The key for us in the development and delivery of the Training was to ensure it did not feel like a classroom situation with lots of slides and handouts. We wanted it to be fun, active and hands on. This is exactly how it was designed and delivered. It meant that the training they received was memorable. We were able to see that their approach was different this year due to increased confidence in managing their teams, communicating clearly and dealing with any conflict that arose.
- Monica Garbutt, Head of Human Resources, DRS Data Services Limited
Who they are
DRS Data Services Limited is a data capture bureau offering printing and scanning services. For over 45 years the company has developed its expertise to include the design and manufacture of imaging and Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) scanners, as well as software solutions for the examination and assessment markets. In August 2016 DRS was acquired by AQA, an independent education charity and the largest provider of academic qualifications in UK schools and colleges. DRS is now part of the AQA family and continues to focus on delivering large-scale solutions for examination processing and electronic marking.
Issues they faced
Over the busy summer periods, DRS take on around 500-600 temporary staff to manage their ‘Summer Series’, a period of increased workload with the marking of A Level and GCSE examination scripts. During their time at DRS, these temporary employees are managed by permanent members of the team who act as supervisors/team leaders.
Many of these supervisors had no formal training and some had no previous management experience. Due to this, they were lacking the much-needed confidence to effectively handle conflict, provide direction and set expectations within the teams they were required to manage during this peak period.
DRS decided to review the training provided to these employees and approached TrainingU for support.
From a one to one meeting between DRS and TrainingU the following five areas were identified as the main areas for development:
- Handling conflict and challenges
- Setting boundaries and defining expectations
- Communicating consistently and effectively when under pressure
- How to train others and give direction
- Holding appropriate handovers at shift changes
What we did
We worked closely with the Head of HR at DRS to devise a tailored 1 day ‘Introduction to Supervising Others’ workshop aimed specifically at their temporary staff’s supervisors and the areas they required further support and development with.
A short on-site observation took place which enabled our facilitator to gather the much-needed real-life examples required in order to provide greater context to the sessions. From this we were able to include specific scenarios and situations that they were likely to experience in their roles and provide the relevant tools and techniques for managing these effectively.
We also provided a pre-course briefing session with the Supervisor’s own Managers so that they could fully understand the models, content and techniques that their teams were going to learn. This session also provided them with the involvement they needed to offer extended support and guidance throughout the busy summer period to ensure a successful ‘Summer Series’.
As a result of the observations, briefing and training we provided, the supervisors were able to confidently:
- Define the role of Team Supervisor
- Know how to set boundaries and manage expectations
- Communicate effectively, even when under pressure
- Train at a basic level
- Better handle conflict
- Describe and apply a structure for effective delegation
100% of delegates said that they were very likely to recommend the training to a colleague
After attending the training, the delegates’ confidence rating rose by up to 50%
Words used to describe their learning experience included: ‘easy to apply’, ‘memorable’, ‘worthwhile’, ‘high value’
“The session was very interesting, practical and informative”
“Very insightful. I learnt a lot about myself and the way I train my staff than I thought I would”
“I feel I am more confident to provide training/communication better now”
“The training reinforced the level of knowledge I have. I feel more confident in managing conflict”