Building Strong Relationships with Line Managers and Supervisors for Improved Learning and Performance

It’s become more and more clear over the years that organizations must provide better training and support to help supervisors master the essential skills of effective performance management. Managing diverse teams comes with many challenges, which underscores the need for effective communication and trust-building to create a positive work environment. Let’s look at some practical tips for how you can better engage supervisors and line managers and provide the type of ongoing support and collaboration that fosters a culture of continuous learning and improvement in your organization. 

Recognizing the Role of Supervisors in Supporting Performance and Learning

Supervisors play a crucial role in supporting employee performance and learning. While focusing on results is important, it is equally necessary to recognize that performance and learning are the precursors to achieving those results. Line managers and supervisors, especially at Level 3 (on the job), shine as they actively support and reinforce desired behaviors.

However, it cannot be assumed that supervisors know or are willing to engage in effective performance management. Organizations need to provide support and training in this area to ensure supervisors are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge.

Overcoming Challenges and Frustrations in Managing Teams

Many leaders have expressed frustrations with the new generation of employees who seem to have different work attitudes and behaviors from those who came before. However, the key is understanding that they may need training or guidance to understand how to support the organization effectively, as their work ethic may not align with the expectations of previous generations.

Many of us can relate to these frustrations, likely having experienced similar challenges in working with younger individuals in our lives. We may also feel ill-equipped to support our team and provide feedback appropriately. That’s why it is incumbent upon us to be proactive in finding solutions. 

Effective Communication and Strategies for Building Trust

Effective communication and trust-building are paramount to overcoming the many challenges we face. Consider engaging in a role-playing exercise to improve communication skills and demonstrate the positive impact of active listening and seeking to understand before seeking to be understood.

Asking for permission before engaging in conversations with managers and supervisors, acknowledging their perspectives and potential constraints, and actively problem-solving are the best ways to find solutions collaboratively.

Practical Tips for Engaging Line Managers and Supervisors

Engaging line managers and supervisors is the key to gaining their trust and support. It is crucial to be approachable, empathetic, and available for discussions about challenges and concerns they may have. By offering practical tools, resources, and training opportunities, organizations can help line managers support and hold their teams accountable effectively.

Collaboration and communication between line managers and employees should be encouraged, and guidance provided on how to address different situations. Sharing relatable stories and personal experiences can make the information more memorable and relatable.

Seeking Guidance and Continuing Education in Learning and Performance Evaluation

When facing challenges or obstacles, seeking advice and guidance from experienced professionals, such as the Kirkpatrick Partners team, can help find effective resolutions. Attending conferences or events like the Kirkpatrick Summit is also an excellent opportunity to gain practical insights and hands-on experience in applying the Kirkpatrick Model in real-world scenarios.

Building strong relationships with line managers and supervisors is essential for successful learning and performance evaluation. By recognizing and supporting the crucial role supervisors play in supporting employee growth, organizations can establish a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Effective communication, active listening, and a commitment to building trust are key ingredients for achieving buy-in and driving positive outcomes. With ongoing support, guidance, and access to valuable resources, line managers can lead their teams to higher levels of performance and success.

Ready to learn more? Check out the latest episode of The Kirkpatrick Podcast, where hosts Vanessa Alzate and Jim Kirkpatrick talk more about the best methods for gaining buy-in from stakeholders and senior leaders. It’s a must-listen for anyone looking to make a genuine impact on their organization through top-notch training and development practices! 

Listen or watch the latest episode here:

Remember, the real magic happens when we fine-tune how we apply training and get results. When we build a culture of trust, engagement, and continuous improvement, we give our training programs a better shot at success.

Looking for a crash course in the Kirkpatrick Model? Check out the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Toolkit, your ultimate champion for efficient and effective evaluation. Learn more here!