By Amanda Winstead

Training current employees to be project managers or onboarding individual project management experience is a great way to grow your business and improve employee retention. When your team knows there are consistent opportunities for growth, education, and training, they’re more likely to remain loyal to your company and boost their productivity to show their willingness and ability to “move up.”

As an employer, it’s important to know exactly how your employees should be trained to start taking charge of certain projects. Even the best employees with the most experience need to harness specific skills to manage a team and make sure everything is running smoothly.

With that in mind, let’s cover the importance of investing in your employees, as well as some training techniques you should implement to set them up for success.

1. Invest in Employee Education

You might have certain employees in mind that you think would be great for very specific projects and tasks. Maybe one of your workers is a natural-born leader. Maybe another is extremely detail-oriented and would be sure to meet certain deadlines.

However, it’s essential to invest in the education and training of these employees before letting them take charge of projects on their own. You should invest in training and education for a variety of reasons that will both benefit your employees and your business’s success. Some of the biggest benefits of management education include:

  • Reduced setbacks
  • Enhanced confidence
  • Quality assurance
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Increased credibility

Plus, investing in your employees who have been working with your business for several years will allow them to use the relationships they already have with their co-workers to improve your teams and approach new projects with fresh perspectives. That makes it easier for everyone to work together more efficiently, and with better communication. 

2. Use Proper Training Techniques

The training techniques you use to bring your new project managers up to speed should make sense for your business. However, there are a few best practices that are important to follow, no matter your industry.

First, make sure all of your training resources are fully accessible to everyone, especially if you’re using web-based services or programs. It’s worth it to brush up on web accessibility by taking a few classes of your own so you can help your employees feel comfortable throughout their training experience.

Next, consider which technique(s) is appropriate to enhance your employee’s skills and make sure they’re prepared for the project at hand. One popular project management training technique is the “In-Basket” option, developed in 1953.

In this technique, an individual (or team) is given a set of background materials, a set of problems, and appropriate feedback materials. While this technique might not be in the first section of your training procedures, it’s a great way to see how your employees would take charge of a real-world project your business might face, including any challenges that might arise during the project.  It also gives those employees a chance to boost their confidence and learn more about what to expect from a project management role.

3. Track and Assess Growth

Your goal in training employees to be project managers should be bigger than project-by-project success. Instead, your focus should be on developing long-term skills that can be utilized on future projects and that will boost company growth from the inside out. Some of the best project management skills to foster in your employees include:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Learning from failures
  • Agility
  • Remote management

By developing upskilling strategies, you can keep up with changing industry demands and prepare your employees for the future. They’re more likely to stay with your business and feel content if they know there are continued opportunities for growth and more projects they can lead in the future. Upskill your workforce by accommodating different learning styles, offering a variety of training programs, and tracking progress to see which programs and methods have the greatest success rates for your employees.

Your work in training employees to be project managers will never really be done. Advances in technology will continue to create shifts in every industry, and it’s essential to keep up with those changes as you educate your team to be leaders. Tracking what works and assessing growth throughout each project is one of the best ways to stay on top of trends and to get a better idea of what’s working and what needs to change.

While bringing in new hires with project management experience can sometimes be good for a business — especially if your team is already stretched thin — don’t be afraid to look internally for great project managers. The more time and energy you invest in your existing employees, the more they will understand their worth and value to your business. Not only will those employees want to live up to your expectations, but they’re likely to work well in leadership roles with co-workers who already trust them.

Author Bio

Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.

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