Organisational Development

Leadership and management

The Manager's Toolkit is for all managers - whether you are in your first management role or you are an experienced manager, there is something here for you. Develop your skills and knowledge with our curated collection of workshops, online learning, guidance, and resources.


Management Essentials Programme

Management Essentials is a series of workshops designed to support the online Managers' Toolkit. These workshops run on a rolling basis every term and are open to all staff with or taking on management/leadership responsibilities. View the Organisational Development events calendar to see upcoming workshop dates and register via Eventbrite.

Introduction to Management at Sussex

This workshop will support new or aspiring managers to understand the difference between leadership and management, whilst introducing leadership theories. Participants will also benefit from an opportunity to reflect on their own leadership/management style and identify areas they might want to develop or build on.

Please note you will be asked to read through some pre-coursework in advance of this workshop.

This workshop will cover: 

  • An introduction to management
  • The difference between management and leadership
  • An introduction to contemporary management and leadership theory
  • An introduction to The Sussex Leader competency framework
  • An opportunity to understand and develop your style as a manager.
Building Trust and Psychological Safety in Teams

Psychological safety is a shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking. It describes a working environment characterised by inclusivity, interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves and feel able to ask for help, admit mistakes, express their views and suggest ideas.

This workshop gives an introduction to psychological safety and explores how to create a safe and supportive working environment that fosters trust, inclusion, collaboration and wellbeing within teams.

This workshop will cover: 

  • What psychological safety is and why it matters
  • The role of trust in managing and leading teams
  • Shared experiences and ideas around building trust and psychological safety within teams.
Motivating and Engaging Teams

The ability to motivate and engage is a key factor in effective management and leadership, and critical to an organisation’s success.

Motivated people have a positive outlook, they're excited about what they're doing, and they know that they're investing their time in something that's truly worthwhile. They are also highly adaptable, particularly when it comes to change.

Teams are made up of individuals who have their own unique circumstances, backgrounds and experiences. Consequently, each person may be driven by different motivating factors, and be more or less adept at self-motivation.
This workshop will explore the different types of motivation and ways to create a working environment in which team members are motivated and engaged.

This workshop will cover: 

  • The different types of motivation
  • The value of employee engagement
  • Your role as a manager or leader in fostering a motivated mindset
  • Strategies and tips for tailoring your approach to motivation.
Introduction to Managing Change

There are many benefits to effective change management, including improved communication, increased productivity, reduced stress and improved decision making. It can also contribute to improving employee morale and creating a more positive work environment.

This workshop is suitable for anyone who wants to improve their knowledge around change management and how to support people/teams through periods of transition.

This workshop covers: 

  • The impact of change and different responses to it
  • Methods for support individuals/teams through a period of transition
  • Ways to engage a team in continuous learning to harness the positive impact of change
Coaching as a Manager

Coaching is a powerful approach that can support managers to engage, inspire and support a team. Join this workshop to learn how to utilise the coaching mindset and apply coaching skills, and to experience a short self-coaching exercise with impact.

  • The value of adopting a coaching mindset as a manager
  • How and when to take a coaching approach with your team
  • The core skills involved in coaching
  • An introduction to the GROW model.
How to Delegate Effectively

Effective delegation is not simply about handing over a task – it is a process that involves trust, communication, and coordination. Learning to delegate effectively is an essential skill for managers. Delegating empowers your team, builds trust, assists with professional development by providing learning opportunities, and gives room for new insights. And for leaders, it helps you learn how to identify who is best suited to tackle tasks or projects.

This workshop explores the benefits of effective delegation and different approaches to assigning tasks to others. Participants will also benefit from gaining insights from colleagues across the University.

This workshop will cover: 

  • The benefits and barriers of delegation
  • Different approaches to delegating tasks
  • Ways that you can apply these approaches within your team to improve team performance.
Giving Feedback: How to lead an effective conversation

Constructive feedback in the workplace is extremely important: workplaces need effective communication to succeed and thrive. As well as increasing staff morale, feedback helps us learn more about ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses, our behaviours, and how our actions affect others. It also increases our self-awareness and encourages personal development. Feedback won’t always be positive. Negative feedback highlights areas where we need to improve and helps make our work much better in the long run. However, it is important to deliver feedback skilfully and productively, otherwise it provides no basis for development. By the end of this workshop, participants will feel more confident to deliver feedback that is clear, concise and purposeful.

This workshop will cover:

  • The benefits of giving effective feedback, for both the giver and receiver
  • The reasons we may avoid giving feedback and factors that can make feedback less effective
  • Models for giving more effective feedback.
How to have Difficult Conversations

From time to time all managers will face conversations which they anticipate will be challenging and which they may feel ill-equipped to manage. Scenarios of this kind include addressing under-performance, tackling instances of unacceptable behaviour, investigating reports of bullying, giving developmental feedback, turning down employee requests, or dealing with sensitive personal issues. This workshop will introduce a range of practical tools and techniques to support you to have meaningful and constructive conversations.

This workshop will cover:

  • What can make conversations challenging and factors that can influence our behaviour/experience
  • Tools and techniques to build your confidence around difficult conversations.
  • A structure for approaching difficult conversations
  • Practicing skills and sharing good practice guidelines.

Guidance and resources for managers

  • The Digital Guide for New Line Managers has key information about being a line manager at Sussex.
  • The Onboarding New Employees Digital Pack is a comprehensive guide for line managers responsible for overseeing new staff inductions.
  • The Dotted Line Management Guidance gives an overview of dotted line management, how it is different from traditional line management, examples of scenarios where you might see this at Sussex, and best practice guidance.
  • The Manager's Development Channel on Microsoft Teams is a platform for peer support and sharing relevant development opportunities, open to all managers at the University. Join the Manager's Development Channel.

How we learn: the 70:20:10 model

In this fast-changing world, our time and attention are under pressure, both at work and outside of work. This inevitably results in less time to spend away from the office for learning and development opportunities. In today’s modern workforce, there has been a shift from ‘training as an event’ to ‘learning as a collaborative, continuous, connected and community based activity’.

The 70:20:10 learning model is widely accepted as one of the best frameworks for organisational learning and development. This model suggests that:

  • 10% of learning is formal. It happens through structured training programmes and workshops, webinars, and online courses.
  • 20% of learning is social. It happens with and through other people such as interacting and collaborating with colleagues, networking, receiving feedback, coaching, and taking part in a mentoring programme (as a mentor or a mentee).
  • 70% of learning is experiential. It happens through on-the-job experiences, such as day-to-day tasks and challenges, taking on more complex projects, job shadowing a colleague, practice, and independent research.

A pie chart divided into 3 sections annotated with 70%, 20% and 10%

Hands-on experience, (the 70%) is the most beneficial for staff because it enables them to practice and develop their skills, to develop their capacity to adapt to new situations, and to address challenges and make decisions. It also offers the benefit of immediate feedback, which allows the staff member to learn from their mistakes and increase their confidence.

As the manager or leader of a team, you should be encouraging this blended approach to learning and exploring the 90% of learning opportunities for staff outside of the training room and formal learning. 

Further reading:

Let’s Talk Talent blog: Is the 70/20/10 model still relevant to learning and development?

Characteristics of a thriving team

A team is more than just a group of people who work together. A high-performing team is a group of people who share a common vision and goals, and who collaborate, challenge and hold each other accountable to achieve results. Research demonstrates that both leaders and employees seek autonomy and psychological safety in equal measures, and high-performing teams need both to succeed, yet these qualities are often absent within organisations. 

Managers and leaders can nurture autonomy through a shared leadership model where team members feel that they influence the work at hand. When teams are given more latitude and flexibility to be creative and do things in new ways, they feel safer to take risks and speak up. In a workplace where meaningful interactions are at the heart of the work, psychological safety becomes an abundant resource to support a thriving team.

Research by O.C.Tanner suggests that there are six elements to fostering autonomy within teams:

  • Freedom to be creative
  • Flexibility in schedule
  • Latitude for innovation
  • Say in projects worked on
  • Ability to prioritise workload
  • Flexibility in where employee works

Read O.C.Tanner’s full report to learn more about the individual elements of autonomy and the vital role that leaders play in building psychological safety.

three colleagues working around a table

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Contact and advice

Organisational Development
Human Resources
Sussex House SH-230
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9RH

od@sussex.ac.uk
01273 075533 (ext 5533)

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Looking for support from the OD team?

Managers and leaders looking for support with team learning and development should complete the online OD support request form, providing details of the situation and expected outcomes. An OD Consultant (ODC) will respond within 5 working days.