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After a contract review and negotiations with commissioners a community service associate director restructured the service to merge teams and create a new access service. This had meant changes to some management roles, and there had been changes in locations and colleagues leaving their positions. The management team were now leading the new teams in their new structure, but were struggling with their own internal changes. There was a sense that no one felt listened to, or able to listen to others.

From our experience with similar situations we knew that because managers are tasked with implementation in relation to their front-line teams, they can be left with the feelings of anxiety and anger from staff, which can then be expressed in their own team dynamics. We offered individual and group facilitated sessions for the management team, focusing on the way the changes had been experienced and exploring underlying difficulties not previously addressed. We facilitated a conversation where different people’s positions could be heard, and their concerns acknowledged, focusing with the group on what was needed to make the service and the restructure effective.

The management team became more supportive of each other, making times to meet both as peers and with service leads arranging meetings. This meant boundary issues between the different services could be addressed clearly and quickly, and the wider team culture shifted towards higher performance and more connection. One year on there was improved communication and better relationships across the management team. The service had also seen significant improvements in front-line staff recruitment and retention.