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Take Part in ILM Research Project

ILM’s ‘First Time Manager’ Research Project

As you know, ILM is the UK’s leading leadership and management development organisation, working in partnership with employers and training providers to develop leaders and managers at all levels. We have been asked by the ILM and David Pardey, ILM’s Senior Manager, Research & Policy to take part in this exciting research project and we would like to invite you take part, if possible. The project is to follow some newly appointed managers for their first three months in post, to find out what they find straightforward to deal with and what presents challenges or problems for them. This has not been done before and so there is no reliable research to help employers provide appropriate support and guidance for newly appointed first time managers. The challenge for ILM is to identify these new First Time Managers (FTM) as soon as they are appointed so that we can interview them just before they start in their new role and during their first 100 days.

That’s why we are asking you to take part in the project. We need you to be prepared to ask any newly appointed FTM if he or she is willing to be part of the research and to let us know if they agree. We realise this won’t happen everyday, and the project is expected to last for the rest of the year, so it’s just a question of waiting until you make an appointment. We are approaching a number of employers, and we can only work with 20 FTMs, and once we have hit the target number we will not be able to accept any more, so they will be selected on a first come, first served. However, you will be amongst the first people to learn what we find out whether or not any of your FTMs take part.

What is a ‘First Time Manager’? What we want to do is to monitor the first three months’ experience of people who have never held a position in which they are responsible for supervising other employees, and who have just been given this responsibility for the first time – these are our target ‘First Time Managers’. It’s not about the title ‘manager’, it’s the supervisory responsibility that really matters.

What’s in it for Everyone Who Takes Part?

  • For you, as an employer, there is a chance to be part of a project that will gain significant insights into what it is like to be a manager for the very first time – we will invite you to a seminar at the end of the project to give full details of our findings, and your support for the project will be acknowledged in any reports we produce (unless you would rather remain anonymous).
  • For the new managers there will be free six months membership of ILM with access to all the learning resources and other support available to members, as well as having the opportunity to discuss any problems they may experience with our researchers. (However, it’s important to note the researchers will not be providing coaching or other services, as that would affect the value of the research. However, there is evidence that simply taking part in research like this has a very positive impact on individual performance, as it helps people reflect on their experiences, from which they can learn.)
  • For the new managers’ line managers (who will also be interviewed), there will also be the opportunity to discuss any challenges they may experience in supervising a new manager.
  • What level of commitment are we asking for? As soon as you tell us of a newly appointed FTM, we will arrange a face to face interview with them and their line manager. The FTM will then be interviewed by ‘phone every week for the next four weeks, then every fortnight for the following two months, with a final face to face interview at the end of this three month period. The line managers will also be interviewed face to face at the start of the period (at the same time but separate from the FTM), then once a fortnight for the first month and once a month for the next two, with a final face to face interview at the same time as the FTM debriefing.

We guarantee not to pass on any information we receive from any of the participants, about their experiences in their new roles. It is important that they feel free to tell us everything, so that we gain a full picture of what it has been like for them. We will combine these findings with those from all the other participants in any reports or other materials we produce, making it impossible to identify any particular respondent’s reports.

If you are willing to take part in this exciting (and novel) project, we’d be very grateful if you would let us know, and copy in to David Pardey, ILM’s Senior Manager, Research & Policy. He will then get in touch to let you have a document to pass onto the FTM inviting them to take part in the research You can also get in touch with David if you want any more information about it then contact us.

As soon as you appoint a new FTM who is willing to be part of this project, you should let David know and he will arrange for a research consultant to be in touch. We hope you are willing to take part; we are sure you will agree that anything that can be done to improve the initial experiences of new first time managers will ensure that they perform more effectively then and for years afterwards.

"Experience plus reflection equals learning" - John Dewey