Written on September 5, 2013 at 7:10 pm
“I began working as the Director of Human Resources in February 2011. Prior to that, I worked for several years as the Assistant Legal Counsel in the Legal Department at our organization. My time in legal gave me enough familiarity with the organization that I knew coming into my current position that management training was a top priority. I contacted several firms besides Smart HR and met with representatives from four different firms. Individuals from the first three firms I interviewed listened to what I wanted, and then proceeded to propose plans that addressed very little of what I discussed. Basically, I wanted Management 101, and they proposed complex peer evaluation procedures and other performance measuring tools. In short, I needed management coaching before I needed managers evaluated.
All of that changed when I met with Mark Stevenson and Ann DiMisa from Smart HR. During our first meeting, it was clear to me that they understood what I was looking for, and-most importantly-they understood the culture I described and they anticipated issues we would need to contend with during management training. We had approximately 110 employees at the time, and 26 were senior or front line managers. As a result, Mark and Ann designed parallel training programs that were taught separately which included five modules of ninety minutes each for senior managers and seven modules of ninety minutes each for front line managers.
The content of training modules was pretty basic, but it was exactly what I asked for and needed. The training dealt with challenges managers face like employee relations, coaching and motivating employees and conflict resolution.
Ann was the trainer for the all the modules, and she did remarkably well. I participated in the front line manager training along with seventeen other managers, so I was able to experience Ann’s performance first-hand. She was extremely engaging and was always enthusiastic. She would find something about each topic that would connect with each person in the room. Most impressively, with eighteen people in each training session Ann was a master at taking pockets of conversation amongst small groups of managers and pulling them into the main conversation about a particular topic.
I did not participate in the senior staff training sessions. Seven managers participated in that training, and the feedback I received from those who did attend was very positive. Each of them had positive comments about Ann’s training style and the content of the training modules.
Ann was very effective conveying the intent of the course. What I asked for, and what she designed, truly was a Management 101 course. Our management team is comprised of smart, talented, hardworking people; but none of them had ever received form management training, so they needed coached on best practices. Ann designed an appropriate program, and she delivered an impactful management training program.”
Director of Human Resources
International Trade Association – Washington, DC