Managing employees is one of the hardest tasks within a business.

Joel Trammell and Alicia Thrasher know how to do it well. Trammell, a successful tech entrepreneur, CEO, and investor, and Thrasher, a successful executive who has led programs for eBay/PayPal, Google, and Anheuser-Busch, teamed up to create a management system.

Together, they co-founded Austin-based MGR360, a certification training program for managers. They have also co-authored a book, The Manager’s Playbook. The book and certification programs are largely based on their combined 50 years of management experience in various organizations. It helps managers lead knowledge workers within their organizations to achieve high-level results.

In this episode of the Ideas to Invoices podcast, Trammell and Thrasher share their experiences and talk about why management training is essential for organizations to succeed.

Trammell also wrote a book “The CEO Tightrope” in which he writes “like tightrope walkers, the best CEOs appear to be doing the least while moving the business forward.” That means managers must serve as orchestra conductors and balance all kinds of activities within the organization and trust experts in each area to do their jobs effectively and help the business reach its goals, he said.

“Balance is just a key concept in any leadership role,” Trammell said. “Any leader you have to have a destination. Where are you going and where are you going to take the organization.”

The incredible thing is many managers never receive any training, said Thrasher. They are simply put in the position and a lot of them flounder because they don’t know how to manage people, she said. That leads to turnover in the businesses.

“People don’t leave their job, they leave their manager,” Thrasher said.

In fact, during their lifetime, people spend about 90,000 hours working and 70 percent of the workforce reports being disengaged at work, according to Thrasher’s research. The Manager360 program teaches managers how to coach their employees, so they are content and productive in the workplace, she said.

Trammell started his first company at 25 and he didn’t know anything about being a CEO. He was running a quickly growing business.

“I woke up one morning kind of in a cold sweat,” Trammell said. The business had added 100 new employees and they were being managed by people two or three levels below him.  That’s when he realized that it was important that everyone have a consistent management experience, Trammell said.

So, he began developing a management training program. A few years ago, he teamed up with Thrasher who had been working on a similar program. Together they launched Manager 360, an in-person training program, a month before the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down in the Austin area.

This week, Thrasher and Trammell are launching the Manager 360 app that provides goals, tips, and training on the go through a mobile app.

With the great resignation going on, the need for training managers has never been greater, Thrasher said.

What motivates people in the workplace goes beyond money and perks, Trammell said. It’s about accomplishing goals and recognition, he said.

“And so, this idea of what motivates people at work it’s really all around achieving things,” Trammell said. “Everybody wants to win. The problem is in a lot of organizations they don’t make it clear what winning is and they don’t’ celebrate when they do win.”

A big piece of this is being very clear about what the goals and objectives are and sharing those with everyone, Trammell said. And then doing everything to facilitate them to achieve those goals and objects, he said. That leads to high-achieving organizations and people making a difference because they are accomplishing things every day, he said.

For more on this subject, please listen to the whole podcast, pasted below or on iTunes, Spotify Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Also visit MGR360 for more on the certification training program, mobile app, and book.