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Investing in the ongoing development of our teams - news article image

Investing in the ongoing development of our teams

9 Sep 2021

4 minute read

We have recently spoken about what it means to train within an accountancy practice and this is an integral part of how we operate. However, with Shaw Gibbs it doesn’t just stop at the technical qualifications. We invest in the ongoing development of our people via the Shaw Gibbs’ Management Development Programme (MDP) which I like to think of as a mini MBA.

The programme is designed to accelerate the careers of our qualified staff who are on track to management positions or are new into management roles. Others, who have already achieved management positions, have dipped in and out of sessions where they needed refreshers.

The programme consists of 20 workshops covering a range of topics including: leading remote teams, managing people performance, leadership, coaching, managing a client portfolio, business development, managing mental health and communication skills. The purpose of the MDP is to develop core management skills and unlock the potential and skills of participants which will benefit their entire career. This year we have had 20 participants completing the MDP which has been delivered largely in-house by myself and our Partners, along with a leadership coach, Elizabeth Ferguson of C Grow Consulting. 

Rachael Jackson, Audit Senior comments:

“The MDP has been developed specifically with Shaw Gibbs internal development in mind and this is obvious from the content. I have enjoyed discussing issues and scenarios with colleagues that have inspired different outcomes and perspectives on situations. It has helped me to focus on my own management style and allowed me to work on skills I already have and develop new skills with regards to how I can best mentor/manage my team that will in turn help them with their own development. It has also helped me to learn more about business development which has been enlightening.”

Whilst weathering the Covid-19 storm, the easiest option would have been for us to roll out the same materials and content we have used successfully in previous years or brought in an external provider to deliver the entire programme. Instead, we started from scratch, re-designing and extending the programme ourselves. This has resulted in a tailored, high impact, thought-provoking programme with a special emphasis on managing during challenging times. All participants also have a personalised development plan geared towards their progression, an assigned mentor and have had personality profiling so we are able to play to their strengths.

“Shaw Gibbs has always been thoroughly committed to investing in training for our people and I am thrilled to be able to continue this with a new version of our MDP course, developing talent across our whole business,” says Steve Neal, Head of Compliance & Training Partner.

In addition to all the new knowledge and skills learned, one of the biggest benefits of this programme is building a support network of peers across the organisation.

 “Sharing experiences and potential challenges with other aspiring managers and gaining their thoughts and feedback has helped my approach to the way I line manage. Everyone has had time to have an input and it is interesting to learn about different managerial approaches” adds Tomas McDonagh, Outsourcing Manager.

The logistics of delivering the programme during lockdown including gaining engagement from the audience meant that it was tempting to defer this until a point where all participants were able to attend in person. However, we decided that it was in fact more important to provide training for our existing and aspiring Managers during the pandemic. We are also focussed on strengthening relationships across teams and with our new starters post-lockdown. As the MDP includes a cross section of all departments., this has been a tangential benefit to the sessions.

Vinay Bahl, Audit Assistant Manager feeds back

“I have found the MDP course extremely helpful. It’s given us a great opportunity to learn key management skills directly from our Partners to give us a better understanding of what it means to be a manager at Shaw Gibbs. It has also really helped me get to know some of my colleagues who I don’t usually work with or get to interact with on a regular basis. This has really brought us closer together as a team at a time where we were all working remotely. In addition, we have learnt some key skills in how to manage a growing portfolio and maintaining our wellbeing.” 

Peter O’Connell, Managing Partner adds

“The MDP program has been designed to support our technical training by providing a wider range of skills by focusing on areas such as leadership, communication and business management. Not only does our training put our team in the best position for their future career it also ensures that they have the best skills to provide the expert service to our clients.” 

People are our most valuable asset and therefore we are committed to the continual refresh of the soft and hard skills learned through training, development and mentoring. For more information about a career at Shaw Gibbs, contact me for an informal chat or see our careers page

Investing in the ongoing development of our teams - news article image


Kerry Whitfield

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