Councils reducing costs and inconveniences of training whilst improving quality

It’s the great, eternal learning and development challenge – how does any organisation manage the increasing requirements to develop managers (and remain a competitive place for the best managers to work) whilst keeping costs and operational efficiencies down (to remain competitive, full stop)?

Councils and the public sector in general have felt the pressure of reduced spending for the last few years. For Learning and Development this has meant cuts to those being trained, longer waits for courses to hit the right numbers and go ahead, reductions in quality and consequently a reduction in output.

All of this has meant that great or aspiring managers have been several percentage points more likely to leave council employment or consider employment elsewhere. The secondary effects being that without the good managers staff engagement and productivity dips, succession planning becomes more difficult and employment costs and pressures rise. Counterproductive.

How councils can cut management training cost effectively

The old model of running courses in-house comes with easy maths. You put more people in a room and reduce your trainer costs to cut training costs.

The problem of course is that as you extrapolate this you get more managers (being paid) to sit in a room not learning much from a cheap trainer. Not just counterproductive but likely to breed resentment too.

Keep the good trainers but put up the minimum course numbers and you have long waits for each course and then managers who miss the day(s) have long waits for the next event.

So councils are increasingly looking at training providers offering high quality, regular open (public) management training courses.

Savings are made in the following areas:

  • Bulk buying means that good providers are willing to offer discounted day rates
  • Reduced organisational pressure on HR
  • Managers get the exact training course(s) they need far more quickly improving satisfaction
  • Reductions in dissatisfaction maintain good managers and keep morale high
  • Pockets of funding available for certain ILM approved management training courses and commercial skills training

Some councils have bought as a consortium which has not only seen pricing fall but has also had the benefit of reducing travel costs as managers attend the courses closest to their home rather than having to all travel to one location.

Elaine McGladdery, HR Manager for the Warwickshire Councils Consortium, a buying group covering councils which together employ 3,000 people says, “The flexibility of the Impellus training programmes, in particular the availability and reliability of their open (public) leadership and management training courses… was a significant cost factor”.

“We were able to maximise our cost savings by making an upfront commitment to buying the largest possible number of training days and the value for money has been excellent”.

How councils improve management training results

Return on investment in training is all about what people do differently afterwards, of course. So one of the great advantages of open training is that it does something that in-house training can never do; it gets managers out amongst peers from other organisations; other managers facing similar issues in completely different places.

This changes the perspective of managers in councils – their challenges are not actually unique! – and that has a big bearing on how they feel about what they learn and what they subsequently do with their new knowledge.

Many councils have also used the funding available to them to put managers through ILM Awards in Management and Leadership which directly focuses managers on what they can do to improve results in the workplace.

Open courses also have an inherent flexibility – councils’ HR Managers can put the right person onto the right course at the right time and Impellus offers courses that can be taken individually or together to form Awards. This means complete flexibility and offers the chance for two managers to do different courses and still qualify for an ILM Award at the same level, better meeting their individual training requirements.

McGladdery concours, “We were initially attracted to the Impellus offering because of the flexibility of their training programmes… I’m very impressed; the courses are of high quality”.

How impellus provides management training for councils

Whether a council is looking for one day of training for one manager or is looking to roll out a management training programme which will stand the tests of time, Impellus can help.

Key points:

  • Courses only delivered by our own trainers – all of whom have direct, senior level management experience
  • Procurement experience – capable of helping you to provide solutions in line with budget and tender requirements
  • Help with maximising price advantage across areas / consortia
  • Extensive course mix and availability
  • Flexibility of approach means challenges such as administration and project longevity disappear
  • Outstanding cost and return on investment prospect

For further information on how Impellus can improve management training for your council call 0800 619 1230

Some of the many UK councils that have used Impellus:

Calne Town Council

Cheltenham Borough Council

Chesterfield Borough Council

Corby Borough Council

Diss Town Council

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

East Devon District Council

Halton Borough Council

Hertford Town Council

Hertford Town Council

Huntingdon Town Council

Kirklees Council

London Councils

Newcastle City Council Facility Services

Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council

Oxfordshire County Council

Reading Borough Council

Rugby Borough Council

Rushcliffe Borough Council

Sandwell Council

South Gloucestershire Council

South Norfolk Council

St Neots Town Council

Stratford-upon-Avon District Council

Warwick District Council

Warwickshire County Council