workplace
Coaching employees for performance and growth
Maintaining wellness amidst new responsibilities
Understanding what it means to lead a team
Becoming an effective communicator
Do’s and don’ts of delegation
Giving constructive feedback
Assessing, evaluating, and strategizing employee performance
Facilitation and strategy of difficult conversations
Strategies for addressing conflict in the workplace

How to Develop Your New Manager Training Program

Assess Your Managers Current Leadership and Soft Skills Levels

The first step to incorporating new manager training into your current L&D strategy is to make sure you have a way to assess where new managers stand as far as key management skills like the ones we mentioned in the previous section.

Creating an assessment document or survey can be done by using traditional platforms like Word or Google Docs, utilizing a survey format and application (like SurveyMonkey or Typeform) or by leveraging AI to help you shape the assessment. Entering a prompt like Generate questions to assess management skills for a new manager in the ___ industry” into a tool like ChatGPT will generate sample questions you can work off to create the best assessment for your workforce.

Our soft skills assessment can also be a helpful way to involve your new managers in their own development at an early stage by providing them with a resource they can use to see where they stand on their own.

Align Training Plans with Organizational Objectives

After you have assessed what core management skills you need to target on a group and individual level, it’s important to make sure your training program aligns with organizational goals.

One way this can be done is by making sure your training program exposes new managers to organizational objectives (ex: improve customer service, grow at a certain rate, increase productivity/production) and how their KPI’s affect these larger goals.

Aligning your training program to company objectives will also take transparency and openness from leadership. One way this can be achieved is by incorporating open discussions with members of upper management and leadership about the organization’s overall direction and how to convey that vision down the ladder.

Incorporate Online Learning Resources for New Managers

Incorporating online on-demand training resources can give your new managers the flexibility and personalization they need to get the most out of your training program. Short-form video training modules can present complex concepts in an engaging way that is easy to understand and can be practiced within the online platform and in person, while eliminating any dependance of in-office hardware or paper documentation.  

It’s also crucial that you research and evaluate different platforms to figure out what online learning solution best fits your employee count, industry, and the maturity of your program – although it’s always best to partner with an organization that will offer a consultative approach to helping your organization build this program.

Create Dedicated Spaces for Coaching & Mentorship Sessions.

Lastly, creating space within your program for first-time managers to learn and be mentored by more experienced leaders will enable the free flow of ideas, information, and feedback. This is because employees will feel like they’re not just being lectured or are learning from boring outdated training documents. Instead, engaging in coaching conversations with those more tenured members of leadership will create a sense of belonging and curiosity to learn from their experiences. Incorporating these mentoring spaces into the program enhances it by involving leadership and creating more buy-in across the org – in the long run, this also helps to sort of weave the program into the fabric of your organizations culture and make it something everyone is invested in and proud of.

Online Learning and Manager Development

As with other forms of non-technical employee training it’s easy to assume that new manager training can only be done through presentations, in-person training and hands-on experience. However, today’s largely digital workforce doesn’t benefit from being limited to these types of training styles.

Utilizing online learning tools that provide training through on demand microlearning video lowers the barrier of accessibility to a wide range of training topics for new managers, It allows employees to access trainings and lessons that are the most relevant to their specific jobs from any device, and where it’s most convenient for them to do so.  

This type of online training style can also allow you to create customized learning tracks and lessons for your employees – saving L&D teams valuable time and resources while maximizing the time their employees and new managers spend on training. BizLibrary’s microlearning tools deliver complex concepts related to becoming a great first-time manager through shorter and more engaging lessons that keep learners engaged and boost their ability to retain information as they move through the training program at their own pace.

Upskilling Tools for New Leaders

With the rise of Artificial Intelligence, we’re seeing organizations adjust how they operate, in part, by enabling their employees with tools that use this technology and L&D teams shouldn’t be the exception.

Using an online learning tool powered by machine learning like BizSkills allows teams to deliver the exact training that each one of their new managers needs through personalized learning tracks and assessments, along with being able to get feedback and collaborate with learners – all in one platform.

This means that employees can progress much faster when it comes to their development of key managerial skills, that progress is enhanced by prescriptive content suggestions that the platform is able to match to individual learner trends and suggestions based on what’s most important to your industry/market. For example, if you want your managers to be well versed and up to date on workplace safety, you can prompt the platform to prescribe or assign content on that specific topic within learners personalized learning tracks.

An online Learning tool powered by AI could be a game changer for your L&D teams’ ability to creating engaging, personalized, and cost-effective leadership training programs.

Closing Thoughts

Providing your new managers with the tools they need to be successful in their roles is one of the most important parts of any learning and development strategy. Managers often carry the responsibility of driving business performance while also having to lead teams and take care of an organization’s most valuable asset, their employees. We must dedicate resources into making sure new managers are trained on how to be the best leaders they can be if they hope to see healthy retention, productivity, and engagement levels among other crucial metrics that directly impact an organizations ability to drive revenue and ensure they don’t lose top talent to their competitors.    

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