How Your Training Programs Can Be More Effective

How Your Training Programs Can Be More Effective

Could your business benefit from a better management development program?

Most likely, yes! But first, you’ll want to conduct a thorough assessment of the current state of management. In other words, get a diagnosis before prescribing a cure!

A management assessment should address three primary areas: skills, motivation, and background. You’ll want to assess these areas for each manager within the company to, ultimately, assess the total management of the organization. With a clear picture of the current state of management, a customized plan for training and development can be created.

Skill vs. Ability

Don’t confuse skill with ability. An ability is the natural talent an individual possesses to do something well. For examples, being “mechanically inclined” is an ability.

Skill means having specialized proficiency. This is not just being good with machines in general, but rather possessing skill to work with a specific type of equipment. Skill comes from direct experience.

The less natural ability someone has at performing a task, the more motivation they will need to become proficient. On the other hand, the more aptitude someone has, the less external motivation they will need. As human beings, when we are good at something, we usually enjoy doing it.

To conduct an assessment of the skills required for being successful as a manager, there are four main areas of focus:

  • Identification of the skills needed to perform the job well (this should be defined in the job description)
  • Identification of the natural abilities helpful to acquiring these skills
  • Individual areas of strength
  • Individual areas for improvement


To assess current managers within your organization, start by determining how well someone’s natural abilities and individual personality match up to the job’s required skills. The best way to do this is through a diagnostic tool. At Brink Results, we use the PDP Proscan® survey tool, which identifies strengths and motivators for each individual within the organization. This survey can be quickly and easily completed online; it’s computer-scored and generates a detailed report on the individual. When compared to a predetermined job model, it can show how well a person “matches” the job they’re being considered for.

Next, determine what the individual’s goals are, and if they align with organizational goals. For example, you may ask a manager, “Where do you see yourself in three to five years?” If the manager is seeking to be promoted to the next level, this may or may not align with the company’s needs. Goal compatibility is a source motivation.

Lastly, determine if the organizational systems are effectively motivating managers. For example, bonus systems can provide incredible motivation for achievement of company goals. However, beware of confusing or broken systems that make rewards difficult to achieve. If the carrot can never be caught, the reward system may actually be a negative motivator.


When assessing an employee’s background, you’ll want to consider experience, education, and past performance. Experience is fairly straightforward — check the resumé and verify if someone has worked in the industry before. Education encompasses degrees earned, certificates achieved, other courses of study and even informal educational experiences like those from charitable or civic involvement.

The third area, past performance, is a bit trickier to evaluate. It’s important to get feedback on an individual’s performance because past behavior is usually a predictor of future behavior. Seek feedback from people who have worked with the manager for a substantial period of time, either at your organization or previously.


Once your organization has completed individual assessments, they can be compiled into an organizational assessment. This will be the basis for creating a management training and development program specific to the needs of your business.

Based on the organizational assessment, three major courses of action will need to be taken:

  • Changes in the organizational systems to improve managers’ performance.
  • Training implemented to improve managers’ skills and, ultimately, results.
  • Changes in personnel, as needed, if it’s determined a manager’s skills, motivation, or background are not a match for the job.

Understanding the root causes of performance gaps is critical to developing an effective training program. Without a proper, up-front, organizational assessment, applying training solutions rarely hits the mark. This is why an assessment should always be the starting point for any kind of organizational change effort.

Would you like to learn more about organizational assessments and how they can improve your bottom line?
Contact Brink Results by calling (239) 334-1050, or email: