first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Skills on the lineOn 1 Jul 2003 in Personnel Today Managementtalent is constantly under criticism. In the first of a two-page report, ElaineEssery looks at development options for supervisors and first-line managers,while overleaf, Ross Wigham looks at a project to develop leadership skills atgovernment agency COIBritishline managers are not up to scratch. While their technical abilities are mostlysound, they are judged to be lacking in people, leadership, and changemanagement skills.So saysthe latest online survey from Training Magazine’s sister publication PersonnelToday.Only 28per cent of respondents consider their line managers capable of taking the companyforward over the next three to five years. Evidence suggests the problemextends to the vital team leader/supervisor role.1Trainingcould make a difference, according to 25 per cent of respondents. But howeffective is training and how relevant are the qualifications available tosupervisors and first-line managers?“Qualificationsare valuable in that they give people knowledge about theory and context, butwhat they lack is to provide people with a chance to experiment with differenttechniques and apply the theory,” says Godfrey Owen, deputy chief executive ofleading experiential learning provider, Brathay.Sincecompanies often promote the best technical people into management positions,others are left to move into a first-line role, not realising the mindset shiftthey need to make to become a leader. “Wegive people a chance to lead in a risk-free environment and get them topositively influence their team,” Owen says. “Trying to lead a peer group ismore challenging, as all you have is the force of your personality. Gettingfeedback on the effect of your behaviour helps you exhibit the right behaviourback at work.”Untilvery recently, the emphasis has been on middle and senior managers, with only afew qualifications for supervisors and team leaders having much credibility,according to Simon Pugh, group chief executive of Sheffield-based The TrainingExchange.“However,I believe the current qualifications framework from levels 2 to 5 is right onthe whole. It’s good that qualifications are paying more attention now toleadership.”Pugh’sorganisation offers Edexcel team leader and management NVQs from levels 2 to 5,along with Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) certificates anddiplomas in team leadership and management from levels 2 to 4. The ILM teamleader certificate proved the right approach for Training Exchange clientSenior & Dickson.Fivemanagers from the small tool and moulding firm undertook a programme totalling10 days training over 20 weeks, tailored to meet the company’s business needs.Financialcontroller, Nicola Breen, was one of the trainees. “None of us ever had anytraining. We’d just been given the position and expected to get on with it. Butyou can’t do that without training,” she says. “Whatwe learnt each day we had to put into practice and fill out a progressdevelopment sheet so the trainer could see we had been able to apply it in ourwork.“Thetraining has given us a better understanding of our roles, how to handlesituations and people to get the best out of them. It has highlighted a lot ofareas we feel we should improve upon along the way,” she says. Pughsees the image and promotion of management NVQs as a big issue.  “They are closely attached to governmentfunding and programmes and don’t have an independent identity.  That needs working on so the businessbenefits of NVQs are promoted.”He iscritical of government policy that has equated training with qualifications andskewed public funding. It has created a dependency culture in which employershave come to expect grants and resulted in much training provision beingsupplier-led, he says.“Wemake sure our training provision is lined up with what the employer wants. Ifcustomers want qualifications that’s great, if they don’t, that’s great too. Ifa qualification is not right for the customer, you shouldn’t ram it down theirthroats,” he says.AdrianRoberts, HR manager at precision engineering manufacturer INA Bearing Companyof Llanelli, Wales, agrees. “Qualifications are just a by-product. It is thebehaviours we want to change,” he says.Plantdirector, Roger Evans, adds: “There’s no point in undergoing training just toget the qualification. There has to be a tangible difference on the shopfloor,where it all matters.”INA,which says its formula for success is that ‘the rate of learning must begreater than the rate of change’, won a training award sponsored by TSWManagement Solutions – a division of Training Services (Wales).  Judging criteria included the programme’srelevance to improving management performance, improving quality and changingthe business climate.Theprogramme includes training team leaders to achieve the level 3 NVQ inmanagement awarded by EMTA Awards Ltd (EAL), along with the ILM World ClassTeam Leader award.Supervisors,who already hold a traditional NEBS Management supervisory qualification, areembarking on a new EAL level 3 NVQ in business improvement techniques.“Wethought it looked really good so we developed it to suit our needs,” Evanssays.Pursuingthe qualification has positively affected a number of business measures. “Ithas also impacted on the people skills of our supervisors. They understand morewhat we’re trying to do, what the business needs are, where it’s going – andinterpreting that down the line,” adds Evans.1.UK Line Managers: are they good enough? Exclusive research by Personnel Today,sponsored by Computers In Personnel and conducted in association with RichmondEvents . Price £25, available from [email protected] Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more