When it comes to learning and development, managers often make the mistake of leading their team like teachers to a class; the one manager to rule them all, the one who calls the shots and then determines what the team learn and when. This issue is not uncommon amongst new managers, whose lack of experience forces them to draw from what they know: homework, tests and grading systems. As a result, the adult learner easily becomes demotivated and disengaged, seeing training as just another task for their to-do list. Instead, managers ought to look closer at their staff and realise the task at hand is not to tick a box but to keep their employees. After all, managers play a crucial role in the talent development of a business. How they treat their employees will determine the success of their team and in turn, the success of the business.
While it’s all well and good to take lines straight from the Good Manager handbook (“Is there anything you need from me?” or “What do you think you could have done better?”), a high-performing team demands a leader who proactively works to make personal development a priority for each employee. Rather than telling staff to take part in training, great leaders inspire them to embark on their own learning journey for the sake of growing their knowledge and effectively contributing towards business objectives.
As a person matures his or her self concept moves from one of being a dependent personality toward one of being a self-directed human being. In essence the employees should be treated as adults. The key to this is to ask rather than tell and through that engage the employee as a member of the department