Taking on a lot at once

by DannyUK

Do you ever feel like you’re doing too much?


I’m writing this as I travel back from a trip up North for work where I have had a two day course teaching me an aspect of being a supervisor (endearingly referred to as the “One Best Experience” supervisor program)

This two day course (which I passed. Can we all stop for a moment to celebrate with a “Woo!”… Thank you) is part of the larger OBE supervisor course which I have been doing for two months now. It’s scheduled to go on for at least another two months, possibly longer, and is based around me supervising my staff in the branch, and being observed by my manager doing so.

That in itself seems to take up a large amount of time and effort, yet on top of that I am also doing a “Leading The Business” course which the company started rolling out to all managers in March this year, and which I started in May.

It’s a six month program and is designed to make us “leaders” rather than “managers”, and is something that the company wants everyone to pass, and for the learnings to be implemented so that it all becomes a standard throughout the network.

In order to pass (for which we receive an external accreditation, the name of which escapes me) we all have to provide evidence, covering the 6 months from initial course to when we have to do a presentation to our seniors in the bank, showing what we have done, how we have improved our staff and so on.

Co-op Bank

Ahhh, the Co-op Bank - My place of work.

Unfortunately for me I became a Branch Manager in May, which means that I am doing the LTB course alongside the OBE course, and both are content-heavy.

On top of this, I also need to manage - sorry, lead - my new branch. In May, I started in a branch that was an hour away from home. Spending two months there, and in between doing the two courses already mentioned, I began doing my best to manage the branch too. This wasn’t easy.

Although the staff were experienced and very much knew what they were doing, they had all been there for a long time, and trying to change attitudes that have been the same for a decade or more is hard. But I did my best, and I believe that I had a positive effect.

The branch I had moved into was different from the branch I left. In fact, it was a different brand, meaning there were completely different processes, computer systems, logins, you name it, it had changed. I, of course, had no prior knowledge of any of these systems, nor the way that the branch handled paperwork (and by God does this side of the business like its paperwork).

There is no natural training program either. Fortunately, the staff in the branch were able to show me what was what, and I fumbled and farted my way through without too many mistakes, but also without ever feeling like I had mastered everything.

Taking on a lot at once

Part of the coursework.

Two months in and the decision is made for me to move branch. Officially it goes down as my decision, but in reality there was no choice available, and I moved to a branch closer to home where I have to start all over again. The two months of hard work at branch one are pretty much by the wayside now, and the work I accumulated from it for my LTB course is now pretty irrelevant given that I am not there to tweak things and see the outcomes. Damn.

Of course, at the start of the year when I thought that a managerial role would never emerge, I signed up to do an NVQ in Management, which was a year-long course. I’m still doing that now, on top of LTB, OBE, a second new branch and a new role.

I can’t concentrate on just one to the detriment of others, as they are all important in various ways. I could possibly put the NVQ off, but that seems a shame so far in. As I travel back on the train, rather than having spent five days in the branch this week, I’ll be spending none.

Three days have been spent on the work courses, I have a day off and I have an all day managerial meeting also. Added to that is half a day doing NVQ stuff at the end of last week and I feel like I never spend time with my staff.

Not that I’d change anything, of course, I just like to moan. I believe that I can juggle everything that’s going on and though I’m unhappy with work for things that have happened in the background I’m not actively looking to move (though that could change, let’s be honest).

Hopefully, I’ll start next year a little less tired, a little more qualified and a lot happier.


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