Personalised programme for managers – how it works in practice…

20 July 2015

Having just completed my third session of HSA’s new personalised programme for managers a few minutes ago, I thought I would take the opportunity to reflect on my progress and how it is working for me.

 The webinar session with Michelle was incredibly productive and I am fizzing with ideas and possibilities!


I have hugely appreciated the fact that the sessions have been ‘all about me’! The first step was to spend time with Jo, thinking about my values, both aspirational and driving. I learnt things about myself that are invaluable when thinking about how I can achieve at work. I know I value creativity and a challenge and spending time with others, but throughout the session we kept returning to the word ‘connected’ and it emphasised to me that being connected to people, sharing time, thinking with them and planning and creating is my biggest driver for achieving change and for being satisfied in my work. My one-page profile will need to be updated to reflect all of this.

The next step was to use Progress for Providers for Managers to think about how well we at Brandon Trust in London, are doing in delivering person-centred change. I have used the ‘Progress’ programme before with teams, but had never considered using it as a tool to work on my own personal development. Completing the tool again was something of an eye-opener, especially as I decided to be brutally honest with myself and score accordingly. There are many things that we are doing well, such as developing one-page profiles for all our colleagues and the people we support and I am very proud of our person-centred recruitment; no one works for us unless people with learning disabilities have chosen them. Person-centred approaches informed the way in which we developed our Volunteer Buddy programme and you can see this in the relationships that people are making with their Buddies. However, there are a number of areas that I feel need work and I now have a clear action plan to achieve this.

The personalised element of this programme is vital to me. I didn’t want to spend precious time on the areas that are already working, so in our first session, Michelle helped me to look at my Progress scores and develop two core outcomes. We are currently working with people to create Individual Service Funds and this has presented many challenges; one of my outcomes is related to this.

I came away from my first two sessions with a great set of actions and things to try. The first of these was to try using the ‘Stress and Support’ tool with our Area Management Team. Brandon has been exploring ways to support employees with their wellbeing and resilience and this is a straightforward way to explore the needs of individuals. We used the tool in a group setting, to share with each other what makes us most stressed at work. It was fascinating to hear about the range of stressors and how this differed for each individual. I was able to tell everyone about how much negativity and moaning without purpose gets to me, whilst a colleague shared how people not replying to her emails really makes her feel. We then talked about how we can change our behaviour collectively to be more responsive to each other and to put the right support in place. We acknowledged that we’re not always going to get it right but starting the conversation will certainly make a difference immediately. We agreed that we will use the Stress and Support tool within supervision and one-to-one sessions with people we manage, so that those conversations are starting across our Area. I’m looking forward to checking back with people to see how this is working.

During my session with Michelle today, I had a light-bulb moment about individual accountability, so we have agreed that this month I will spend time with the Locality Managers team, reviewing our Person-Centred Team Plan and looking at the expectations we have of each other.   This is an issue I have been thinking about a lot recently, so it is brilliant to have another practical way to work on it. I’m really excited about the next month at work!

Harriet Phillips

Area Director, Brandon Trust



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