He’s recently changed jobs and is managing a team of brand-new apprentices. As someone who knows the journey inside out, and its challenges, he is the perfect expedition lead, with a more hands-on and individualistic approach since he completed his qualification. In this interview, he dives into that management approach and how it helps his team to flourish. Let’s discover Henry’s story…
Tell us about yourself, Henry.
My name is Henry Carman. I work for Legal & General insurance. I’ve actually moved roles, so I was the manager for operational planning within L&G insurance, but I’ve now moved into Group IT working as Data Delivery and Insight Manager.
I was doing the ILM Level 4 apprenticeship in Leadership & Management. I’ve just completed that this month, so I am very, very proud, and very excited that I’ve completed it.
Congratulations, Henry! That’s wonderful news. Did you finish ahead of time?
No, but I took a slight break in the middle. Obviously, I started the apprenticeship before COVID, so it was a very busy time, and then I had some issues at home that Sue, my assessor, was very aware of. We paused the course while we got things sorted out at home.
You mentioned that you changed jobs. What’s the difference in the managerial aspects for you?
So interestingly the number of people I manage has shrunk, but it’s started to grow again. I went from a team of nine, to a team of one. I’ve now got four additional staff on top of that, but they are all apprentices themselves. It’s really nice that I’ve been through that kind of apprenticeship journey and now I’ve got four apprentices that I can kind of mentor and stuff through their journey.
That’s exciting. So are they at the beginning of their apprenticeships?
Yes, they’re right at the very beginning of their apprenticeship. It’s nice that I’ve got kind of got to the end and that they’re at the start. I can give them some hints and tips and I know what support they need. It will be really nice to see how they flourish in their apprenticeship.
Did you enjoy your apprenticeship while you were doing it?
I really enjoyed it, the apprenticeship and what it was doing. The hardest thing about it was the management of the apprenticeship and the day-to-day work as well. But when I was involved in the apprenticeship it was fantastic. I’ve really gained from it and really taken some things that I’m progressing with now.
How did you balance the apprenticeship and your job?
With my with my original manager, I was able to take time out to do this. In fact, he encouraged the whole of the team on a Wednesday to have a number of hours of self-development time. So everyone in the team was encouraged to do some self-development or group development and so I could utilise that time to kind of look at the apprenticeship. But I also had to balance around a very busy, young family.
Did you see parallels between the course and your day-to-day work?
I would take inspiration from some of the stuff that was on the course and then utilised that within the day-to-day work to see how it worked in practice. And I’m still doing that to this day. So, a lot of the stuff around how I manage people going forward, a lot of it’s changed due to this apprenticeship.
It sounds like you’re going into situations a bit differently, with a different mindset?
Yes and it’s a different mindset depending on who I’m talking to as well, whether they’re existing staff or apprentices, for example. I’m more of a hands-off laissez faire manager and with the apprenticeships, I’ve got to be hands-on at the moment. I guess over time it will start to feel more natural in that kind of balance of where I was.
Do you think that kind of taking that in individualistic approach it improves the performance of your team?
Definitely. I don’t think one type of style is fit for all and that’s one of the main things that I gained from this apprenticeship, is understanding there are different styles. I probably wasn’t aware of that before I started this. Although I had my own style which, was a bit of a hybrid, but wasn’t understanding of all the different specific styles that were out there. And now I can apply those to each different approach and different situation.
Do you get nice feedback from your team about that? They must feel like you see them and listen to them in a way that other managers might not.
I’ve had some fantastic feedback from my previous team and from my team now.