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Productivity Training & Career Training - Getting Line Managers to Buy-In

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Shot of a businesswoman teaching in front of participants

Line managers are your front-line supervisors, overseeing employees and reporting to middle and upper management. They are your on-the-ground eyes and ears for production, quality control and customer service. 

As the bridge between workers and management, line managers are constantly pulled in two directions. You can understand, as a training and development professional, why a line manager is not inclined for training. They have too many competing responsibilities and not enough time. 

But in today’s constantly shifting markets, line managers and their reports need regular training. Their skills must keep pace with emerging technologies, systems and designs to remain competitive.

Learn how to get line managers on board for all types of upskilling - especially productivity training, which seeks to improve their team’s effectiveness, and career training, which enhances their professional potential.

1. Show Line Managers What’s in it For Them

Productivity training for line managers and their teams is designed to enhance efficiency and overall performance. In theory, a line manager understands this. To get their buy-in, connect the dots between theory and reality.

Show how lessons taught in productivity training - such as delegating and tracking tasks, creating structured and transparent schedules, and streamlining internal and external communications - add up to a more effective, collaborative team that consistently meets deliverables. Use KPIs, like employee utilization rates and profit margins, to make your point. Think tangible data presented in a readily-understandable way. 

In short, show how productivity training makes their jobs easier and thereby showcase their competencies as a team leader.

The same goes for generalized career training. An individual’s career training will be tied to company goals. Discuss this with your front-line managers, citing concrete examples. For instance, maybe their career training hinges on elevating their customer relations skills, and outstanding customer service is a core company value. Their taking customer service management would thereby increase their likelihood for advancement.

2. Connect Productivity & Career Training to Goals

We just said it and it is well worth saying again: training goals should be directly tied to personal, team and company objectives. In a well-run organization, all of these streams intertwine. The centrally-important result is increased employee motivation. Employees are more motivated when their efforts:

  1. contribute to the success of the team and the organization, and 

  2. if their work creates a path for promotion within the company itself


A trifecta goal alignment keeps staff moving in tandem towards shared goals. Collaboration, communication, and a sense of collective responsibility are encouraged. Resource allocation and prioritization are also improved allowing individuals, teams and whole organizations to achieve enhanced efficiencies and stated goals.

3. Create a Training Schedule and Adjust KPIs (h2 tag)

A line manager lacking time for education must have training time created for them. Ask what days and hours are best for learning so as not to interfere with critical deliverables. Then block off that time.

Incorporating training into work schedules is only half of it. The other equally critical component is adjusting output expectations to account for training hours. Coordinate with the line manager’s supervisors to ensure that everyone is aware of the training and that the KPIs relating to the team and line manager are modified accordingly. 

Failing to communicate Productivity & Career training and its impact on KPIs effectively punishes line managers for attending learning sessions. This de-incentivizes people from taking future training and may create unnecessary conflict between training attendees and upper management.


4. Provide Evaluation Metrics

Discuss with line managers what metrics will be used to measure training success. They should know which key indicators are most relevant, such as employee hours spent on a project. Surveys are also a great tool. Ask employees how much time they have saved on specific tasks covered in training, such as information management or email communications. 

Compile your data, present it in a simple format and review it with your line manager. In this way, you are substantiating training and laying the groundwork for future sessions.

Incentivize & Partner Up


Getting line managers to buy into career training and other types of education is about incentivizing them properly. Sure, incentives motivate people towards an activity they would not otherwise perform, but incentives also signal values. A smart incentive both positively incentivizes workers and aligns with what is important to a company.

Companies that value employee training and view it as a requirement for enhanced organizational efficiency often choose a training partner.  Priority Management has been that training provider for more than four decades for companies around the world. We collaborate with clients to develop customized training programs that lead to specific and measurable behavioural improvements in the workplace. 

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