We believe everyone at Audley is talented and that all employees should have the opportunity to develop their career and achieve their ambitions. Our Rising Stars programme has a single intake each year, and everyone works through their studies together. The programme has been designed to equip our employees with the skills, behaviours, and mindset needed to progress. Some of the topics covered include self-awareness, building relationships, business transformation, and decision making, all delivered in a course that blends e-learning, virtual simulations, and gamification, supported by 1-2-1 sessions with a dedicated coach.
Once our employees have graduated from the 14- or 16-month course they will attain either, a Level 3 team leader / supervisor, or a Level 5 Operation / departmental manager qualification.
If an employee is interested in taking part in the Rising Star programme, we ask for them to speak to their manager who will be able to answer any questions about their personal development and support them in their Rising Stars application. We would also recommend speaking to an employee who is on, or who has completed the Rising Stars programme, so they can hear first-hand what it’s like and the commitment involved.
Q&A with Abbie
Why did you choose to apply for Rising Stars?
Rising Stars came at the perfect time for me. I’ve been at Audley for four years and over that time have had great opportunities to grow my internal communication skills and experience. However, I needed a new challenge and Rising Stars felt like it would give me the chance to develop managerial and leadership skills that would stand me in great stead for wherever my career may take me in the future.
Additionally, one of the most appealing aspects of the programme is the one-on-one time you get to spend with your coach, who is dedicated to not only guiding you through the programme but supporting you through any personal or professional situations that you may be finding challenging.
It’s not often that you get an opportunity to work with someone who is able to focus entirely on your professional development and my coach has been particularly effective in helping me overcome some aspects of my role that I had previously found difficult.
What does the programme involve?
I was on the Level 3 programme which took place over 14 months and aims to provide the core skills to prepare someone who is aspiring to be a manager in the near future.
It is broken down into four modules:
- Transforming Self: which covers self-awareness, time management, diversity and inclusion, and career planning.
- Transforming Relationships: which covers communication, feedback, meetings, influence, and stakeholder relationships.
- Transformational Leadership: which covers leadership, strategy, culture, and operational management.
- Transforming Business: which covers finance, governance, decision-making, and project management.
During each module you’re asked to complete a series of missions, where you take your learning from the module and show how you’ve applied this in your day-to-day role. For example, using time-management techniques to better prioritise and plan your workload.
One of the benefits of the programme is that it provides varied and flexible ways to learn through a range of materials. You’ll be encouraged to read articles, listen to podcasts, watch videos, take quizzes, have one-to-one sessions with your coach, and take part in live digital events. All of this keeps the programme engaging throughout.
At the end of each module, you’ll have an assessment with your coach which prepares you for your final assessment. Here you’ll receive feedback and receive coaching to help you feel confident and ready to successfully deliver a presentation and hold a professional discussion with an external examiner, to pass the programme at the end of 14 months.
What have you taken from the programme over the last 14 months?
The programme has had a huge impact on my professional development, and I’ve probably only reflected on how much now that it’s over. One of the biggest examples would be that, prior to starting the programme, I lacked confidence when it came to presenting or chairing meetings. The skills and theory I have learnt, along with encouragement from my coach, have helped me to feel a lot more comfortable doing this. It’s improved my professional relationships and allowed me to be more assured in my decision making, how I deliver feedback, and how I manage and prioritise my time.
On a more personal level, I'm proud that I was able to commit to studying again for the first time since leaving university ten years ago. There were times where managing the programme alongside my full-time job was challenging but having now completed it, it’s a huge sense of achievement.
You've now completed the course: how did you do?
I passed the programme with distinction (yay!).