Training programme supports career development

DFK UK and Ireland has successfully completed its first ever ‘Route to Partner’ training programme.

  • DFK news
  • 19 April 2021

DFK UK and Ireland has successfully completed its first ever ‘Route to Partner’ training programme.

The online programme was delivered by training provider The Openside Group and was aimed at managers looking to progress to partner level.

A total of 20 participants from DFK UK and Ireland member firms took part in the six-week programme, which consisted of a weekly webinar looking at the core skills required to become an effective leader.

The sessions were led by facilitators Debbie Dudley and William Johnson, of The Openside Group.

After reflecting on the first two sessions, participant Helen Rutter, an Audit and Advisory Manager at RPG Chartered Accountants, based in Manchester, has once again spoken about the training programme following its completion and looks at how it will support her going forward.

I have already attended a number of DFK conferences and courses, and found the ‘Route to Partner’ training programme to be one of the best in terms of helping me focus on my own career development.  It has shown me the points to consider and techniques to use in order to help me manage other people and to progress my career.

One of the topics covered in the final four sessions was ‘embodying the culture’ which looked at self-management and emotional intelligence. This is something I remember touching on at university, but it was very much theory based, so it was good to revisit this and look at putting this into practice. The training made me think more about the importance of not leading with emotion, and taking a step back to get an objective view of a situation.

One of the struggles that a number of the participants raised as part of this topic was career progression and the difficulty of going from a peer to a manager. It was good to see that this was common among other managers, even those more senior, and reassuring to know that it is not necessarily something you need to overcome, but something that you must adapt to. Although it is not currently a major issue for me in my role, it is good to know what to expect as I progress further in my career.

Within this section we also covered management styles and how to delegate and manage the performance of a team. It focused on a quadrant which helps establish when you should be directing and telling people, coaching and selling to them, when people require support and involvement, and finally when to delegate and release them to do the work.

I predominantly work in the audit team at RPG and manage five people week-to-week, so it was really helpful to see this written out so clearly. It can often be difficult to identify which approach to take in specific circumstances day-to-day, but this is a technique that I can implement straight away and will definitely help me to develop my management style.

One of the common factors for the majority of participants was that we have lots of different members of our teams at different levels, and the training programme stressed the importance of thinking about the specific needs of each individual – something that was definitely worth being highlighted.

This again is something I am able to explore in my current role as within my team we often have new members of staff that either join us straight from university or from another firm, and it is essential to look at each person’s training and development needs in relation to how they will fit into the business.

Another topic covered during the training programme was coaching and the GROW concept - which consists of Goals, Reality, Options and Will do.

As part of this we were all partnered with another participant to explain a situation we would like coaching help with. I spoke about coaching with time management, and my partner was able to discuss how they approach time management and pinpointed areas where I could grow.

My partner then discussed their need for coaching on how to motivate specific individuals, and I was able to discuss the importance of identifying why someone might be struggling. It was really useful to have those different perspectives and an insight into how other professionals manage certain situations.

The coaching topic is something that is particularly important at RPG currently as we have recently seen another firm, Crawfords, join our business. As you would expect, they have many different processes and ways of working, so it will be important to coach and support people as they adopt any new methodologies.

The whole training programme gave a fantastic insight into what I need to achieve and be aware of, as well as how I need to present myself, as I progress through my career. It was also a good way of connecting with other professionals who are at a similar stage in their careers.

I would definitely attend future Route to Partnership training programmes and encourage those across the DFK UK and Ireland membership who are looking to progress to Partner level to sign up.

Read the first part of Helen's blog here.


DFK UK & Ireland