Achieving Your Potential at Manchester University

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Achieving your Potential: a new personal development programme for the University of Manchester disabled staff held April to June 2014

The programme:

Created and run by Result CIC, ‘Achieving your Potential’ consisted of 3 one-day workshops and two 1:1 coaching days. It was the first such course ever run by the University for its disabled staff and formed part of its response to 2013 staff survey showing more negative results for disabled staff.

The course aimed to enable participants to:
take more control over their personal and professional lives
develop resilience to thrive at work
set and achieve personal goals
develop as positive role models for others.

The results

100% marked the programme ‘Excellent’.
There was an average 37% increase in participants’ ability to communicate about their disability and 33% increase in self-confidence.
73% judged the programme ‘Excellent’ in terms of applying their skills to their job.
The average improvement from the start to end of the programme across 6 learning criteria including self-confidence, self-esteem and communication skills was 21% and 2 participant experienced an improvement of over 80%.

What participants said

‘Empowering in every way.’
‘I have realised that it is ok to be open about my disability. It makes me think ‘Why did I have secrets?’
‘I am better at communicating about my impairment, clear about the impairment, the disability and the difference.’
‘I felt the course was perfect for helping me to adjust to my new disability. The fact the university has run this course helped make me feel that my employer does value me and other disabled employees.’

What participants are doing differently

Feedback centres on confidence, communication and networks. Participants feel better able to appropriately disclose information about their disability, where necessary ask for adjustments to working procedures to make them more accessible and to engage with managers and colleagues on issues related to their disabilities. The group also felt positive about meeting other disabled staff and agreed various actions to sustain and build the networks they started to develop on the course, including via the University’s Disabled Staff Network.

‘It was very gratifying and moving to hear the experience of self-recognition and value that participants spoke of, and to hear their commitment to the programme.’
Paul Dixon, Head of Staff Training and Development Unit

Participants’ recommendations

Support continued contact between programme participants. (Result CIC will continue to engage with the group and monitor participants’ progress).
Offer the same programme for other disabled staff on a regular basis.
Include line mangers and key non-disabled staff on future courses to maximise the impact of the programme.

 
 
 
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Result CIC works with charities and social enterprises to offer low cost coaching and training to inspire their clients to work on the beliefs which are stopping them going forward in life. Result CIC is dedicated to reaching members of the community who do not normally have the opportunity to receive such training and coaching.  

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