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Training for Resilience

Trafford Council has a strong reputation for being a high-performing, lean and fit organisation, committed to delivering excellent service to residents in an efficient manner. With a cost savings project well underway, Trafford leaders face ever increasing targets, coupled with slashed budgets and a reduction in resources. Recognising the importance of supporting senior managers in leading through these challenging times, the Council asked Wickland Westcott to design a programme that would help their leaders:

  • Be resilient (personally coping with the ongoing change and challenge)
  • Live the organisation’s values
  • Role-model positive leadership styles and behaviours
  • Maximise the potential of their teams

The Council recognised that a traditional, multi-day, off site leadership development course would prove too expensive, and would be insufficiently flexible for a large cohort, thereby failing to deliver the return on investment required. They wanted the workshops to be highly practical (avoiding theory overload), to provide leaders with easy-to-use tools, and to create a delivery mechanism that would equip them to run future workshops themselves, enabling a low-cost roll-out across the rest of the Council.

Our approach was to partner with Trafford, co-designing the materials to ensure that the content, exercises and tone of the day was relevant, suitably challenging, and specific to the issues faced by their leaders. We prepared pre-work materials for participants prior to the workshop, enabling learners to read some of the background theory in advance – thereby freeing up time on the workshop itself to concentrate on practical application. We then co-delivered the workshops with Trafford, and designed a Train the Trainer pack to ensure consistency and quality in the downstream roll-out. Throughout the design and delivery, the focus was upon maximising the transfer of learning back to the workplace – traditionally the Achilles Heel of learning and development interventions.

“The development of our managers is something that Trafford Council takes seriously. We recognise that in order to help our organisation perform and deliver the best services it possibly can in this increasingly demanding and complex environment, we need to equip our managers with the necessary skills to help them perform at their best. 

Trafford Council has therefore been working in partnership with Wickland Westcott over the past six months with the aim of delivering a series of workshops to help managers reflect on their current challenges and develop practical skills that they can use back in the workplace.  The workshops were well designed, pitched at the right level and have been of practical use. 89% of attendees said that they were likely or very likely to implement their learning back in the workplace. We are now looking at how we can build on their success and embed the learning across the whole of the organisation.”

Peter Molyneux, Corporate Director, Trafford Council