Learning Guides

 Knowledge is Power and is to be Shared – comes from the Free Guide – ‘Are You Annoyed by How Little Line Managers Support the Skills Training of Their Teams?’

Dr Edwin Locke conducted a piece of pioneering research in the 1960s on goal setting and motivation. In his article, ‘Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives’ he states that employees are motivated by clear goals and appropriate feedback. He goes on to say that working towards a goal provides a major source of motivation to actually reach the goal, which in turn, improves performance.

This research is an important piece of knowledge to share with Line Managers, because by understanding the essence of this research, Line Managers can improve the performance of their teams. ‘Sell more’, ‘Do it better’, and ‘I need it done next week’ are outdated phrases that need to be replaced.

A Line Manager will agree that setting SMART objectives with their Learner will achieve great things. In contrast, telling Learners to ‘Be a better time manager’ will achieve very little.

For example, ‘Be able to use the 4D Time Management tool effectively to assess and deal with emails more efficiently’ is a specific objective that will achieve much better results. Line Managers who understand this premise will feel more informed and will be able to implement this simple technique to achieve better results.

Star Graph showing Clarity, Challenge, Commitment, Feedback, Task Complexity

Clarity, Challenge, Commitment, Feedback, Task Complexity Star


Share the essence of the research with the Line Managers so that they feel empowered to task their Learners with improving their performance. If you would like a specific example for each skill, please contact us.

Darren A. Smith

About Darren A. Smith

Darren has been working in the world of UK Supermarkets & Suppliers for over 25 years. He began his career as a buyer at big 4 UK supermarkets and after 13 years he decided to leave to set-up Making Business Matter because he wanted to help suppliers and supermarkets to work better together.

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