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Post Office: Creating a business-wide training programme
Written by David Pearson
The Post Office wanted to create a business-wide training programme to ensure that their people managers are equipped to deliver business goals through effective management of their teams. They chose Premier Partnership and Walkgrove to assist in the design and development of the project.
At the time of commissioning, there was no consistent management training for new and existing people. Managers were often left to learn on the job and develop their own approach to management, leading to inconsistencies in approach and ability. As a result, managers were not coaching people to their full potential; they didn’t have the confidence to manage people effectively and were often not equipped with the fundamentals of people policy and performance management.
The aim of the new blended programme was to engage and develop staff across the board which, in turn, will help transform the Post Office in to a high performing, revenue generating organisation that employees are proud to work for.
They were looking for suppliers who could develop and deliver a blended programme that combined excellence in classroom delivery and masterclasses, with leading edge digital resources and follow-up activities. The modules were to be developed in complementary digital and classroom-based formats where digital modules introduced the concepts. Followed up post classroom-events, the following topics were covered:
- My role as a people manager
- My impact as a leader
- Our people
- Our performance
- Building our future
- Growing our future
Before the learner starts the course, they are asked to self-assess both their competence and – perhaps even more importantly – their confidence – to carry out their role as a class people manager.
The self-assessment comprises sixty questions and takes about an hour to complete – so it is comprehensive. Learners are told what ‘good’ looks like and they then assess themselves as Experts, Practitioners or Novices in terms of competence.
They are then asked to assess themselves on a 1-5 scale in terms of confidence – which is not at all the same but is perhaps even more critical in terms of becoming effective.
Finally, their responses are summarized in a spider diagram that indicates their competence and confidence levels.
Learners can return to the self-assessment at any point – but it would usually follow a classroom event, a masterclass or a follow up project activity – and assess themselves again to improve both competence and confidence. The face to face facilitated learning gives the learners an opportunity to develop their knowledge by actively applying it in the classroom through case studies, discussions and problem solving with fellow managers.
Follow up materials in the format of interactive PDFs provide reminders of the key learning points and prompt learners to keep using the knowledge they have acquired.
This programme of training continues to be used successfully within the Post Office and we are currently in the process of developing a brand new module and updating existing modules.
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