Shared Expectations: Why Training Managers and Managees Together is a Game-Changer

Let’s talk about manager training. It’s a subject that’s been discussed at length, debated, and re-debated. And rightfully so. The influence that managers wield in an organization is tremendous. They’re like the maestros of a symphony, wielding the baton that directs the entire performance. When done well, it results in a symphony of productivity, creativity, and innovation. When done poorly, it’s, well…less than harmonious.

But here’s a question that might be music to your ears: 

What about managee training?

Yes, I just coined a term. ‘Managee’ refers to the ones being managed – you know, the everyday heroes who are the unsung backbones of every organization. These are the folks who might not hold a managerial title but are responsible for turning visions into reality.

Don’t get me wrong; the lion’s share of responsibility in a managerial relationship undoubtedly rests with the manager. After all, with great power comes great responsibility, as they say. It’s no secret that the number one reason employees leave jobs is, you guessed it, “bad managers.” And most of us have had the misfortune of experiencing first-hand the havoc that a poor manager can wreak.

The Value of Managee Training

But here’s a thought: wouldn’t it make sense to also train the managees about what to expect from a manager? I believe that educating those being managed about what constitutes good management could be a game-changer in the long run.

Bridging the Gap: From Academia to the Corporate World

Without this knowledge, employees might not know what they should expect from a good manager and consequently may not realize if they’re getting the short end of the stick. This is especially true for those in their first job with an assigned manager. Let’s face it, being managed in the corporate world is a far cry from the mentor-student relationship in academia, particularly for PhD scientists transitioning into a non-academic role. The dynamics are different, the expectations are different, and the interaction is, shall we say, different.

Shared Training: A New Approach

So here’s an idea: why not train managers and managees together? I floated this suggestion to a small biotech company last week, and it seemed to strike a chord. If both parties leave a training with a shared set of expectations, wouldn’t that lay the foundation for an organizational culture where good management is the norm? Imagine a world where managers and managees operate in perfect harmony, understanding each other’s roles and responsibilities. I’m excited about the possibility of making this a reality.

Upcoming Discussions: The Managee’s Role

But wait, there’s more. What about the managee’s role in the managerial relationship? Is there something they should be bringing to the table? Stay tuned for my next post where we dive into this very topic. Your thoughts and ideas are more than welcome, so please share them in the comments.

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