We never leave the house without checking for the essentials — phone, keys, wallet, emergency Twix bar — because we’d be not only lost but full-on cranky without them. So when we asked ourselves what we could build to better equip managers to empower their teams and improve their company cultures, we knew we needed to start with the essentials. 

The management essentials, that is.

At Ethena, we have firsthand knowledge about the positive impacts of manager training — not only on managers’ growth, but on the team at large. And since we believe in the power of sharing, we knew we couldn’t keep all the good stuff just for ourselves. (And no, we aren’t just talking about the Left Twix, although you’re welcome to that as well.)

Our Management Essentials course is suited for new and seasoned frontline managers alike, as it’s designed to get folks on the same page. It outlines legal boundaries when it comes to vital management tasks like hiring and terminations, while providing actionable tools for soft skills like performance management along the way.

So if you, like us, are looking to help your leaders level up, look no further. We’ve got all the essentials right here.

Try our Management Essentials training for yourself, for free!

What is Management Essentials training?

The vague version of this answer is that it can be a lot of things. For our competitors, management training tends to be surprisingly synonymous with leadership training, which we’ve always been a bit confused by. We’re as game for a ropes course as the next person (read: very) but for this course, we wanted to put our energy into an area that we think is underserved by the existing market:

Management fundamentals and modern, relevant best practices.

To that end, we’ve put together a foundational course that covers everything from employment law must-knows surrounding topics like leaves of absence and terminations, to soft skills like effectively delivering feedback … plus, all the day-to-day minutiae that comes in between. 

The goal here is to get your whole frontline management team on the same page, so we’ve designed this course to be as useful for long-time managers as it is to management newbies. 

Does my team need Management Essentials training?

We’ll be totally transparent that unlike Harassment Prevention, there aren’t strict legal requirements in place as far as the types of training that managers must complete. But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook, so stay with us.

Even without annual training regulations, there are some ultra-significant topics that managers have a legal responsibility to understand — and to be able to implement in effectively navigating situations like:

  • Hiring
  • Leaves of absence
  • Terminations
  • Reasonable accommodations and disabilities 
  • And more

Essentially, if there’s a gap between what your managers need to know and what they actually know, you might not currently be positioned to find that out until it’s too late. Which, considering the seriousness of the examples above, is not a situation we imagine you want to find yourself in. 

And let’s be clear: these gaps often have nothing to do with negligence! Particularly in tech, where companies can scale rapidly, many early employees are promoted into management roles without prior experience. A course like this one meets those first-timers (and others who are eager for continuing education) where they are, ensuring everyone has a shared understanding of basic responsibilities and core managerial skills.

So while it’s up to you as far as whether you need our course, you sure might want it. After all, to continue our metaphor from above, it’s always a good idea to have your keys on you — even if you’re expecting the door to be unlocked or someone else to be home when you get there. (Does this make our platform the equivalent of a convenient, cross-body bag? We won’t overthink it…)

Check out a preview of one of the videos from Ethena’s Management Essentials course.

What topics are covered in Ethena’s Management Essentials training?

So what can you expect to learn in this course? We’re so glad you asked. The core curriculum is around 40 minutes total and includes:

  • Introduction
  • Mitigating Harassment in the Workplace
  • Performance Management
  • Performance Reviews
  • Reasonable Accommodation & Disabilities
  • Terminations
  • Leaves of Absence

…as well as two additional topics that are assigned to learners located in California, to address state-specific requirements:

  • CA-Specific Leaves of Absence
  • CA-Specific Wage and Hour Basics

We also offer a Continuous Learning Library that features bite-sized trainings on additional topics, drawing on the expertise of Ethena’s own VP of People, Melanie Naranjo

  • Expectation Setting
  • Solution-Oriented Coaching
  • Effective Feedback

…with two final topics still to come, so stay on the lookout:

  • Navigating Difficult Times
  • Micromanagement

Why is this important?

According to research, managers have an outsize influence on employee engagement, accounting for 70% of the variance in a recent Gallup survey. Additional data from the Karolinska Institutet’s analysis of nearly 20,000 employees in Sweden, Finland, Germany, Poland, and Italy, and found that managers play a central role in both supporting and hindering employee health.

And we mean that quite literally. 

Karolinska Institutet researchers asked respondents to self-rate levels of stress, health, sick leave, and emotional exhaustion, then compared them with how they perceived their manager’s leadership. The results were jarring: the longer someone has suffered a manager who scored low on a scale of “inspirational, supportive and good” to “authoritarian, dishonest and distant,” the higher their risk of suffering a heart attack within the following ten-year period.

That gives managers the potential to literally make or break an employee’s experience, both at your org and well beyond, so it’s crucial to get management training right.

1. Investing in your managers means investing in your team

When it comes to management training, the rules of gravity apply — what goes up must come down. And thank goodness, because it means that by training leaders, the positive effects filter down throughout not just their teams, but the company as a whole.

Here’s how: Frontline managers — those who manage folks without direct reports of their own, typically in a supervisory capacity — play a central role in providing employees with opportunities for growth and advancement

This can lead to benefits like greater employee retention, increased innovation, and higher performance, so why not give them the resources to make the most positive contribution they can? 

2. It proves that you care about company culture

A reporting culture is a healthy culture, and research shows that managers are often the first stop for folks who want to report an incident or raise a concern. An Ethisphere report indicated that 64% of employees raise ethical misconduct concerns with managers first, compared to only 23% who use a hotline. (Research that was borne out in the development of our Employee Hotline & Case Management tools, we might add.)

So if that’s the likely progression, it’s essential to prepare your managers accordingly. They need to be informed, empathetic, aware of what they can, can’t, and must do when confronted with a misconduct report. Only when your managers exemplify all of those traits — alongside being accessible and approachable — can your org be well on your way to the safe, ethical company culture that your employees are entitled to.  

3. It leads to more effective leadership

Bosses who display empathy tend to elicit more positive responses from their direct reports, and data shows that employees perform better when they’re working for someone they feel they can trust.  a more positive response from direct reports. (The definition of a symbiotic relationship, if we’ve ever heard one.) 

And while we don’t believe that practice makes perfect (mostly because perfection is an unattainable goal), we do believe that it’s pretty darn important. When managers train on skills like effective goal setting, solution-oriented coaching, micromanagement, and performance management, they’re better equipped to handle the complex and people-driven processes they’re asked to handle in their day-to-day.

What makes Ethena’s Management Essentials training stand out?

Not to pat ourselves on the back too hard, but a big part of why we created this training is because we didn’t see anything like it on the market … and we wanted to use it ourselves. As rare as it is for managers to get the training they so deserve, it’s even rarer for said training to specifically target frontline managers, and rarer still for it to be delivered via a platform that makes it implementable by even the tiniest People teams at the busiest companies. 

Ours is a whopping two people, but we know some of you are doing this all on your own, so here are just a few of the ways we make that manageable.

Frictionless onboarding and admin tools

We’ve spent a lot of this post focused on the course content, but now it’s time for our Product and Engineering teams to really shine. Ethena’s platform allows for automatic assignments and reminders, displays a wide range of employee insights and completion data, and features literally dozens of integrations — check our list to see if we’re already working with your HRIS. Or if you don’t see it there, just ask us! It could already be in the pipeline, or we could put in a request to see how doable it is in the near future. 

We meet your employees where they are — literally

No one knows better than we do that a manager’s time is valuable. So we deliver our lessons in a format that works for multiple types of learners. Management Essentials is a multimedia course, with videos that take a gentle, encouraging tone to welcome new managers and embrace tenured professionals. 

Plus, employees can opt to listen to content instead of reading, take their training on mobile or desktop (bring us to the coffeeshop; we’d love a latte!), or even pause and have their progress automatically saved.

Content that works in tandem with existing DEI goals

One more time for the folks in the back: you HR professionals are some of the busiest people in the industry right now. And with so much on your plate, you don’t have time to stress and respond to complaints when the competitor training you just onboarded isn’t in alignment with company values and DEI initiatives

You won’t have those problems with us — we create our content through a modern, inclusive lens from the beginning, involving subject matter experts, taking accessibility into account, and testing knowledge with diverse, relevant scenarios that could actually happen in real life. 

And that approach works. We currently have over one million positive reviews from learners, which is a really big deal considering A. this is compliance training and B. research shows that engaging training is waaaaayyy more effective in helping people learn and change their behaviors long-term

Ready to manage smarter (not harder!) with Ethena’s Management Essentials training?

Your team’s managers have enough on their plates without needing to reinvent the proverbial wheel, especially when it comes to high-impact roles and processes. And since the decisions managers make touch every aspect of the workplace, allow our Management Essentials training to do some of the heavy lifting by getting folks on the same page. 

With a shared vocabulary, a better understanding of how the law comes into play in their day-to-day, and the confidence to tackle people-centric concerns with empathy and tact, your managers will thrive and your teams will level up. 

Sounds pretty compelling, right? Chat with one of our sales reps to get started on Ethena, or check out a sample of our Management Essentials training to see for yourself what all the fuss is about. 

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