Induction Training Leads to Improved Staff Feedback Scores
When the client initially contacted AHC Learning Ltd., they were going through a substantial period of change. Within the project we completed learning and training needs analysis, designed a programme (pre-work, workshop, post-work) and delivered the pilot workshops, working to bring the client’s training team up to speed.The Line Managers Induction workshop was designed to help new managers with the following -
- Identifying the skills, attributes and different leadership styles of an effective line manager
- Using tools to help maximise productivity, and how to effectively apply policies in practice
- Defining different communication styles and building effective working relationships
CustomerThey are an education and training organisation, within a specific area of the public sector. They ensure that service-users and their families get the best possible experience from well-trained and educated staff. Their mission is to provide education that enables excellence in care for the people of Scotland.
The client had recently undertaken performance management and developmental planning, and identified some key areas for improvement. One area was that managers didn't always feel able to have those difficult conversations with staff who were underperforming and over-performing. Another area was the juggling act of managing and motivating the team versus personal productivity. The organisation felt that providing additional support for line managers could help resolve these challenges by setting expectations and understanding how to best support new managers as they move into their new role, as well as continuing to develop experienced managers in their existing roles.
We looked at the feedback from the client staff surveys and identified the quick wins. We also looked at how managers were applying the HR policies, building the foundations and getting managers to engage with the process, rather than just passing the problem over to HR to deal with.
The client chose ahc learning ltd because we knew and understood the business, having worked together on previous projects.
Although the workshop we designed was a simple one-day event with some pre and post work, we took the time during the analysis and designing stage to understand what processes were already in place. The client was keen to develop and deliver something different from what they had done before.
There was a new Leadership and Management Development Framework in place, which was underpinned 16 Practice Standards. We took time to understand these and how managers were going to be held accountable. Then during the design phase of the workshop, we included the relevant outcomes and objectives to tie in with these existing Practice Standards, and also incorporated the client language so the learners could really relate.
The challenge with a broad topic such as Line Managers' Induction is working with a varied audience within the workshop. In this particular case we were working with a large organisation with various types and levels of managers. The one thing they did have in common though, was having managing and leading teams at the centre of what they do, so we were therefore able to design material that was relevant and was pitched at the right level for everyone. At ahc learning ltd, our workshops are very fluid where everyone participates and we identify and discuss real issues within the room.
"The cusp of what I do, and what I love to do, is all about interacting with people and understanding their business. I liken becoming a new manager to becoming a parent for the first time, where you are thrown in at the deep end and have to feel your way. When I am developing managers it's about bridging the gap and working with them to create something that they can really move forward with. I am effectively supporting them as they design their own manual to lead them on their journey to becoming a good manager."
Alison, AHC Learning Ltd.
One of the key differences between our workshop, and previous training was asking delegates to take part in some pre-workshop development. This is absolutely vital as it primes the delegates for coming into the workshop – they know exactly what to expect and thus it speeds up the learning process. We have to make sure that people are comfortable and confident in what they are doing so they are able to absorb the information, answer questions and share views.
Initially, ahc learning ltd were only contracted to design and deliver a pilot programme. However, following the evaluation, we were asked to deliver further workshops. The pilot allowed us to identify what worked and what could have been more effective, so we were able to make some small adjustments before launching the programme in full. The average feedback score we received was 9 out of 10.
"Line manager induction isn't simply about training people how to be a manager. It is about giving people the correct tools within a toolkit which they can draw on whenever they need to – a bit like playing a game of golf." Alison, AHC Learning Ltd.
We recognised that new-to-role managers, as well as some more experienced colleagues, were looking for development that would help them to understand and carry out their responsibilities as managers of people. This was part of a wider focus on management development in support of a strategic aim of improving the ability of managers to engage, develop and manage the performance of their teams.
The breadth of work on leadership and management development, alongside other priorities, and the unexpected absence of an experienced colleague meant that some external support was necessary. This also provided the opportunity to bring in fresh thinking and a critical friend perspective on the ideas we had for the course.
Alison had previously worked as a member of the team on an interim assignment, so had a good understanding of the context within which we were seeking to develop and deploy the manager’s induction course. She also demonstrated a sound understanding of the theories and concepts relevant to the stage of development that the majority of participants would be at.
Early on, Alison proposed designing the presentation around which the day is based using Prezi. This was a departure from standard forms of delivery supported by Powerpoint, and added a sense of dynamism to the experience of participants. She also brought valuable insight from working with managers in other sectors, which was useful to reassuring participants that the development they were seeking wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.
Average score of 9/10 from 19 participants.7 people rated 10/10 Average rating of 5.86 out of a maximum evaluation score of 6
"Lots of variety in methods used and ideas for practical application which will enhance my time management skills."
"I am a new Line Manager so eager to gain as much knowledge as possible. This course was pitched at just the right level."
"The interactive elements helped embed the knowledge and place it in context for the learner."
"Alison was a great facilitator and built up a good rapport with the group."
"Following the pilot programme, we produced a "you said, we did" evaluation where we were able to show how the feedback was being used to improve the programme. One of the points raised by the client was that they wanted more time for table discussions, so we adapted the schedule to include this – and I think this is really useful. What would be the point in asking for feedback if we didn't implement it? So it's really a two-way process."
Alison, AHC Learning Ltd.
Please see our Case Studies index for further examples.