Principles of an Empirically-Based Course on Management Technique

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Date Submitted: 05/31/2008 07:58 PM

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The most common reason associates give for leaving their place of work is their manager. This is so common an occurrence that it has spawned a saying in the Human Resources world: “People don’t quit jobs; they quit managers.” Common problems include managers that delegate too little, leaving their direct report bored and unchallenged; that delegate too much, resulting in direct reports being constantly stressed; and that delegate improperly, so that the direct report is not doing work he cares about. This leads, interestingly enough, to both boredom and stress. These are just the problems resulting from improper delegation, with many more stemming from the manager’s difficulties in other skill areas.

The hemorrhage of good associates due to bad managers is not surprising, as the transition from individual contributor to manager has been shown to be the hardest role-transition to manage and the one an associate is most likely to fail. It is a complicated role that non-management work simply does not prepare you for. Thus, proper manager training becomes crucial.

In this essay, I will review current research on management and adult education, in order to identify the skills most crucial to management and then how to teach them. By doing so, I will assemble the outline of a course in management training that will allow associates to make the transition to manager, benefiting the organization in terms of both productivity and associate retention.


Why is this an important issue?

The need for management arises when there is too much work for one person to do by himself. One person could run a hot dog stand by himself, but running an entire restaurant requires one or more person to specialize in food preparation, one or more to take orders and wait on customers, one or more to wash dishes and silverware.

Bringing in others carries with it significant potential benefits. With multiple people comes a division of labor, so each part of the process...