Leadership Development: Mental Fitness and Resilience
Recognising the pressure that the force and in particular, their front-line supervisors were under, South Yorkshire Police engaged the Eleos Partnership to develop a customised Mental Fitness and Resilience Programme as part of the force’s wider Well Together Strategy.
The supervisory level of leadership was formed by a cohort made up of approximately 431 individuals, which included 357 Police Sergeants and 74 Staff Team Leaders. The cohort had been identified as the ideal audience for the Programme on the understanding that they are best placed to benefit from the training and in turn, cascade knowledge and best-practise to positively influence their teams.
To reinforce the decision to develop supervisors, the force had already carried out an internal review and the findings from this and wider best practise, highlighted the significant contribution Line Managers were able to make to improve and maintain the mental health of the workforce.
The objective of the Programme was to empower the Supervisor cohort to positively influence their own mental health and that of their teams, with the aim of:
Reinforcing other elements of the Well Together Strategy.
Reducing sickness and absence levels.
Improving morale and performance.
Fulfilling the Leadership Pledge.
Contributing to building capability and capacity across South Yorkshire Police.
Underpinning the expansion of South Yorkshire Police with a strong foundation of mental fitness.
Building awareness and encouraging engagement with existing and planned mental health initiatives such as Backup Buddy.
We worked collaboratively with South Yorkshire Police to ensure the Programme’s bespoke strategy and delivery, would support the aims and wider activity within the force’s Well Together Strategy.
This was achieved through a combination of consultancy and working groups to define the core Programme deliverables and outcomes.
To support the Programme’s objective and aims, we led on four key areas to achieve a successful outcome for South Yorkshire Police.
1. Programme Delivery
Leading and managing the efficient and effective delivery of the programme, training sessions were coordinated and planned to meet the dispersed locations and 24/7/365 shift patterns. This optimised participant availability, engagement and impact.
2. Communications Support
Developing a confident and competent level of understanding amongst the target audience and building wider awareness across South Yorkshire Police with the aim of encouraging a common language around mental health across the organisation.
3. Training Delivery
Training was delivered over an eight-week period via a blended approach of 80+ live virtual and face-to-face workshops to suit the force’s shift patterns.
Recognising the importance of building early relationships, enrolments and engagement with Line Managers, we spent the first two weeks of the Programme delivering the introductory workshops at the force’s main regional police stations.
These face-to-face workshops were designed to provide a relatable and solid introduction to the foundations of Mental Fitness, Resilience and Self-Care.
This was not only from an awareness and understanding of the benefits point of view, but to encourage the participants towards a journey to action.
This also supported engagement with the 80+ virtual workshop sessions, which covered seven principal areas of Leading Teams for Mental Fitness and Resilience and were broken down into individual modules and learning outcomes.
Participants also built a solid understanding of the effects that ethos and culture have on the psychology of teams and developed actionable insights around accountability, motivation and managing friction.
In addition, to encourage the development of awareness across the wider force, the seven 90-minute modules were delivered virtually and made available on demand to everyone in the organisation through the force’s intranet.
To further support the live training sessions and embed the learning, a comprehensive accompanying workbook was designed to meet the force’s unique requirements and made available to all participants.
This allowed people to dive deeper into the subject areas and go further with their own understanding of Mental Health, Resilience and Self-Care.
One: Optimising Team Mental Fitness
Two: Thriving Under Pressure
Three: Empowered Decision-Making
Four: Communicating for Supportive Leadership
Five: Workload Management
Six: Forming Positive Habits
Seven: Mental Fitness & Resilience Strategy
4. Cross Initiative Awareness
To support the awareness and engagement of existing mental health and wellbeing initiatives such as Backup Buddy, we worked to complement, reference and sign-post these in the Programme workshops and workbooks.
End of Programme Review and Results
At the end of the engagement, we evaluated the efficiency and effectiveness of the Programme, with a view to recommending where the force can capitalise on the new level of awareness, understanding and appetite.
The 80 live sessions were delivered on time and on budget and the engagement and feedback received from participants was excellent.
“I have spent the last four months working with The Eleos Partnership to create and deliver a bespoke Mental Fitness & Resilience Programme for our front-line supervisors. The Programme was unique to us and has received excellent feedback.
Throughout the Programme design and delivery, I have found Eleos to be very creative and responsive to the requirements.
Eleos were adept at problem solving, something that was key in delivering such an innovative Programme and had a tangible passion to make a difference through the Programme.”
Chief Inspector of South Yorkshire Police
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