Managers' Conference

Being an effective manager in the modern practice

This conference provides an opportunity for managers to develop their current skill set and focus their attention on the non-technical aspects of their role. It will cover specific techniques to support them in managing themselves, their teams and their clients more effectively.


Who should attend the conference

Mercia's Managers' Conference is a must-attend event for any manager wanting to improve their managerial and leadership skills.

Through this one-day virtual conference, you will get practical advice about managing and leading your team. Hear from experts on how you can add value to your employees and working environment.

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Full conference agenda

David Norris, Mercia Group Ltd

The role of manager is a hugely challenging one that requires a number of significant skills. There are competing demands of the team, professional standards and the commercial pressures from clients.

In this short session we will look at some of the key things that a manager should work on in order to get the best out of their team, keep the clients happy and still make a sensible profit!

Topics include:

  • Setting the culture
  • Leading the team
  • So what should a manager actually look at?
  • Making sure we make money
  • What if there’s a problem?
  • Developing the team

Louise Conner, Mercia Group Ltd

Planning is vital to the success of a team. It promotes transparency and shared accountability for performance improvement across the organisation and helps inform future policy and planning strategies. Monitoring performance ensures successful delivery of the plans and that team members receive full support throughout.

Topics include:
• Key objectives to improve ability and monitor team performance
• Keeping yourself in the loop
• Monitoring team performance
• Developing your team
• Performance management
• Employee engagement
• Ongoing Coaching 

David Norris, Mercia Group Ltd

The 2023 season could be difficult with costs rising due to inflationary pressures, and client demands ever increasing. To combat the negative impact of these factors, the firm needs to plan well and ensure they are prepared to engage with clients about the impact on fees.

This session will look at the following areas to help senior staff develop a suitable approach to upcoming engagements and client meetings.

Content includes:

  • Good planning / timetabling tips
    • Timetabling the whole team
    • Considerations for detailed planning points & budgeting
    • The need to manage and assess the effectiveness of the plan
  • General tips for dealing with difficult negotiations
    • Consideration of general negotiation attitudes and how to deal with them

Sales techniques that can be useful in negotiations

Malcolm Kodia, Velocity Training

Emotional intelligence (otherwise known as emotional quotient or EQ) is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathise with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.

90% of the difference between outstanding and average Leaders was linked to Emotional Intelligence (EI).

In this short session we will look at some of the key areas when communicating with Emotional Intelligence, listed below:

Emotional Intelligence Framework

  • How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
  • Changing Perceptions
  • Emotional Triggers
  • Managing your own Emotions
  • Helping other to Manage their Emotions

The range of benefits from focusing on emotional intelligence include:

  • Improved leadership
  • More effective handling and resolution of disputes
  • More effective development of team working
  • Improved negotiations
  • More cost-effective decision making
  • Better quality problem solving and decision making
  • Research shows, a higher Emotional Intelligence in an organisation also increases profitability

Louise Dunford, LD Consultancy Ltd

This will be a fast paced introduction to some key concepts for those managing people in organisations, with reference to sources of further information on each topic.

  • Demystifying status – the most common pitfalls around employment status and the impact on employment rights and tax
  • Some key concepts explained (these will then be placed in context in remainder of session)
    • Probationary periods
    • Disability
    • Unlawful discrimination in employment
    • Role of ACAS and settlement agreements
  • Absence management
    • Basic principles around sickness absence
    • Formal procedures
  • Performance management
    • Why is it important
    • How to go about it, and when
    • Formal and informal procedures
  • Conduct issues
    • Types of misconduct
    • Investigations
    • Disciplinary procedures

Louise Conner, Mercia Group Ltd

Hybrid and remote working have become the new norm, studies show that hybrid workers were the most productive albeit marginally, with remote and office workers following close behind. Now more than ever its important that managers are evolving and adapting their management styles to ensure the continued effectiveness and productivity of their team.

Topics include:

• Working as part of a dispersed team
• Supporting hybrid working
• Essential communication skills
• Health & Safety considerations
• Understanding each other’s perspective
• Effective meeting platforms

Conference speakers

Louise is our Management and Skills Trainer and Consultant and is the newest member of the Mercia technical services team.

She has worked in the financial services industry for twenty-two years, eighteen of which have been within the Learning and Development arena.

This experience has allowed Louise to perfect her motivational coaching model, to consistently achieve excellent results.

Louise is a highly motivated individual who likes to challenge herself by completing obstacle course racing, which as well as keeping her fit allows her to raise money for charity.

David is the Head of Audit & Accounts and Compliance.

He joined SWAT UK in 2000 as an audit lecturer and reviewer, having qualified as a Chartered Accountant with South West firm Thomas Westcott. In 2014, David was appointed to the board of SWAT UK as Training Director and then moved to the board of Mercia when the companies merged in 2016. He moved to his current role in 2021.

David is responsible for the technical quality of Mercia’s Audit & Accounts and Compliance Reviews, Technical Queries and Manuals, with a remit to ensure they are also practical and relevant to firms of all sizes. David also retains a lot of client contact and performs a large number of lectures and review visits, throughout the country and online.

Malcom Kodia

Malcolm has worked with many organisations across diverse markets, in both the government and public sector, Defence, MOD, Bank of England, Fire and Rescue, Police Forces, NHS, Local Authorities, Rail as well as the Food and Construction areas and well-known Car Manufacturers.

With over 27 years training experience, mainly in the corporate environment, Malcolm’s style of training is fun yet professional, always ensuring that the learning process is easy to follow for all levels of delegates.

As an experienced consultant, presenter and trainer for 27 years, he has worked extensively in the field of Sales Training, Customer Service, Emotional Intelligence, Mental Health Awareness in the workplace, Dealing with difficult people, Train the Trainer, Supervisory skills, Leadership skills, High impact presentation skills, Interpersonal skills, Personal effectiveness, Anger and stress management, Negotiating skills, Time management, Communication skills, Team building, Dealing with difficult people and many more.

Malcolm also provides training in many areas of IT (Microsoft).


Louise Dunford

Louise has been continuously involved in training and consultancy since 1987, both for professional firms and for commercial organisations. She also worked as an associate senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth. Louise specialises mainly in aspects of practical employment law, company law and on professional negligence, and has published widely in leading academic and professional journals.

She is an associate of Complete HR Ltd, providing practical and pro-active assistance with employment and HR issues for SMEs.


One Day Conference
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