Basic Manager Training Should Include These Fundamentals

There are a billion manager and leadership learning programs out there, with just as many philosophies attached. If you don’t have a ton of time, and you know you just have to hit the ground running with your management group, here is the “bar is on the ground” list of items you should include in your training program.

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash


  • Requisition Process
  • Building the Candidate Pipeline
  • Interview Process
  • Interviewing Do’s and Don’ts
  • Offer process / how to hire


  • Building a ramp plan
  • Mentoring / Buddy System approaches

Employee Engagement

  • Setting expectations & managing performance
  • Development planning 
  • Assigning work and managing to deadlines

Employee Relations

  • Compliance and legal considerations (e.g., anti-harassment responsibilities)
  • Improving performance
  • Disciplinary procedures 
  • Offboarding / firing 

Company Systems Access & Training

  • HR Information Systems (HRIS): For reviewing/managing data associated with existing employees, including performance and/or disciplinary.
  • Applicant Tracking System (ATS): For hiring new employees.
  • Intranet: Wherever your company stores policies and procedures for reference. 

If you’re strapped for time, this is the kind of bare bones program I’d run on a biannual basis for all new managers that come into an organization fresh or are promoted from within. You can complete this with a handful of interactive exercises in one afternoon (~four hours with breaks). 

It will at least keep you above water so you don’t have to hold a managers hand every time they have to put in a hiring request, and so you know you have laid the foundations to make sure your managers are being responsible when it comes to ensuring inappropriate behaviors don’t get swept under the rug. You do need to figure out how you keep this ball rolling and dive more deeply into topics.

This approach also allows you to do offshoots on a regular basis – when you have your performance management cycle, you can use the foundational work you laid in this type of program as the springboard to help them through the actual specific process your organization requires. Similarly, I can’t tell you how many managers that came to me READY for a disciplinary conversation for an employee because of the work we did together during this kind of initial program. If you have a particular group or location that requires more support in deadline management, for example, this is when you can either look to a leader within your organization to provide their expertise or bring in an external trainer to run a program.

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