Line manager training

Meeting group work

29 / 4 / 2016 Midnight

The role of the line manager has been found to have a profound impact on an employee's experience of work as well as their individual health and wellbeing. It has been established from research that managers are often emphasised as important sources of support for staff due to the influence they have over employee perceptions of the work environment.

Line managers are one of the best tools of support for employee health and wellbeing. We suggest that the greatest way to foster a supportive environment and have a positive impact is to ensure that line managers lead and provide the appropriate support to staff. In order to achieve this, line manager training should be implemented across the organisation.

“Managers need to lead by example and to be made more aware of the impact of their behaviour on others” . It is vital that managers are offered additional resources to support them in promoting health as they have as much of an impact by being a supportive manager then they do as an unsupportive manager.

At NHS Employers we have rolled out two training programmes in partnership with Zeal Solutions, which have supported line managers in their roles across over 120 NHS organisations:

From this we have created top tips to help your organisation develop a successful line manager training programme to promote effective health and wellbeing:

1. Have a full one-day session

With a training session taking place over one day you can ensure that the relevant materials are covered in detail and it is a substantial course but without having to take colleagues out of their normal working day for a prolonged period. 

2. Gather before and after evaluation

The key to ensuring that the training course is successful is through robust evaluation. By collecting before and after evaluation data, benchmarks can be established and improvements can be measured, this will allow you to adapt and change the programme to suit the evidenced needs.

3. Measure the impacts

Develop evaluation reports with the data that you collect from your programme to provide any results and conclusions to evidence the impacts that may be happening to your staff and organisation. These reports are also a great opportunity to provide evidence to your board and staff to promote participation.

4. Use scenario-based techniques

By using scenario-based techniques and activities, your delegates are able to contextualise the training into everyday working life. Scenario-based videos are a great way to connect with your trainees and show work situations that will allow them to think about how they would deal with certain situations. Guys and St Thomas passport to management case study shows how scenario based techniques were used successfully in the implementation of a line manager training programme.

5. Train your trainers

Make the most of your resources. Once you have developed a training programme, train a selection of your line managers that are experienced trainers to roll out the training across the organisation to ensure the breadth of line managers can be reached.

6. Advertise the training

Make the training attractive and use promotional material to showcase this. Remember you have to encourage your staff and make sure that it is worthwhile them being away for the day.

7. Gain board commitment

Board approval and commitment is vital for the success of a line manager training programme. You need to ensure that your trusts board is behind the decisions made for the programme to allow for training days to commence and managers to be released from their daily role to attend the training.

8. Establish your needs

It is important that you identify the issues surrounding the ability to manage health and wellbeing within your trust to ensure you can establish the requirements for the programme, considering that this a part of your wider health and wellbeing strategy. The training that we developed was based on research that established supportive leadership, capability of in dealing with mental wellbeing and the competence of line managers is critical for promoting individual health, performance and effectiveness.

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