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The How Do I? Blog

The How Do I? Blog

What you need to know… about amplifying your manager relationships



Why manager relationships are important

Learning at work is crucial to a company’s survival in an ever-changing economy because if your employees don’t have the skills they need to compete with your rivals or provide the best service, your organisation can fall behind (see my previous blog about the about the VUCA economy to know why workplace learning makes your business competitive).

However, employees can find prioritising workplace learning while balancing their key job duties difficult without the help of a manager. According LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning report, this is because:

1.      2/3 of employees say that they would be motivated to learn if their direct manager was involved. 

2.      56% of employees say that they would spend more time learning if their manager directed them to complete a specific course to gain or improve their skills. Having an experienced manager help you identify which skills you need can take out a lot of the guesswork in your professional development.

It’s also important to note that in a survey completed by CALLCARE’s millennial employees, 94% of respondents said that employee development is ‘the number one area they would invest time and money into as managers’ to close any skills gaps. 

2 colleagues learning at work - the person sitting on the left is working on a ipad and the other is typing on a laptop. 

2 colleagues learning at work - the person sitting on the left is working on a ipad and the other is typing on a laptop. 

What can we do to amplify manager relationships? 

To amplify manager relationships, we need to consider the needs of the employee and the manager.

What we can do to support employees

·        Make professional development a workplace priority by exploring workplace learning options in 1:1s or appraisals so it doesn’t disrupt anyone’s work schedule e.g. if the organisation would benefit from an employee completing a project management course, the manager should be encouraged to discuss this with their employee during the time they have with them.  

·        49% of employees prefer to learn at the point of need, and this is probably because we can recall 80% of what we see and do (see here for more info). It may be wise to explore digital learning options so they can learn at their own pace.   


What we can do to support managers

·        52% of managers say they would encourage learning if they had a system that could recommend courses based on specific criteria. If you can guarantee a promotion upon the completion of a talent program or workplace learning, figure out what kind of skills employees need and recommend learning courses or programs to managers.

·        Keep track of turnover rates to see if the current professional development strategies or programmes increase retention, a manager can use this information to demonstrate the positive impact talent and learning programs can have on a business. 

·        Motivate managers to dedicate time to professionally developing their colleagues by mentioning employees who have progressed in their career thanks to the talent programs or workplace learning schemes at your organisation.

·        Managers are keen for employees to develop soft skills (or interpersonal skills) because they help employees adapt, give them transferrable skills and allow them to excel in customer service roles. See if you can include soft skill acquisition in your talent management strategy.    


Drop us a line on to find out more about how amplifying manager relationships can improve workplace learning.  

Zeinab Ali – Digital Marketing and Project Assistant for How Do I?

Feel free to share our handy infographic on social media:

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