Learn the Most-Ignored Tip in the Training Industry for Maximizing Manager Involvement

September 6, 2017

The fourth and final installment in our quick tip series on maximizing manager involvement discusses a manager touch point almost totally ignored by our industry.

Most of the clients we’ve worked with when asked, “What evidence is most meaningful to your stakeholders,” almost always answer, “The testimony of the managers of our training graduates.”

This testimony, then, is critical to winning a favorable “verdict” from your stakeholders — your jury — meaning that your training program culminates with your stakeholders saying, “Job well done.” 

The unfortunate reality is that most managers will likely be poor witnesses without your help and guidance, as they will not acquire the important data on their own if they don’t know they should be doing it.

With this in mind, it is important to prepare those managers (prep your witnesses) to make a powerful testimony. Here’s how you can help:

1. Talk with managers ideally before training, but at least immediately following training, to discuss what they should be watching for.

For example, an effective way for managers to provide testimony is through a historical comparison: “This is what my people used to do (Level 3) and the results we achieved (Level 4); this is how their performance has improved, and the subsequent results.” 

The positive difference will have occurred in part due to what was presented in quick tip #1quick tip #2 and quick tip #3 of this series. Letting managers know about this technique helps them understand what to keep an eye out for.

2. Take this one step further by setting up a system in which the training graduates (the direct reports of the managers you’re working with) funnel Levels 3 and 4 data and information to their managers on a regular basis.

Once you have strong testimonials from managers, be sure to include them in your chain of evidence to show the connections.

It is regretful that so few training professionals utilize senior leaders as star witnesses in demonstrating value. Be sure you are one of the few who does.

Read the rest of this series for all the tips to getting a seat at the table

Part 1 – 5 Steps to Maximize Manager Involvement During Initial Program Scoping

Part 2 – 3 Tips for Strengthening Your Initiative with a Program Kickoff Champion

Part 3 – Stop Playing Hide-and-Seek with Managers After Training

Join the Discussion

Do you use managers as expert witnesses? We’d love to hear about it if you do or have tried. Here are some ways to join the conversation:

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Additional Resources

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program – Bronze Level

Training on Trial

Win Them Over with In-Person Testimonials: “Jimisms” #3

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