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Over the last 6 months, the North Leadership Centre at Newcastle University have been successfully delivering a middle-management training program to local companies Cintra HR & Payroll Services and Bastion Security, which has enabled both businesses to prosper amid the wider economic gloom.

Six employees from Cintra and two from Bastion have attended the training programme, which has covered a wide range of topics including; Self-Awareness, Communication, Time Management, Delegation, Change Management, Developing People and Building High Performance Teams.

Francis Barber, North Leadership Centre Development Manager, organised the course in collaboration with Cintra and Bastion. Francis explored the options available to the companies to find the most suitable and valuable training, which could fundamentally help middle managers and their teams in their day to day work. Francis said “if we can prove that the training we deliver has made a positive difference to the work being produced, then we know we have succeeded in producing a great leadership programme for any business”.

This personal touch was a key benefit, for both Carsten Staehr, CEO of Cintra and Tom Deevy, Managing Director of Bastion.

Carsten commented; “Of course we at Cintra have a training programme which covers all of the essential disciplines applicable to our industry, such as IPP (Institute of Payroll Professionals) and CIPD (Chartered Institute Personnel Development) but at a time in the economic cycle when most businesses are historically cutting their marketing and training budgets, we took the opposite approach, investing even more heavily in training than before, to ensure that our staff continue to deliver a superior service to our valued customers and hopefully increase our market share. To this end, we looked for a bespoke, rather than off the shelf training programme, which would help us to identify our training needs in respect of tomorrow’s business landscape – an approach which I’m pleased to be able to report has yielded dividends of around 20% year-on-year new business sales growth, much of it as a result of word of mouth referrals from satisfied existing clients”.

According to Suzanne Cowen, Operations Director at Cintra, one of the most important aspects was the timing of the course. “For us it was extremely important that the training did not disrupt the day to day work here at Cintra, the North Leadership Centre listened to our concerns and accommodated our needs so that the courses could be run at the beginning of each month in the quieter work period. This flexibility was extremely beneficial to us”.

The feedback from all of the employees has been extremely positive, which has pleased Kevin James, Director of the North Leadership Centre at Newcastle University. Kevin said; “My greatest reward is when the students tell me how much the course is helping them to be more effective in their everyday work”.

Bastion’s MD Tom Deevy backed up these comments by confirming that all of the feedback from his employees has been extremely positive. He said “The training has continually covered all of the aspects of middle management which we wanted our employees to explore, it has been well organised and most importantly it has been fun but also educational for our staff. I would have no hesitation in recommending this course to middle managers in businesses around the country”.


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