How Skills Bootcamps can help managers become better leaders

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Are you a manager with new leadership responsibilities? Would you like to consolidate your in-work experience and develop your skills to inspire and motivate a larger team? Wherever you are in your career, our Skills Bootcamps in Leadership and Management could be what you need.

For Tom Greenhill, it was the experience of becoming General Manager at Corton House, in January 2022, that convinced him of the need for additional leadership and management training. Corton House is a not-for-profit residential care and independent living provider in Norwich, with around 55 tenants, 40 residents and 60 members of staff. Tom had joined the business as Head of Finance in 2019, after about eight years as an Audit Senior with accountancy and business advisory firm BDO.

“I was thrilled to become General Manager at Corton House,” he explains, “but I knew it would be quite a step up from the small teams I had previously managed. It meant taking responsibility for both parts of the business: our care home with 42 rooms and our collection of 51 flats and bungalows at Brakendon Close. As well as ensuring the wellbeing of our residents and our employees, I have to report to the Board of Trustees and ensure we comply with all the Care Quality Commission’s standards and regulations.”

Tom had learnt most of his management skills on the job, leading teams of three or four accountancy professionals. “Although I had gained various professional qualifications and a lot of experience during my career, I had never had any specific leadership training. When I received a marketing email from Turning Factor in Norwich promoting their government funded Skills Bootcamps, I felt it was worth a look.”

People are gaining Skills for Life with funding from the Department for Education

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership has secured Department of Education funding to provide various Skills Bootcamps in Norfolk and Suffolk. It has approved training providers, like Turning Factor, to run courses in topics ranging from arboriculture and farming to digital marketing and leadership. These are free to the self-employed, while SMEs only have to pay 10% of the usual costs for employees.

Turning Factor runs two Institute of Learning and Management (ILM) accredited courses in Essential Leadership and Management: a Level 3 and its Level 5 ‘Rainmaker’. These cover the skills you need in any role where you have responsibility for others. As such, they are fully transferable between industries.

Key topics covered by the Rainmaker course include:
• Leadership role and responsibilities
• Planning, leading, and sustaining change and innovation
• Vision, mission and values
• Identifying and improving efficiency and effectiveness
• Growing your business – driving strategy through people, not process.

Tom and his colleague Jason Parker chose to do the Rainmaker Skills Bootcamp. “While Jason only joined us in April 2023 as our Registered Manager at Corton House, he has some 30 years’ experience in the social care sector, including in senior management roles. However, he felt that now would be an excellent time to go on a refresher course.”

Applying learning in real time
Turning Factor’s Skills Bootcamps run over 16-weeks, with five in-person days at its offices in north Norwich. This enables participants to start practising what they have learnt immediately, rather than waiting for the end of the course. “Jason and I really benefitted from being able to discuss what we had learnt at work the next day,” says Tom.

“Our working relationship is still fairly fresh so this allowed us to get to know each other and discuss our roles and responsibilities together. We could also talk about more general experiences and challenges with other members of the group (while maintaining business confidentiality). Overall, it was a really positive experience, and our tutor Graeme was great at explaining the ideas and getting us to think about how we could apply them in the real world.

“In fact, we quickly came to look forward to each session and really enjoyed the experience. Each one was participative and interactive, so it did not feel like a chore. You don’t just read notes and listen to lectures, you get to really engage with the topic in conversation with other members of the group.

“I would certainly recommend this course to anyone in a leadership role who wants to know how to manage change, keep your team onboard and deliver positive results. Even if you have a lot of experience, I am confident it will help you look afresh at your organisation and your own style of management. Furthermore,” Tom concludes, “these Skills Bootcamps are heavily subsidised, which means they make excellent business sense – particularly for a not-for-profit like Corton House.”

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