Mentoring, Leadership and Team Skills at NARS

training room

Staff retention has been at the forefront of news in the industry for some time. While various reasons for problems retaining staff have been considered, it is hard to pinpoint just one.

NARS’s standing within the industry gives them a unique insight into where some of the problems may arise. A general view from the staff is that poor training of senior roles within the industry is an issue.

NARS felt it was important to be able to provide the industry with some training for staff on how to be effective mentors and manage the team positively. The idea was to educate the staff and for them to gain a qualification in the process, as many of the staff who took part were already doing this within their role but without the recognition.

Upon completion staff would be awarded two Level 2 certificates, one in Mentoring and one in Leadership and Team Skills. Jenningsbet kindly offered to fund this project and in September 2018 and February 2019 the first two courses began.

Both were filled with a variety of staff, all with different roles within yards and all with a range of industry experience. The uptake for the course was excellent and the results even better! The feedback from both courses has been outstanding, not only for NARS but also for West Suffolk College who delivered the course. We are incredibly pleased that not only are the completed learners now qualified and recognized mentors in the workplace, but that they also feel a lot more confident to deal with situations when they arise within the organization. The end of course survey showed that 83% of the learners felt it was a worthwhile course, and all would recommend the course to others.

When asking the learners how they felt this course would benefit them moving forwards, the points made were;

• A more structured approach to management

• Dealing positively with situations in the workplace

• Help to delegate more successfully

• Recognition in current role

• Easily transferable to different roles in the industry

• More able to help staff if they need coaching or mentoring

• Better placed to advise on procedures in the workplace

From the cohort of learners on the first course, two participants were employees of William Haggas’s yard, Tina Jacobs and Claire Knight. Both already had roles which saw them working closely with staff and new members of the team, both essentially mentoring staff within the workplace but without the recognition or qualification.

Their work throughout the course was outstanding and because of that the Tutor nominated them both for The Employer Training Leadership Award at West Suffolk Colleges Celebration of Achievement Awards 2019.

The evening was held at The Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds, where Tina and Claire were joined by their families to receive their awards. It was understandably a very proud moment for both of them and really showcased all of the hard work they had put into the course.

During the introduction for their award the two words used to describe their work on the course by the Tutor were ownership and respect, both very fitting. NARS were thrilled for Tina and Claire that not only had they passed the course with flying colours but that their hard work and enthusiasm were noticed and rewarded by the Tutor.

NARS are delighted with how successful the first two courses have proven to be and will be delivering the next Mentoring, Leadership and Team Skills course in Lambourn in 2020.

This blog originally appeared in Stable Talk.

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Dominique Tortice

Dominique Tortice is the Union Learn Project Assistant at the National Association of Racing Staff (NARS) and has worked within the racing industry for 15 years, in that time she has had various roles. Dominique assists with providing free training courses to help racing staff improve their qualifications and training.