Supportive leadership and management behaviour training


08 / 6 / 2016 Midnight

Supportive leadership and the competence of line managers is critical for promoting individual and organisational health, performance and effectiveness.

In 2012, we therefore teamed up with Zeal Solutions to develop and roll-out a free, scenario–based, train-the-trainer programme. This project developed training that raised awareness of the importance of supportive leadership behaviour. Managers were enabled to enhance their skills in supporting their staff through effective communication, behaviours and engagement, by focussing on five key areas:

  • team conflict
  • staff sickness absence
  • organisational change
  • violence/aggression
  • communications.
Over the duration of this training programme 50 trusts across the board have encouraged a cohort of 97 trainers to develop their supportive management skills and roll out this training across their local trust to colleagues. The evaluation has demonstrated that managers and leaders are found to have significantly higher levels of confidence in their ability to deal with a range of work-based scenarios and significantly higher levels of awareness and understanding of a range of supportive and unsupportive behaviours.

Five mental health trusts piloted the scenario-based training in 2013. During the pilot, 272 delegates were trained across the organisations in a year. The pilot evaluation report responded positively to the training with:

  • 88 per cent of delegates enjoying the training
  • 86 per cent of delegates reporting that they are keen to apply the learning from the training
  • 91 per cent of delegates found the training to be relevant to their job.

In the first roll out of training after the pilot, a further nineteen mental health trusts participated. In the most recent interim evaluation report, 507 delegates had been trained by the trainers locally:

  • 81 per cent delegates agree that the training is realistic 
  • 79 per cent delegates agreed that issues were dealt with in depth
  • 83 per cent delegates agree the planned objectives were met.

At the beginning of 2016, the supportive leadership training programme was opened up to all NHS trusts. Four training events took place including a further 26, with 56 delegates participating in the 'train the trainer' course. The full evaluation report including data up until May 2016, showed that the delegates awareness of supportive and unsupportive managers behaviours has increased significantly in post-course measures.

We are continually monitoring the data from the trainers to provide further evaluation summaries and reports, these contain total numbers of delegates trained by trainers, number of sessions delivered and the key evaluation data and impacts. This page will be regularly updated with the most recent data evaluations.

If you are interested in learning more or would like the opportunity to be involved in future training, please email with your interest and we can note your details for any future line manager training opportunities.

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