What Does a Management Trainee Do?

A management trainee is someone who is undergoing training to become a manager, as the job title suggests. Depending on the industry and the company, the responsibilities assigned to this position can vary greatly. In general, however, the job entails spending time shadowing each position under the supervision of the manager so that the trainee can learn what each employee does and how everything fits together. Trainees typically assist a manager with day-to-day tasks such as paperwork, personnel management, scheduling, reporting, and any other responsibilities that a full manager would have. In addition, most management trainee programs include a traditional learning component in which trainees learn about company policies, processes, and goals watching videos, reading manuals, and attending seminars.

Most managers devote a significant amount of time to completing electronic or paper-based paperwork. Request forms, advertising forms, personnel documents, order forms, and reports on a wide range of topics are all examples of this. These forms are frequently assigned to a management trainee so that he can learn how to fill them out correctly. The paperwork is then reviewed a manager or supervisor, who discusses any errors or omissions with the trainee.

Another important area of responsibility for managers, and thus for management trainees, is personnel management. Although trainees are unlikely to make actual hiring and firing decisions, they are frequently included in such discussions so that they can learn how to deal with them in the future. Trainees may conduct initial interviews with potential employees and may be in charge of creating and posting job advertisements. Because managing employee schedules is a critical function in some industries, trainees are frequently tasked with this task.

Various other responsibilities may be assigned to a management trainee depending on the company. For example, he may be required to serve on committees, participate in cross-functional teams, or complete on-the-job training in other areas of the business. Some businesses, especially those in the retail and food service industries, require management trainees to spend at least one day performing each of the jobs they will eventually supervise.

A management trainee can anticipate spending at least some of his time reading process manuals, watching instructional videos, and attending seminars or classes. This is often the most efficient way for a company to transmit information, especially when multiple people are participating in a training program at the same time. Classes typically cover company history, goals, policies, and procedures, as well as scenario-based learning, in which trainees are presented with a situation, challenge, or problem and asked to effectively resolve it.