Increasingly line managers are being encouraged to play a role in learning and development. Being developed as coaches could provide very helpful support to line managers. Using a combination of learning could ensure that line managers are able to tailor and focus the learning to meet the needs of the whole team. Developing the macro-enabling skills of facilitation, coaching and giving feedback could provide line managers with a set of core skills that can be used in a variety of situations. As part of this development, if they are also encouraged to practice questioning, listening and observing they will feel better equipped to identify the real development needs of their team. Finding the right solution could be a combination of using internal and external provision, online learning and their own coaching support as the learner puts it into practice.
One of the issues for line managers, in the same way as for anyone else in the business, will be the identification of the relevant sources of learning and development. Accessibility of online learning can particularly be an issue unless the company provides an infrastructure for this in terms of appropriate technological support. This will be an issue with online learning even more than with other forms of learning. Coaching however can provide a very effective way of transferring knowledge. Line managers will need support and development to understand and really develop the skills of coaching. However once developed they are skills that have a wide range of applications.