Large Public Sector Organisation

Case study – developing public sector emerging leaders


Large public sector organisation

Client need

A program to introduce and prepare staff for the roles and responsibilities of supervision and team leadership. Feedback from managers and staff regularly acting in leadership roles had previously identified that dealing with people related issues and behaviours is one of the most challenging aspects of the role.

The client’s key goals were

  • Leadership styles and their application
  • Adapting leadership styles
  • Managing difficult people
  • Having difficult conversations
  • Developing the team and creating a positive team culture
  • Managing conflict using the Workplace Harmony Framework
  • The difference between coaching and mentoring for improved performance and when to use each
  • Managing time and stress for increased effectiveness and efficiency


We worked with our client to develop a 6-month entry level leadership program (aligned to 5 units of competence from Certificate IV in Leadership and Management).

  • Introduction to the leadership principles and tools in line with the client’s focus on delivering excellence and managing workplace harmony.
  • Delegation, time management
  • Leadership styles
  • Communication and workplace relationships
  • Teamwork and organisational goals

This was contextualised to the target group and the specific issues facing the organisation and its future leaders as well as the organisation’s current policies and programs.

Human Synergistics tools were used to give students a deep insight into their own thinking styles, behaviour and leaderships styles. The participants undertook a one on one debrief and developed individual development plans. Each workshop participants had a follow up discussion on personal behaviour and management changes they had been implementing with their teams and they were received.

Program included

  • Role play and observations assessments
  • Management interviews
  • Interactive SCORM packages as supplementary training
  • Telephone support and coaching


34 employees completed the pilot program. We have gone on to train another 100 staff members in 2017.

An evaluation of the pilot program revealed

  • 100% of employees reported that the program met their expectations and 97% reported that they achieved their most important outcomes.
  • 72% reported an increase in confidence and 66% reported an increase in competence to act in a management role.
  • Prior to participating 76% were not confident at all or somewhat confident and not competent at all or somewhat competent to meet the expectations of their manager’s role if asked to act in it tomorrow. After participating in the program, 83% were confident to very confident and 76% said that they would be competent to very competent.
Level of Confidence and competence to meet the expectations of a manager’s role
Prior to the Program Post Program Completion
Not confident at all or somewhat confident 76% (n=25) Confident to very confident 83% (n=24)
Not competent at all or somewhat competent 76% (n=25) Competent to very competent 76% (n=22)
  • 90% reported that their understanding of Excellence increased after the program. Qualitative data shows participants in the program were generally more able to articulate their understanding of Excellence post training.
  • 93% of participants and 94% of managers reported that the participant’s confidence in their own role had increased
  • 97% of participants and 100% of responding managers reported that the participant had a greater self-awareness after attending the training.

Keys to success

  • The selection of the participants
  • The customisation of the program material to be aligned to organisational policies, procedures and programs.
  • The use of human synergistics tools
  • The quality and experience of the Forsythes’ trainers.

What the client says

  • The program provides a strong platform for operational staff to commence a development process in applying leadership and management practice in the workplace.
  • Since completion of program Bob has relieved in the role again and appeared much more confident dealing with performance issues with staff and feeding back to staff re performance.
  • The program was brilliant and has assisted with career progression of staff member

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