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The Springboard Programme

‘I wasn’t convinced that a programme just for women was for me but it was excellent. I have gained, and hope to gain in the future, so much from it. I now feel an internal confidence that I had lost, or never really had in the first place’.

– Jenny McConnachie, Senior Lecturer, Robert Gordon University

The Springboard Programme is a three month personal and work development programme for women outside management roles (it’s not a management development programme). Springboard consists of four one-day workshops and a personal 300-page workbook for each participant.

Benefits for the women who take part

Springboard Brochure
Download the Springboard Brochure PDF

Each individual has her own objectives and agenda which vary enormously, though they usually cluster around:

  • increasing confidence
  • greater assertiveness and improved work and personal relationships
  • an increased sense of direction – what next?
  • taking greater control over their lives

The results of a Springboard programme also usually cluster under these four general headings but are very down-to-earth and specific. Feedback from previous programmes shows that participants:

  • are more confident and assertive
  • have a greater sense of direction
  • have stopped procrastinating
  • balance their lives better
  • set themselves more challenging goals
  • make better use of contacts to gain information and increase their visibility

Benefits for the institution

Some organisations have measured the effect that Springboard has had on the improvement that women have made in terms of skills that are key to achieving the current business plan. Such as:

  • communication skills
  • team working
  • customer service
  • adaptability
  • maximising business performance
  • self confidence
  • accepting responsibility for their development
  • making decisions and problem solving

In addition, managers report that Springboard participants:

  • are easier to manage and are better team players
  • bring solutions, not problems, and take more initiatives take more responsibility for their development

The programme consists of:

  1. a personal 300 page Workbook which participants work through in their own time. This takes on average 3 hours a week. The Workbook is totally confidential and is never monitored.
  2. four one-day Workshops with four weeks between each. Workshops build on and support the work done with the Workbook. Participants work in small groups and are encouraged to support each other as peer-mentors in between Workshops. Attendance at all four Workshops is essential.

Subjects covered include:

  • assessing themselves, the organisation and world around them
  • establishing core values
  • setting goals and objectives
  • setting and implementing action plans
  • finding support, getting information
  • assertiveness, stress management
  • putting yourself across positively

The programme covers personal as well as work issues because the work person is developed by developing the whole person. It ensures that development is integrated because so many personal issues have a strong impact on work performance.

Feedback from managers of past participants:

“She has a more positive reaction to her job and is better able to control her responsibilities”.

“I have a different view of her now. She will take a high level of responsibility rather than expect direction and instructions. I feel more confident about giving her responsibility.”

“It has helped me in my own workload … I can concentrate on what I need to get done … it has overcome my delegation problem.”

Selection of participant responses: ‘Overall how would you say your department has gained from your participation in Springboard?’

“Coming up with more ideas and being part of a wider university network has helped me to increase the knowledge within the faculty and move things forward in areas that usually get forgotten about.”

“I have more confidence and belief in my own skills and this enables me to work with greater autonomy. The University has invested in me and I feel that I am repaying this investment by applying all my skills and knowledge learnt to do the very best that I can.”

 “The University got financially nearly 1 million Euros (because I became more confident). I also have a mentoring role and pass over the knowledge gained at Springboard.”

Why women-only?

Women and men learn differently. The Springboard programme is pro-women (not anti-men), and simply provides the participants with the most conducive learning environment. The process, content, examples and case studies are all geared specifically to women’s issues. This speeds the process up considerably and ensures the most effective use of time and energy.

For men, there is a ‘brother’ programme: Navigator, which is pro-men (not anti-women). Navigator provides process, content and examples and case studies geared specifically to men’s issues, ensuring a considerably faster learning process and the most effective use of time and energy.

The women who will get most out of the programme are:

  • self nominating. It is essential that it is the individual woman’s decision to participate; as she will be looking at personal issues and giving 3 hours of her own time each week. Commitment and self motivation are essential
  • open-minded and prepared to try out new things
  • those who feel ready for it. The programme works best with women who have life experiences to draw on, and are keen to re-assess and plan the next steps
  • supportive of others
  • keen to develop to their fullest potential

Other than these criteria, Springboard is suitable for women disabled and non-disabled at all ages and stages of their lives, all backgrounds, races, aspirations and personal circumstances.

Women looking for specific careers advice will be encouraged to find a source of advice within their own organisation.  Sometimes more senior women will wish to attend the programme and they should be aware that it contains only personal development not management or leadership development.

Why Robins-Hobden Consulting?

My personal experience of completing my own doctorate in Psychology and working in higher education for 12 years means I am familiar with the research environment, the personal challenges for researchers, and the organisational challenges for institutions. To run a Springboard programme for you, I will spend time with you to determine your institution’s and your participant’s specific requirements. I will then tailor the programme to meet your business and HR objectives and conduct evaluations to ensure that these are achieved. You will receive a bespoke Springboard programme and all the information you need to track the long-term impact on your researchers.

For an informal discussion, further information, or questions on how I can help you and your researchers, please contact me.