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TELEPHONE: 0845 5192 466

EMAIL: info@new-tricks.co.uk

Registered Office:
44 Hillcrest,
Ashington,
Northumberland,
NE63 9SH.

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Measuring the Success of North Tyneside Homes Management Academy 2008-2010

1. Background to the Academy

Building the capacity and supporting staff was a high priority for the new Senior Management Team (SMT) in 2008. Morale within the service was low following a period of change and staff turnover, and there had been a significant under investment in staff training with the majority of front line managers never having received management training in over 10 years.

The 2008 staff survey identified that staff did not feel that managers were effectively managing and developing their teams. Some results from this survey are shown below:

Question 2008 Result
Overall, I feel my line manager does a good job. 62% 
 My line manager recognises and acknowledges when I have done my job well 55% 
 My line manager communicates effectively 58% 
 My line manager motivates and inspires me to be more effective in my job 44% 
I am confident that on important matters my feelings/thoughts are communicated upwards by my line manager  39%
 My line manager manages change effectively  49%
 My line manager is committed to continuous service improvement  63%
 Where I work, poor performance is dealt with effectively  24%
 I am confident that my line manager is an effective role model for the council's values 51%

To address these weaknesses SMT agreed to significantly increase the training budget and finance the development of a management academy for all leaders within the service and potential aspiring managers. 

2. Aim of the Academy

The overall aim of our Academy was to increase the quality of our leaders and to act as the central strand of our training and development plan.

The aims from the Academy were identified in the procurement brief.

  • Identifying talent
  • Developing skill sets of leaders
  • Focusing on particular areas of weakness
  • Helping leaders understand their role
  • Improving career progression
  • Increasing capacity within the service

We wanted to measure our success of the Academy in the following ways:

  • Positive participant feedback
  • New career opportunities for participants
  • Delivery of identified projects
  • Increased staff satisfaction with their leaders

3. Setting up the Academy

The 2008 the Academy focused on developing our 30 first line managers and supervisors and 22 aspiring managers who were either selected by management or had identified a desire to progress through their IPR. It was agreed that training for middle manager would take place in 2009/10 due to a number of key positions not being filled.

A robust procurement exercise was undertaken to identify a potential training partner for the Academy, with New Tricks being engaged to undertake the development course.

The programme for the training was agreed with New Tricks to ensure that it was influenced by the work we do and re-enforced key messages around equalities and diversity and customer care. 

The Academy consisted of a 3-day training course for first line and aspiring managers with a fourth day based around project management skills.

There was work for every member to do between sessions to practice their new skills and a project at the end of the course that they had to manage and deliver.

4. Developing the Academy

After the success of the first Academy intake it was agreed to continue and to expand it in 2009/10. 

New Tricks were again successful in winning the contract and delivered another aspiring managers course for 17 members of staff. We continued to develop our first line managers by putting them through another 3-day course and also ran a course for 13 middle managers.

5. Outcomes

The Management Academy has played a key part in our strengthened approach to building capacity with NTH. The increased output and spend in this area has led to the following career progression opportunities for our staff including:

  • 2 first line managers being promoted into middle manager positions
  • 2 members of staff leaving NTH for promotions
  • 5 aspiring managers becoming first line managers or supervisors
  • 3 aspiring managers being given acting up positions during staff transitions

Aspiring managers have also been responsible for delivering the following service improvement projects: 

  • Delivering the staff conference
  • Developing a directorate vulnerable customer make over programme
  • Internal staff suggestion scheme
  • Internal mystery shopping project
  • A back to the floor exercise

The most encouraging results from the Academy and our increased focus on developing our team can be seen in the results of the 2009 staff survey:

Question 2008 Result 2009 Result % Increase
Overall, I feel my line manager does a good job  62% 82%
+20%
 My line manager recognises and acknowledges when I have done my job well  55%  78%  +23%
 My line manager communicates effectively  58%  75%  +17%
 My line manager motivates and inspires me to be more effective in my job  44%  71%  +27%
 I am confident that on important matters my feelings/thoughts are communicated upwards by my line manager  39%  66%  +27%
 My line manager manages change effectively  49%  73%  +24%
 My line manager is committed to continuous service improvement  63%  82%  +19%
 Where I work, poor performance is dealt with effectively  24%  62%  +38%
 I am confident that my line manager is an effective role model for the council's values  51%  82%  +31%

To evaluate the course attendees were asked to write views rather than use a tick box system. Feedback is shown below:

North Tyneside Homes First Line Managers 2009 - Group 1

  • I now know what I need to do/practice to develop further - I am going to go back and write a business proposition for the future of service - nothing ventured, nothing gained
  • I had heard a lot of this before but never had I told me to me in this style - very, very impressive
  • Course has made me feel more confident (some would say that's impossible!), but I am actually very intimidated by presentations etc
  • Guardian exercise - never done anything like this before - seriously impressed
  • Thanks, as always Kevin, you're inspirational - shame you don't work for NTC
  • Enjoyed the overall participation
  • Good group of colleagues
  • Both day 1 + 3 were very interesting and will be extremely helpful within my job role.
  • Day 2 showed up my weakness in giving a presentation, so for me this was the most informative day of the course and by far the most helpful - thank you very much Kevin
  • I have used Gantt charts and presentations on a previous training course but left not feeling confident that I could put anything into practice
  • I will work with my team on their role within the organisation and positive attitude - which will lead to happier staff
  • Personally enjoyed all three days. I was able to learn and develop a broad range of ways that I would be able to incorporate them into my work area. As a result, I feel more confident in dealing with issues as they arise and address problems
  • Project management and Gantt charts - clearer now that ever before. I feel I could use them to effect in the workplace now
  • Presentation skill - excellent day, although I found the re-write a bit of a strain in the time available
  • 360 degrees - no real shocks, about what I expected, but a useful exercise
  • Thoroughly enjoyed all three days of the course
  • Learnt some very useful techniques for project management, presenting and managing our business
  • Good to attend the course with team leaders of different sections to network and share ideas
  • Looking forward to the next course from Kevin, he is an excellent trainer
  • Thought content was very good particularly the PowerPoint presentation, how to plan and involve different types of the group
  • Day 3 was particularly useful in my area as I can now see how to plan potential changes and I will be using all three days within my planning and taking the service forward
  • Course was very informative
  • Useful examples which can be put into practice
  • Improved my confidence in giving presentations
  • Useful tips on team development and maximising resources