There is no question about how important it is to train supervisors or front-line leaders on essential leadership skills.
Supervisors are typically promoted due to their technical skills, knowledge, and expertise, but they often haven’t yet developed the skills required to be a strong supervisor and fulfill their leadership responsibilities effectively, which can have many far-reaching repercussions on the organization.
Research shows that ineffective supervision has a dramatic impact on retention, morale, productivity, and overall business results. While addressing the skill gap is certainly an important purpose of supervisor training, there is another, longer-term reason why it matters: supervisors will likely be candidates for mid-level leadership positions in the future and will need to master fundamental leadership skills before trying to lead other leaders.
In our work at CMOE, we often see supervisors who lack essential skills, but we also find a lot of mid-level managers who never fully developed their leadership skills when they were front-line leaders—and are now trying to catch up and struggle to meet the demands of their higher-level roles.
Strong, effective leadership must start on the front lines of work. But this poses another challenge: providing supervisors with the growth opportunities they desperately need takes them away from the important work they are doing on a daily basis. It can feel like a steep price to pay, even if the rewards are significant. Luckily, there are ways to work through these competing needs.
Although it is difficult to replace the value of live, facilitator-led supervisor-development programs, digital or online supervisor training courses and blended solutions are good alternatives that can equip supervisors with the vital skills and knowledge they need so they feel confident in their ability to lead others and maximize the potential of the workforce.
Why Online Training? Benefits of Developing Supervisors Remotely
There are certainly many benefits to offering an instructor-led course, but with the rise of new technologies and recent advancements in digital instructional-design capabilities, there are also some clear benefits to delivering supervisor courses online:
- Supervisors learn the skills and progress through the training at their own pace, when and where it is most convenient for them.
- Supervisors are given the opportunity to build their skills incrementally; they aren’t “fire hosed” with so many concepts and tools that they don’t know where to start or what to do with the learning.
- In some situations, online supervisor training courses can be more cost-effective for an organization.
- The training can be made available to the supervisors’ leaders, which will help them reinforce the skills and concepts and clarify leadership expectations with the supervisors they lead.
- Using online courses for learning and development can reduce the time spent on training.
- Offering learning on demand ensures that the training is consistent and meets standards throughout the organization.
Online Supervisor Training Course Considerations
While it may be fairly easy to find digital or e-learning supervisor-development products on the market, it is important that you not only find a solution, but that you find the right solution—one that will drive maximum value for supervisors and the organization. Here are some things to take into consideration as you evaluate how to approach supervisor development in your organization:
- Does the online course include topics that address the most critical skills a supervisor needs to guide and empower today’s workforce?
- Is it efficient and self-paced, so supervisors can continue to balance the daily demands placed on them while also engaging in ongoing learning and growth?
- Is it practical and applicable to the work of a front-line leader or supervisor?
- Does it align with the organization’s leadership expectations or model, or can it be customized to include topics that are the most urgent development opportunities?
- Can the content, skills, concepts, and tools be built upon and expanded as supervisors move up in leadership, so they are building one common leadership language?
- Are application and sustainability mechanisms built into the program so that leaders can truly apply what they are learning?
- Is the content proven and backed by research?
- Does the program include assessments and other feedback mechanisms?
- Is it engaging and will it equip supervisors with the tools they need to face challenges at this level?
Having strong soft skills is a must for today’s leaders. In this competitive and dynamic global business environment, supervisors must have the ability to lead people and build relationships—and to do it better than the leaders working for their organization’s competitors. If organizations are filled with more-effective supervisors or front-line leaders, the positive results will be dramatic, and with digital learning, it is within closer reach than it’s ever been before.
To learn more about CMOE’s supervisor-development offerings, visit our website or click here to have a CMOE representative contact you. We’d love to discuss how we can help you elevate business performance and enhance the skills of leaders throughout your organization.