If frontline managers perform so badly, why aren’t they getting trained?

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If your organization isn’t training frontline managers, don’t be surprised if employee engagement is low. A survey commissioned by Halogen Software found huge discrepancies between the importance of frontline management and the priority that companies put on actually training those leaders.
  • Just 12% of global executives think their organization invests enough in developing their frontline managers
  • More than 90% believe frontline managers’ lack of leadership development impacts employee engagement
  • When training is given, on-the-job training is the most frequently used tool, followed by classroom training, personality and leadership assessments, and online learning.
According to Halogen’s VP of marketing and business development, the company’s interest started as  “a trend we're seeing among the HR professionals we speak to — they're stating there is a disconnect between the expectations of their frontline managers as leaders, and the investment in the tools and development to help them get there.”

Much of the problem stems in the common trickle-down training model, said Peter Cappelli, director of the Center for HR at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “Organizations are failing to offer enough leadership and training to all their managers,” he said. “To the extent to which they do offer training, it seems to follow a trickle-down model: The most for the top executives, the least to the first-line supervisors.”

Going by the spending on training, it seems that trickle-down model certainly dominates at large companies, at least. A recent Bersin by Deloitte survey found executives tended to receive more than $19,000 annually in training, while first-level managers only got $2,587 in professional development each year.

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