Meet the team: becoming better managers together

Earlier this year, groups of employees from companies such as IBM, ManPower and took the University of Reading’s free online course “Managing People: Engaging Your Workforce” together. Ahead of the course’s return in January, we spoke to the team at about how the course has helped them become better managers.

A team of professionals having a meeting at work was founded in 2008 and now provides discounts for over 2,500 stores, restaurants and tourist attractions in the UK, helping millions of consumers save money every week. But the company’s rapid growth created a predicament for its management team, as Simon Migliano, Senior Director, Editorial & Operations, explains.

“We were at a point of transition in our company life. We’d gone from 20 people to 100 people quickly. The company had changed from being a founder-led startup to something more corporate. We needed to make sure that we became who we wanted to become.”

It was this need that prompted Simon and many of his colleagues to join “Managing People: Engaging Your Workforce” – a course taught by Henley Business School, which looks at management theory and psychology, but also considers management to be as much of an art as a science. Both current managers and aspiring managers took the course – and all of them got something out of it.

Considering individuals’ motivations

“The course made me think about what type of person I am in the workplace,” says Delphine Lyon, Paid Media Associate. “You get given lots of theories and it’s interesting to learn how different personalities can clash in the workplace.

“The course has helped me learn not only how to manage, but also how to deal with my own manager – I can now tell him what motivates me.”

Alex Bosier, a Marketing Executive, adds: “It made me realise how difficult it is to find out what motivates you, which is really important when managing people. It opened my eyes to the fact that motivation is very different for different people.”

Taking on a management role

Alex wasn’t managing anyone when he started “Managing People,” but he’s now managing 26 freelancers. “I think the course probably helped me to secure my new position,” he says. “This is something that I would list on my CV.”

Even for experienced manager, Simon, the course offered something new.

“It was certainly the most academic training we’ve ever had,” he explains. “But actually taking the academic approach has been really new and has made me think about things in a different way.”

Creating a happy, well-rounded team

“The course has made me want to refine my recruitment,” continues Simon. “It’s made me think more deeply about the profile of my team at the moment and what sort of person would fit well into that dynamic rather than solely focusing on skills. When recruiting people now, I think about how these people will manage people.

“And in terms of how I manage people, the course has changed my focus from the operational side of the business – rather than bee-lining towards my business goals, I now focus more on the people in my team. We’ve been more conscious of our team morale.”

Learning with FutureLearn

The experience of taking training online has also been refreshing for

“The only other training we’ve had is two hour sessions or at most a full day,” says Simon. “The best thing about the course and the platform was the fact that we could offer it to the team without it having a big impact on the company – they could do it individually at a time that suited them, then get together to discuss it.”

“We had 2 hours per week to take the course and I did the rest at home,” continues Delphine. “I didn’t take the course because I had to – I took the course because I wanted to and I knew it would be useful for me.

“I found the site easy to use and navigate. The video at the beginning which explains how to use the site was really helpful. I put a few comments up and it was great to be able to listen to other people’s.”

“The course has been an interesting period of self-reflection,” concludes Simon. “There were a real mix of people who took the course and it has been really different to a bunch of managers sitting around the table.”

“Managing People: Engaging Your Workforce” starts again on 12 January – join the course now or take a look at our other Business & Management courses.

Category Business

Comments (15)


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  • Stanley Malisaba

    This is a must do course, very interesting indeed

  • Elena

    Sounds interesting course looking forward.

  • Ritu chand

    I am lookforward to voucherCode. Hope l will get english best in the future.


    After having gone thought the story of how mangers of Voucherscode .UK have benefited from the course I am also excited to join the course in managing workforce which one of the toughest challenges one face in today’s very dynamic business environment . I hope this course will equip me with the necessary skill and knowledge to face the challenge of managing people at my work place.

  • Tahsin A. Qadir

    I am from Kurdistan . My country is going to become independent from Iraq, so there now are lots of foriegn companies working here. and there will be more coming if we will be free enough. they will need people for managing. till now i have been working in somewhere where i needed managing skills. i like to study practically in abourd in managing, especially in UK, but i can’t do that due to lack of income. so i wish this course makes some of my dreams real.

  • Marion

    I am looking forward to undertaking this course, and hope to gain lots of advice and skills on how to manage and encourage people to work to their best ability and contribute to a busy and dynamic office. I am only managing and supervising an Apprentice at present (in the future it will be more staff members) but sometimes not sure on how to address and deal with certain problems.

  • michael

    i really can’t wait to start this course. is going to help me a great deal

  • Francesco P.

    I’m very excited about this course. I’m sure I’ll learn new ways on how to manage people and problems whithin the office.

  • Tsimako Tsimako

    I’m looking forward to learning from the course and the community about people management. At one point I will run my own business and I know this will come handy. Again at the end of the course, I expect to have an idea about good strategies essential for running a high performing organisation with regard to one of the most important aspect – human resource.

  • Renan Faria

    I’m not a manager yet, but I want to reach this position. Therefore, I am driving all my efforts in order to be ready when an opportunity arises. I’m studying English every day, updating my education mainly on management.

    In the future, I want to apply for a MBA in UK.

  • Geraldo Nilton de Oliveira

    I want to learn a lot with this course.

  • Teresa Galvan

    I´m very interested and motivated in study this course, I agreed with Henley when mentioned “management to be as much of an art as a science” and it is really very difficult when the team is not motivated and they have differents goals or simply” they don´t have the shirt ” it means the objective is not according with the company objecty. I hope learn a lot with this course. Thanks in advance for the oportunity to be part in this.

  • May Thu Khaing

    i interest to this course

  • Diane Irwin

    Nice to read the perspectives of others and see how these have changed when taking other factors into account which the course has been able to highlight.