Leadership and Management Essentials

icons8-email-64 If you have queries around Leadership and Management Development, contact the  Organisational Development team.

Whether you are a first time manager or an experienced manager taking over a new team, your first few months offers a great opportunity to make a positive impression and begin building credibility with your employees and peers. 

Below is a range of resources and development opportunities to help you succeed in your new role.


The development journey has been developed to ensure all managers (academic and professional support) have access to the development and support they need to do their job.

For a full list go to page 10 of the Management Essentials Handbook.

Why not start by listening to our short vidcasts delivered by the HR team and University legal providers on key employment issues or look at the quick reference guides for an overview of key HR processes.

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Click here

Organisational Development have a range of toolkits to allow you to develop as a manager. You can find them  here.

The Coaching Culture Platform provides you with ‘in the moment’ development you can use to grow your skills and mindset http://coachingculture.aston.ac.uk.

Organisational Development can also help you access courses to develop your management and leadership skills and your career. We offer courses for:

  • ILM Level 3 Qualifications in Leadership and Management 
  • The Aston Women's Leadership Development Programme
  • ILM Level 5 Coaching and Mentoring 
  • Level 5 Operations/Departmental Manager Apprenticeship
  • Level 5 Coaching Professional Apprenticeship

Download our Leadership and Management Development Framework

Download our Coaching Framework

One of the key measures of success of the manager is the creation of a competent and high performing team.

16 Personalities is a free tool you can distribute with your team to start a conversation on roles and strengths and preferences

Understand how Team Dynamics work by watching this video.

The resources below are a place to start in building a successful team:

  • The stages of effective team formation are discussed in this video
  • Leading Teams Training can be found here.
  • Skills Boosters discuss the different types of roles in teams and how they complement each other here (self-enrolment on course required)
  • Practical toolkits for creating effective teams can be found here

Resources on team resilience:

Resource on how to have effective meetings:

Finally, some excellent resources on team building are provided through Mind Tools

Managing a team remotely requires a different, and possibly new, skillset for managers. These resources cover different aspects of managing remote workers:

Useful information and resources

My Development Conversation (My DC) is a new approach to how we hold performance reviews.

My Development Conversation is about setting your work priorities for the year, aligned to the University's strategic plan, your department or service plan and underpinned by our values.

It is about having positive, future focused conversations throughout the year rather than simply at the beginning and at the end.

It is also about you taking responsibility for your performance and development and owning your role in the process.

icons8-natural-user-interface-2-64Click here to find out more.

Organisational Development support managers at Aston through face-to-face delivery of courses, and resources online. 

The toolkits have been developed to provide a range of resources you can use to work with your team on areas such as problem solving, team learning and building resilience. They are based on proven team coaching models. 

To learn more about the Toolkits book onto the Optimising Performance course through Core or contact your Organisational Development Business Partner who can talk you through how to get the best out of these resources or co-facilitate sessions. 

Building Resilience
Creating a Team
Managing Stakeholders
Problem Solving 
Team Interventions
Team Learning
Managing Meetings
Assessing the Environment
Wellbeing Toolkit

icons8-natural-user-interface-2-64Visit the equality and diversity pages to find information, policies, activities and ways to get involved with Equality, Diversity and Inclusion here at Aston

icons8-natural-user-interface-2-64For wellbeing resources for managers click here. 

icons8-natural-user-interface-2-64For health and safety information click here.

End of year:

The University has a financial year end of 31st July. The year end financial position is used to assess how Aston has performed against its strategic plan and budget. Aston also has a statutory duty to produce annual financial statements which are audited externally. The auditors spend several weeks on site checking records and talking to finance and wider staff about the results being presented. They are required to report on whether the financial statements give a true and fair view on the state of Aston’s finances.

The University has a financial year end of 31st July. The year end financial position is used to assess how Aston has performed against its strategic plan and budget.  Aston also has a statutory duty to produce annual financial statements which are audited externally. The auditors spend several weeks on site checking records and talking to finance and wider staff about the results being presented. They are required to report on whether the financial statements give a true and fair view on the state of Aston’s finances.

To ensure a clean audit at year end, school and central services accountants work closely with their contacts to check that all costs and income are accounted for in the correct financial year. This entails correctly receipting all purchase orders and accounting.

The budget round:

Aston University plans its future finances, both income and expenditure, at least 5 year forwards.  Each year, this strategic plan is used as the start of an annual budget. Starting in January, schools, central support departments and their finance teams estimate what finances they will need over the coming financial year including staff, non-pay and capital spend as well as income estimates. Schools meet with the Vice Chancellor in March to discuss their proposed budgets. These figures are consolidated and reviewed centrally in March/April against the predicted available income to ensure that Aston can meet its annual aims and its longer term Aston Vision plans.  The budget is finalised in May/June, agreed by Council and submitted to HEFCE at the end of July. It is reviewed again in the autumn once the student intake numbers are known to ensure that Aston’s aims are still achievable for the year.

Once finalised, these budgets are reported against every month so that senior management can assess the performance of the University toward achieving its goals.

icons8-natural-user-interface-2-64For more information go to  finance intranet pages

Other resources:


All Academic staff (Teaching and Research) are invited to apply for promotion on annual basis.  The process is instigated by Human Resources late November/December each year.  Individuals can apply for promotion to Senior Lecturer, Reader or Professor in line with the published criteria in the areas of Research, Teaching and the Wider Mission of the University.  Individuals must demonstrate excellence in one area and ability and effectiveness in the other two. Applications from Lecturer Grade 8 to 9 are also considered.  Individuals submit an application form which is considered by a School Promotions Committee.  All applications supported at School level are then considered by the University Promotions Committee.  Promotions are effective from 1 August (1 April for grade 8 to 9).  

This involves : VC, Deputy VC, Pro- Vice -Chancellors ,Executive Dean Deputy Dean, Associate Deans, Head of Groups.

Internal Academic Staff Promotions Procedure

The Research Excellence Framework 

The Knowledge Excellence Framework (coming soon) 

Centre for Learning, Innovations & Professional Practice 

For two days the senior management team at Aston attend an event off campus. The event is held on an annual basis and is a mechanism by which the senior management team can come together to develop relationships and discuss future challenges and discuss solutions. To every event a number of middle-managers are invited to share their views and ideas, and to participate in discussions and debate.

The outcome of this event is shared publicly across the University with each of the Executive Team inviting all staff in their areas to attend sessions at which the outcome/ themes from the events are discussed. The Advance is usually held in September.

Two main bodies are involved in the governance of the University: the Council and the Senate. The constitution and terms of reference of the Council are set out in the University Statutes and while those of the Senate are contained in the   University Ordinances, the day-to-day management of the University is the responsibility of the Vice-Chancellor assisted by the Executive Team.

The Council and Senate have undertaken reviews of the University committee structure in recent years with a view to expediting and streamlining the decision-making process and aligning it more closely to the University Strategy (‘Aston 2020’), eliminating the former replication of consideration of issues in different committees and optimising the use of the time spent by colleagues in committee work. The Committee System aims to balance the need for managerial accountability and effective and efficient governance and management with the requirement to maintain the democratic procedures for representation of views set out in the University’s Charter and Statutes.

The Council and Senate have established a number of Committees with delegated authority to undertake detailed work on their behalf.


icons8-calendar-64Events for managers 



icons8-bookmark-64Change Wheel

Change wheel

By 2023 Aston University will have a international reputation for the delivery of outstanding graduate outcomes and equipping business and the communities with the skills for the future.’

The challenges we face to achieve this ambitious vision are great, this means as a University we need to remain fluid, constantly change and improve to meet the increasing needs of our beneficiary groups

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