The ability to recognise and support talent is key to building and retaining exceptional teams. This philosophy is at the heart of our ‘Brilliant Manager’ training course that we have developed and are in the process of delivering to our team leads and managers.
Using a combination of in person and online training the course takes a look at what makes a good manager, a good environment and how important it is to know each individual member of your team.
Our Talent Manager, Claire Tocher offers her views on how and why, developing and delivering an inhouse solution proved to be the best solution to meet our objectives and to ensure brilliant team development.
“There is a well engrained adage in the HR world that “people don’t leave organisations, they leave managers.” It’s catchy of course, and a good headline to help training companies sell manager training as a sort of cure all for retention, engagement and productivity issues that exist within every business.
Personally, I loathe it. Apart from being cliché, it completely oversimplifies what is actually a pretty complex mix of factors – and honestly, its a lazy way for organisations to point the finger at the failings of individual managers to detract from bigger, more systemic issues. Instead of attributing blame, what we ought to focus on is building environments, cultures and micro-cultures that set everyone up for success – and everyone has a part to play in that.
It’s important to acknowledge though, that being a manager is a uniquely complex commitment. You are all at once someone’s mentor, coach, guide, teacher, trainer (even parent at times), responsible for the wellbeing and success of teams where everyone has individual needs – all while having your own outcomes to drive. In the context of the “people leave managers” statement, well no wonder - you’d need to be a superhero do be able to do all those things well, all the time, in a way that suits all your people.
What is perhaps more realistic, is acknowledging that every manager and leader is evolving all the time, with every challenge, every interaction, every team. Mistakes will be made, some fixable, some less so. Some relationships will thrive, some will falter. But underpinning all of that, should be a commitment from every level of the organisation that whatever happens, the support and investment in helping our people succeed will be unwavering.
With that commitment, in 2022 we launched our flagship management development programme, “Being a Brilliant Manager” to a small group of unsuspecting (and perhaps some nervous!) managers and team leads. Exploring everything from creating brilliant environments, to knowing your people and understanding your team, the focus was on helping each of our managers understand their own purpose and impact. No cookie cutter HR policies, no generic management institute acronyms – just genuine, open discussions about our own leadership styles, what comes naturally, what we need to motivate ourselves to do. It was amazing to see in just two days not just how diverse our managers were in their experience, their backgrounds and their style, but also how similar their challenges were.
Taking the lead from the group, we took those challenges to create a series of learning sessions on topics that mattered to them – everything from difficult conversations and interview skills, to commercial awareness and coaching. Perhaps not unsurprisingly given the commitment and technical expertise of our managers, delegation skills was something of a hot topic - something I think most people can relate to!
We’ve since rolled the programme out to a further two groups, evolving and adapting all the time to make sure the training is impactful and relevant. Our latest addition to the course based on their feedback, has been some content to help demystify those things that HR functions have tended to make overcomplex (or indeed terrifying!) like performance management, or supporting employees through parenthood.
Its absolutely engrained into our ethos that supporting our people to succeed is not just a priority, it’s a necessity. We’ll be taking this programme global in the coming months, working with our international managers to help them find their leadership style and make an impact with their teams, and making sure that every manager has the platform to be brilliant.“