RAF Leadership and Management Experience Day

SQEP employees Izzy, Ollie and Ken were delighted to take part in Employment Engagement and Leadership Experience day at RAF Halton on 22nd June. Taking part in different styles of team leadership exercises, our consultants gained a greater understanding of some of the challenges facing our end users - the forces on the ground.

On a hot and sunny June morning, Izzy Howe, Ollie James-Knight and Ken Cooper arrived at RAF Halton to take part in the RAF Employer Engagement and Leadership Experience Day.  In true new recruit fashion, the first thing they did was to report to the kit store to be issued blue overalls.  The second item on the itinerary was to take their seats within the (thankfully cooler) Station lecture theatre for a welcome brief by Wing Commander Simon Briggs.  SQEP had been invited to take part in this event due to its status as a silver award holder of the Armed Forces Covenant; Employer Recognition Scheme and Wg Cdr Briggs started by thanking all the represented companies for their commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, before going on to outline the programme for the day.  Introductions over, the RAF trainers swooped in to ‘take control’ of their troops, leading them off to discover what challenges lay before them.   

The morning was split into four practical leadership exercises: Colour Blind, Towers of Hanoi, Ravine and Tyre Rescue.  Ollie and Izzy got stuck into the tasks straight away, contributing within their syndicates in their usual positive, engaging and pro-active manners.  While all this was going on, the course leaders provided Ken and the other task observers with insightful commentary on exhibited leadership styles.  Thanks to the excellent teamwork at play within the syndicates, they were able to present well thought out and successful solutions to the problems facing them and all participants thoroughly enjoyed the experience. 

All too soon this part of the day was over.  The hot and tired team members were relieved of their (now somewhat sweaty) coveralls and they adjourned to the Tea bar for a well-deserved spot of lunch.  The exceptional buffet spread with its giant(!) strawberries was enjoyed immensely. 

After lunch the teams were briefed on the afternoon activities which, to the relief of all, were to take place inside the Sergeants’ Mess and not outdoors in the heat.    

The afternoon session consisted of a planning activity and a separate task to ‘command’ a virtual ‘spaceship’, where teams of specialists were allotted to various virtual spaceship departments with Izzy and Ollie allocated to Ship Communications.  This exercise tested the use of a formal command structure, how to communicate with the specialist experts, and the challenge of operating in command with ‘just enough’ information to make mission critical decisions.  This exercise was a useful insight for our consultants in understanding some of the challenges facing our end users – the forces on the ground.  

Following this activity, it was time for a late afternoon cuppa (this is the RAF after all!) and de-brief.   Presenting certificates to all participants, Wg Cdr Briggs thanked them for their positive contributions throughout the day. 

All of the SQEP participants were delighted with the day and agreed it was a worthwhile exercise, with great opportunities to meet some new people and to experience the excellent leadership training that is undertaken by our RAF.   Everybody that took part absorbed something from the day (in addition to an excellent buffet luncheon) and agreed it was a productive and meaningful use of time.    

Many thanks to Wg Cdr Briggs and his staff of RAF regulars, full time reservists and reserves.  A fabulous and rewarding day, that was well worth a day out of the office and into the field.