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Emma O'Connor


Training Times is a series of articles to highlight the latest updates in the world of the HR training academy. You can view our previous updates to learn how businesses have adapted to recent economic challenges and the development of HR training.

In the next instalment of Training Times, Emma O’Connor, Head of the HR Training Academy discusses all things training: from manager fundamentals, redundancy staff representative training to building a positive mindset.

It has been a busy few months in the HR Training Academy. There has definitely been an increase in businesses wanting face to face training sessions for their managers and HR teams, which has been great to see – and also deliver! The types of courses have varied in terms of content; however, the theme has been a constant one: basic managerial skills and giving managers the tools and confidence to recognise ER issues but also help them with practical management tools.

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Training for HR teams and professionals

In June, I ran our ever-popular HR Masterclass. Aimed at those who are new to HR or want an HR refresher, this was a 2-day course ran out of our Reading office. Lots of interesting discussion and knowledge sharing. Particular interest was around how HR can support business managers when conducting investigations as well as absence management. We have also run this course in-house for clients’ HR teams. If this is a course, you would like to hear more about get in touch.


Staff representatives and redundancy procedures training

Unfortunately, many employers are looking at their workforces at this time and considering possible redundancies. This can include both individual and collective redundancy processes. When we think about collective consultation rules and rules around staff representatives, many employers are asking us to come and deliver manager training around redundancy processes (collective and individual), but also training for your staff representatives. Collective processes can involve a lot of management time, organisation and also risk in terms of getting collective consultation (and individual consultation) right. Staff representative training can be run in person, virtually or as a pre-recorded video stream. 

If your business is considering redundancies and would like to find out more about training courses for managers or staff representatives, then use the links below.


Manager fundamentals

A common theme which has run from the HR Masterclass into our management training programme is that of manager fundamentals – what key skills do managers need if they are managing a conduct/grievance/performance issue? We have been running courses for management groups on these core skills – with a particular focus on the skills needed to run a successful investigation process. Much of HR’s time is spent on strategic HR issues and so, it is important that managers can run investigations or basic processes themselves. We have focused on key skills such as note-taking, listening, making decisions and understanding roles. If you think your management teams could do with a skills boost to help them in managing key ER issues, then speak to us. Day long or bite-sized modules with case studies and group discussions.


Building a positive mindset

This month, we have been running courses to help managers focus on putting their own metaphorical “life jacket” on first. How their mindset can impact on, not just themselves, but also their teams, colleagues, and clients. A 90-minute virtual course which is a great way to get managers thinking about themselves and giving them the tips and techniques to help with their day-to-day management pressures. A really nice way to boost engagement, positivity, and productivity – if you want to give your managers some “mindset-me-time” then get in touch.


Equality training

Do your managers know what the protected characteristics are under the Equality Act 2010? Do they know that they could be found personally liable for an act of discrimination? Equality training can support the business in its equality journey. If you want to give your managers the basics around the Equality Act 2010 and key compliance tools, then our Equality Act training is for you. If instead you want to broaden the discussion to include diversity and inclusion as separate training aims, then we have the right course for you. Get in touch. Remember that legal training on the Equality Act can give certain defences in the employment tribunal.


The next steps

Training is important, training does work. Businesses are finding that management populations, in particular, are in need of a mid-year “reboot” in terms of skills, experience, and leadership qualities.  I also think that training around redundancies (especially collective) and staff representative training is something businesses should consider. Let our HR Training Academy team devise, develop and lead a training session to allow you to focus on strategic and high-level HR issues. 

Your competitors are running training programmes for their leaders and recognise that part of their “employee offering” is training and leadership development. We run HR, legal, soft-skills and leadership training courses for HR, managers and wider employee populations. Face to face, virtual or recorded, we have the right course to suit your need, audience, and budget. Speak to me, Emma O’Connor, to find out more.

Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.



Get in touch

If you have any questions relating to this article or have any legal disputes you would like to discuss, please contact the Employment team on

[email protected]
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