With increasing pressure on the Probation Service to perform and meet stringent targets, the demands on management are many. Furthermore, constant change within the service has induced an element among staff of “change fatigue” – placing yet more pressure.
The aim of the Masterclass programme was to improve the Leadership and Management skills and practices within the service so it could deal with change more effectively, and change the management style from transactional (managers telling teams members what to do) to transformational (managers inspiring and motivating team members to perform more effectively).
Using the Kouzes and Posner Leadership Practices Inventory 360 degree feedback, each manager received one to one feedback and identified for themselves where they were strong and where they needed to make changes. Focusing on specific leadership behaviours they could take practical action in their own parts of the organisation. This was a big investment in time but it really made the difference.
“Through exercises in the workshops, we talk about creating a shared vision and how we can go about doing that. We work with them in groups to make it real for them,” said Isobel Rimmer, lead consultant on the programme. “We put a lot of pressure on people to do what they say they’re going to do in terms of improving their management performance. If they don’t do it, the responsibility is no one else’s – that message is driven home very firmly.”
Working in cross functional groups, the senior management and middle management teams then took part in a series of leadership workshops where they identified the skills, behaviours and practices that needed to be applied.
Read More about how Masterclass worked with the West Yorkshire Probation Service to help probation officers deal with change, cope with the stress of their work and significantly reduce the amount of stress related sickness absence.