Rotherham United FC – Award-Winning Management Training

As part of their Apprenticeship Levy Implementation Strategy, Rotherham United were keen to really make their levy contributions count, both on and off the pitch, and with a long-standing relationship with 3aaa Apprenticeships, they knew exactly who to talk to about making that happen.

Football and the Levy

Rotherham United FC have employed 3aaa Apprentices for the past 5 years in the IT and Media departments and had always seen the value of these staff as they progressed from their apprenticeships into valuable members of the team.

However, the introduction of the Levy brought a bigger problem – how could a football team use this additional training cost to translate into results both on and off the pitch?

Steve Coakley, commercial director and management apprentice explains “Football is a unique industry and we needed someone to tailor the programmes for our own individual needs. 3aaa’s background in sport and business meant it was an easy transition for us.”

The club knew they wanted to use their levy to upskill existing staff, but how?

How 3aaa supports Rotherham United

3aaa created a combined level 3 and level 5 management programme that contains bespoke, tailored content making it accessible and relevant to the football industry and the individual roles of each person on the programme, regardless of level.

“We can tailor make our courses to suit our industry which everyone has seen a huge benefit from.” – Steve Coakley

Their management programme consists of 9 people from across the business including representatives from the finance, media, retail, commercial and coaching departments including the first team manager, Paul Warne.

One of the benefits of this programme for Rotherham United FC is that it brings together team leaders and senior managers from all areas of the business creating a conduit for sharing best practice and giving a better understanding of the challenges each integral area of the business has.

The programme itself is lead by a former professional sportsperson which means the delivery style and method is completely relatable to. All the content of the management programme is written and delivered with football in mind and designed to deliver solution-focused thought processes that can be practically implemented by each manager in their roles within the club.

Steve Blews, Account Manager for Sport Delivery at 3aaa Apprenticeships explains that “I find the Rotherham staff respond really positively to a more informal style of delivery, so I incorporate discussions and group exercises wherever possible to bring the different parts of the management team together and to encourage ideas-sharing.”

Making it convenient

As part of the service 3aaa provide to levy clients, they take into account the individual requirements of the business and its learners. Rotherham United had to accommodate the schedule of the First Team manager so the delivery is held onsite at Rotherham’s ground on his day off.

This reduces the amount of time any of the participants have away from their business-critical roles, reducing the impact on the club and increasing the amount of time the participants can have with their learning coach.

The results speak for themselves

Paul Warne, First Team Manager at Rotherham United FC explains that the decisions he makes on the football pitch are more proactive because he now look at things differently as his participation on the programme continues.

The strategic planning and managerial decisions he makes now come as a result of taking a ‘big-picture’ approach to managing his team and this is all down to what he has learnt on the 3aaa management programme. “The programme has reinforced my approach to understanding everyone’s individual requirements so different personalities need different management styles.”

Paul Warne was announced as SkyBet League One Manager of the Month following an unbeaten run of nine matches resulting in a play-off position at such a key stage in the season.

Rotherham United FC continue to win games and their management team continue to enjoy and progress on their programme so everything looks set for the club to continue their run of form, and to secure a play-off place come the end of the season – Good Luck Rotherham!

Watch Steve and Paul talk about their experience with 3aaa and their management programme in this candid interview: