13 Good Training Topics for Managers

What are the Essential Training Programs for Managers? Leadership, Communication Skills, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Management of Employee Performance, Leading and Managing Change, Managing Time and Setting Priorities, Communicating to Different Personalities, Presenting for Managers, Common Practices of Coaching Employees

Managing is a challenging, yet rewarding profession.  One of the most important aspects of being an effective manager is ensuring that you are constantly developing yourself and your team. But is it necessary for every manager to periodically embark on a training program regardless of their individual management experiences?

Absolutely! The primary purpose of  a training program for managers is to help them improve their strengths, develop their weaknesses and become better managers and leaders.  

While many managers have extensive management experience, they still need to learn the latest trends or new skills to remain relevant in their respective fields.

New knowledge becomes obsolete when you stop learning new things. In other words, advances in technology are now happening at a speed that not keeping up with it may be hurting your career status.  So, managers who don’t update their knowledge have a higher risk of fading into irrelevance.

What are the Essential Training Topics for Managers?

There are many programs out there that would be perfect for any manager and are almost essential. The best way to determine which training topic a manager should cover is by evaluating their needs and goals.

But the best training programs for managers should be tailored to cover topics such as:

  • Dealing with Difficult People
  • Managing People
  • Becoming a Culture Builder
  • Building a Strong Team
  • Dealing with Conflict at Work
  • Managing Projects
  • Leadership Is Attained
  • Managing Employee Performance
  • Leading and Managing Change
  • Managing Time and Setting Priorities
  • Communicating to Different Personalities
  • Presenting for Managers
  • Coaching Employees

1. Dealing with Difficult People

There is one thing that every manager needs to learn how to deal with difficult employees. There are many different types of difficult employees who don’t care about their jobs and have bad attitudes.

Dealing with difficult employees is never fun, but it doesn’t have to be miserable either. The important thing for managers is to handle difficult employees because the situation will dictate what type of action is needed.

2. Managing People

Managers are responsible for the success of their teams, and they must know how to manage people. And it’s not about just managing people, but how well you do it.

It comes down to having good people skills that include understanding what motivates employees, listening actively, and knowing when to delegate tasks.

When managers have these skills, they are more likely to lead their team successfully through challenges and obstacles. A great manager knows how to motivate their team members, listens, and delegates tasks for employees to feel trusted.

Read also: 8 Examples of What to Tell Your Manager to Improve On

3. Becoming a Culture Builder

Culture building is one of the essential skills that a manager can have. If you don’t invest in the team culture, then there will be a dramatic decrease in productivity and morale down the road.

A manager is more often than not playing two roles: to lead the team and leading individual people in the team. How they approach these two roles defines the culture.

And managers are expected to develop a culture of accountability and collective responsibility in the workplace. So, managers, who don’t know how to it need help on how to do this well.

4. Building a Strong Team

Building a team takes knowledge, experience, and skill. The skills involved in managing a team are not the same as leading that team.

There are many ways a manager can build a team that has strong morale and productivity but, it all depends on whether the person has the right skills to put it off.

Successful managers need social intelligence that is the ability to read another person and know how best to motivate, inspire, influence them, or have a dialogue with them through interpersonal communication. Social skills are essential for building a strong team.

5. Dealing with Conflict at Work

Managers need to be well-versed in conflict resolution. Managers learn that one of their main priorities while working with people is to resolve conflict in the workplace.

Conflicts in the workplace among staff happen all the time. It can be a result of personality clashes, differing opinions, or even clashing workflow processes.

While conflicts are not always avoidable, there are proactive steps managers can take to minimize and manage them when they do occur.

6. Managing Projects

Proper project management is a conduit for a manager to bring their vision into reality. A good project has well-defined steps that will result in the achievement of the desired goal. The outcome for managers should be successful projects that are completed on time and within budget.

Since there is no single formula for successfully managing a project, managers need to know the pitfalls that can hinder them and understand how to deal with stakeholders.

Managers need to know that by carefully organizing resources and time-appropriate communication channels, they can improve how they communicate their expectations.

Read more: 12 Most Important Skills of a Manager

7. Leadership is Attained

Leadership is not inherited but attained. Leadership is a skill that takes time to acquire and hone. It can be difficult for many managers to know how best to lead their teams, especially if they are new or inexperienced in the workplace.

The best managers creates an environment that employees thrive in and ensures that they have all the resources and instruction needed to get things done independently or with minimal help.

8. Managing Employee Performance

Performance Management is the systematic process of analyzing and identifying employee performance strengths or weaknesses and establish appropriate corrective actions to address any shortcomings.

Managers must understand the process of employee evaluation, potential issues that may arise in the performance review process, and how to communicate feedback to employees.

The key to cultivating a high-performance workplace is not just to provide incentives because you cannot improve what you do not measure.

9. Leading and Managing Change

Almost every manager inevitably runs into the issues of resistance when managing change. People resist change if it threatens their sense of security and self-worth that they have built over the years.

Managers are not immune to these changes either. They have had to adapt their leadership skills to be more inclusive, collaborative, and flexible to thrives.

However, some managers know how to turn the stress of change into joy by preventing their employees from feeling insecure or nervous about change.

They allow flexibility to employees affected by the change, and help them find new resources for their old tasks, and communicate well about plans.

Read also: 14 Key Areas of Improvement for Managers

10. Managing Time and Setting Priorities

Setting priorities and managing time are two skills that every manager needs to be successful.
Most managers need to squeeze more out of every hour, every day, every quarter. The ability to work smart balances this expectation and is key for any manager’s success.

Managers should know how to plan their time at the beginning of the day for high-priority tasks only. Afterward, they should prioritize tasks from low to high to get necessary chores handled first without compromising quality or wasting their time.

A manager needs to know how to set achievable goals and measure their effectiveness at balancing priorities daily — all while managing time wisely.

11. Communicating to Different Personalities

Managers need to learn how to communicate with different people. Communicating differently to different personalities is the first step of getting people to take an idea.

People react very differently to information. So, it’s important to take into consideration the various types of people that exist in the workplace.

A skilled manager is a capable communicator who also seeks to learn from their employees by asking questions, listening attentively, and understanding the personality differences of employees.

12. Presenting for Managers

Presentation skills are just as important for managers as they are for anyone else — and the stakes may be even higher.

Managers lead teams and make decisions that impact people and their careers, so it’s critical that they express themselves well, listen attentively to others, and speak confidently in front of a few or large audiences.

They also need confidence when speaking publicly about controversial topics or sensitive issues that their employees may not agree with and don’t get rattled by obstacles in their way.

13. Common Practices of Coaching Employees

Coaching is a foundational skill for managers. It’s the process of helping employees learn and grow by providing guidance, feedback, and support.

It is especially helpful to those who are new to their job or industry. But coaching employees is a common practice that some managers and leaders may not be aware of.

The more time a manager spends coaching their employees, it creates a relationship that can lead to improved job satisfaction, more innovative thinking, increased motivation, and productivity.


Should training topics for managers be kept up to date with current business trends?  Absolutely! Keeping up with the latest developments is a must for any organization that wishes to stay innovative.

Companies always endeavor to stay ahead of the competition. Training managers on new topics, practices, or technologies ensure they are not left behind the curve of what’s current in the industry.

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