Robert Webb Holding Whatever Sign


Must-have skills for managing people.

Learnx 2016 Platinum Award

Move to Basildon and grow a beard.


Video Arts Management Essentials deliver swift, concise learning in the form of 34 micro-learning videos and 11 online courses that are accessible at the point of need, relevant and rewarding.

In each film, lasting between one and three minutes, new and would-be managers will grasp the key learning points of a subject while enjoying the Video Arts comedy approach. Starring Robert Webb, Helen Baxendale, Tom Bennett and Lucy Liemann.

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Available as video or e-learning courses

The Reasons For Absence

Ask what was wrong and probe if necessary. Get them to take responsibility. Be prepared to be flexible

Taking Responsibility

Agree a plan of action. Monitor the situation.

Spotting The Signs

Tackle the absence as soon as possible; don’t leave things to fester.

Acknowledging The Problem

Recognising you have an absenteeism problem.

A Process For Absenteeism

Help managers tackle absenteeism within their teams with Tim Vine and Nina Wadia.

Return-To-Work Interviews

Talk to the employee face-to-face. Prepare your emotions and the facts.


Taking a structured and positive approach to reduce absenteeism.

Create a Behavioural Profile

Recruitment interviewing with James Nesbitt and Rebecca Front. Use the concept of ‘behavioural interviewing’ to predict the future performance of candidates. Rather than using intuition, an interviewer can use the questioning techniques demonstrated in this programme to retrieve relevant information based on a candidate’s past experiences.

In Action

Dealing with different types of candidates.

How Not To

Don’t: Ask leading or complicated questions; Make assumptions; Let your feelings show; Allow interruptions to the interview; Interrupt the candidate (except for control); Humiliate the candidate.


The four stages of an interview: Observe, Record, Classify, Evaluate

Making decisions

Making Decisions:

A jacuzzi in my office

Collect the facts. Consult everyone involved. Make the decision.

Valuing the individual

Valuing The Individual:

That's not what we pay you for

Give people confidence in their value as individuals.

Valuing the team

Valuing The Team:

Our 'so called' team

Give people confidence in their value as part of the team.

Valuing their job

Valuing Their Job:

I know we said next week but that was last week

Give people confidence in the value of their job.

Notice The Need And Create The Opportunity

Counselling Skills for Managers with Ricky Gervais. Help your staff achieve a healthy work/life balance by addressing personal problems.

Establish The Facts and Options

Help people to think things through and find their own solutions.

Make It Private, Unhurried And Confidential

Know how to recognise personal problems that may be resolved through counselling.

Reassure Them

Ask open questions. Listen. Summarise and rephrase.

Admit Your Own Difficulties

But don’t express your own views.

Counselling Follow Up

Accept their solution and agree a review date.


Handling delicate personal situations in the workplace and encourage individuals to overcome problems proactively.

Setting the scene for counselling

Setting The Scene For Counselling:

You think you've got problems?!

Notice the need. Create an opportunity. Make it unhurried & private. Encourage people to talk. Reassure them. Ask open questions and give feedback (eye-contact, rephrase and summarise).

A counselling meeting

A Counselling Meeting:

Move to Basildon and grow a beard

Help them to think it through. Admit your own difficulties. Don’t express your views. Establish the facts. Let them find the solution. Accept their solutions. Agree an action plan and review date.

Active listening

Active Listening:

Too fond of the sound of their own voice

Maintain attention – take notes and ask questions. Use positive body language – sit forward, use open hand gestures, smile. Reflective listening techniques: ask open questions, empathise, Summarise, clarify what has been discussed and the next steps.

Reasons for absenteeism

Reasons For Absenteeism:

Lazy, empty-headed skivers

Identify the reasons. Do it face-to-face. Prepare your emotions and the facts. Ask what is wrong and probe.

Recognising absenteeism

Recognising Absenteeism:

I'll give him a 'personal issue'!

Acknowledge the problem. Look out for warning signs and patterns.  Keep records so you have the facts. Tackle absence as soon as possible.

Solutions to absenteeism

Solutions To Absenteeism:

What are you going to do about it?

Agree a solution. Get them to take responsibility. Be flexible. Monitor the situation

Coaching goals

Coaching Goals:

Helping them to help you

Promote discovery. Set the parameters.

Coaching tips

Coaching Tips:

I'll be off then

Authorise and empower. Recap.

Preparing to coach

Preparing To Coach:

Why would I coach anyone?

Agree the topic. Identify the goals.

Setting SMART Targets

Setting SMART Targets:

I didn't want a sandwich!!

Specific. Measurable. Agreed. Realistic. Timed.

A Bad News Meeting - Limit the Damage

A Bad News Meeting – Limit The Damage:

Why should we pick up the pieces?

Put it in perspective, discuss how it will be announced, talk about future opportunities.

A bad news meeting - Listening

A Bad News Meeting, Listening:

Get ready for the reaction

Listen to the response. If they get emotional, ride the storm. If they clam up, probe. If they argue, stand your ground.

Preparing to give bad news

Preparing To Give Bad News:

Get ready to give bad news

Prepare the facts. Prepare your emotions. Try writing down the first part of what you need to say.

The reasons behind discipline issues

The Reasons Behind Discipline Issues:

Shut up, I'm a great listener

Explore the reasons for the gap between standards and performance.

Managing problem behaviour

Managing Problem Behaviour:

Red, Amber, Green

RED – Behaviour that can damage the clients, company, or colleagues. e.g. Aggression, malicious rumours.
AMBER – Behaviour that fuels red behaviour (not intervening in bullying or abuse, listening to malicious rumours).
GREEN – Behaviour that all company members should have – helpful, polite and objective.

Discipline - Check the facts

Discipline – Check The Facts:

What's your problem?

Establish the gap between standards and performance.

Solutions to discipline issues

Solutions To Discipline Issues:

Let's dig over the past

Eliminate the performance gap by agreeing an action plan.

Active listening

Active Listening:

Too fond of the sound of their own voice

Maintain attention – take notes and ask questions. Use positive body language – sit forward, use open hand gestures, smile. Reflective listening techniques: ask open questions, empathise, Summarise, clarify what has been discussed and the next steps.

Motivating through feedback

Motivating Through Feedback:

Just be more productive

Agree targets and let people measure their performance.

Motivating through information

Motivating Through Information:

They don't need to know this stuff

Inform: tell people why they matter.

Motivating through praise

Motivating Through Praise:

You're still the worst performing team

Recognise and praise achievements.

Learning through practise

Learning Through Practise:

In at the deep end

Practise in a low-risk setting.

Training bit by bit

Training Bit By Bit:

This is where it gets complicated

Introduce people to new things a little bit at a time.

Training with context

Training With Context:

Subtitles on taps

People need to know what context they’re working in to get the job done right.

What is Coaching?

Coaching: Is one to one; Happens at the workplace; Is about helping individuals to learn by discovery and hands on experience; Involves line managers and work colleagues, not trainers.

Listen Actively

Concentrate. Listening actively means thinking actively about what the learner is saying. It means observing the learner’s body language. Look interested. When we are talking to one another all we see is what is on the outside.


Check on progress. As people grow in confidence they sometimes begin to take short cuts or pay less attention than they should to the key points covered during coaching. Coaches need to make sure that learners are still carrying out tasks to a satisfactory standard.

Treat Them As Equals

It’s not a case of the boss dispensing pearls of wisdom or the subordinate waiting quietly to receive them. You are in this together.

Admit Your Own Mistakes

One way that coaches can encourage an atmosphere of mutual co-operation is to be open about their own mistakes. Because, of course, there was a time when they had to learn the task they are now helping someone else to master.

Promoting Discovery

As much as possible, encourage learners to work out how to do things for themselves by a process of trial and error and avoid telling them what to do. Instead promote discovery by asking questions. Be careful not to throw learners in at the deep end.

Encouraging Through Praise and Constructive Criticism

Good praise is specific. Those on the receiving end should know precisely what they have done well. Good praise is honest. We can all spot phoney praise. Good praise is immediate. Praise has a short shelf life. Don’t to save it up for later.

An Opportunity For Coaching

Give managers the coaching skills they need to guide and encourage their people towards greater performance. Written by Armando Iannucci and starring Rob Brydon this humorous programme uses clear messaging and practical, believable examples of how to get coaching right (and wrong).

Identify Goals and Set Targets

Goals should always be expressed in terms of what the learner will be able to do. Doing it this way gives both parties a clear measure of success. If the learner can do it the goal has been achieved. If they can’t, it hasn’t. Sometimes tasks which coaches can do without thinking about will seem impossibly complicated to learners.


Identify goals and set targets. Promote discovery. Encourage through praise and constructive criticism. Treat them as equals. Admit your own mistakes. Listen actively. Follow-up.

Listening to the candidate

Listening To The Candidate:

I'm kind of a big deal

Put applicants at their ease.  Encourage them to talk. Don’t give your opinions, listen to theirs.

Probing in interviews

Probing In Interviews:

That's right, I asked how many?

Control the interview. Don’t avoid asking awkward questions – put your doubts squarely to the applicant.

Illustration of videos on iPad

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Whether it be via our ON>DEMAND delivery service, your LMS, our LMS, downloaded or in print we will deliver you the materials you need to provide longer lasting learning that has a positive impact on your business.

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Mark Helen Baxendale
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