Managing Team and
Individual Performance


Ryan Langdon

Ryan Langdon

The course was helpful as it showed me what I could do to build my confidence. But also, importantly, it revealed how I could empower the people in my team to help me be a better manager.

Verified by an engineer

Ryan, 32, studied electronics at University of Sheffield and, after a couple of graduate positions, joined Intelligent Energy in 2018 as an engineer. Intelligent Energy is based in Loughborough, with additional locations in California and Tokyo, and it manufacturers hydrogen fuel cell systems that are used in drones, cars, forklift trucks, airplanes and more. “We make complete products that can be integrated rather than just the fuel cell. My department is responsible for the electrical aspect – essentially, we design the system that goes round the cell and keeps it happy. We call it the balance of plant,” says Ryan.

Ryan soon rose to Principal Engineer and was then appointed Electrical Manager in early 2022. “When I became Electrical Manager, we were a team of three. I’ve grown that to 13 staff and there have been some challenges that have come with that,” he explains. “It was as if I had two teams: a small, mature team who knew the product and how we worked, and a new team with a lot of new faces, but not much infrastructure. I’ve had two different aspects to manage.”


Why the Managing Team and Individual Performance course?

“I’m quite new to being a team manager and I wanted to build my skills up quickly. There has been a lot of learning on the job. I’d always been interested by a move into management, and I guess I am not too bad at it or I would not have got the role! I was keen to take some courses to improve my approach. Managing people is a massive part of my day-to-day job.

“I talked to my line manager about training courses and he strongly recommended the IMechE. We both thought some formal training would help me. I was looking for a way to boost my confidence and give me backing for what I was already doing, as well as to learn some new tools to do things that I wanted to do.

“I was thinking about enrolling in the New Engineering Manager course when the opportunity came up to take this course, instead. My manager had been due to attend it but couldn’t, so asked if I wanted to take his spot. I said, “Absolutely, no question.” Then, as it turned out, he became free to do the course, so we both went.

What was your experience of the course?

“It was unusual that my line manager was there, too – the conversations could have been interesting… It’s to the trainer’s credit that he knew which areas might be difficult for us to work on together and split us up for those. But we also worked together on other areas. The trainer obviously had experience of this sort of situation and he managed it really well. It was very considered and didn’t feel awkward at all.

“I do think I am lucky that my manager is pretty open. That’s just as well as we talked about managing up, too! The course was really useful as there were some things my manager hadn’t considered, but that I was still interested in. A good example is a team charter.

“Two years ago, I watched a LinkedIn video about team charters. I wrote a note to myself that said: ‘You can’t do this in real life. It’s impossible!’ But we examined it on this course, and my manager said, ‘I know Ryan likes this idea and I can see that it’s a really good approach.’

“So, I’ve taken the example of a team charter that was provided in the course, added to it to reflect our company and now, two years after watching that video, I am implementing a team charter with my team. It was this training and my manager’s support that enabled me to do that.”

What are the key reasons someone should attend the Managing Team and Individual Performance course?

1 “Before the course, I didn’t really think about what tools I was using. Now, I’ve learned new tools to supplement my existing knowledge and I think carefully about how and when to use them.”

2 “I’ve done a few courses over the years, in different formats and from various suppliers. The IMechE provides the highest quality I’ve experienced.”

3 “The course really helps you understand how the approach for managing a team and an individual are completely different.”

What’s been the impact?

“I’ve had quite a few challenges since I became Electrical Manager. Mostly it was the confidence that what I was doing was correct. The course was helpful as it showed me what I could do to build my confidence. But also, importantly, it revealed how I could empower the people in my team to help me be a better manager.

“One of the areas we talked about was the stages of a team: ‘Forming, storming, norming, performing.’ Obviously, you want to get to the performing stage as quickly as you can. Teams are an organic thing that go through these stages. The course helped me realise that with all the new people joining my team, I might get this honeymoon period where everything seems positive but then a negative dip might come along.

“I now know this happens with teams all the time. When that dip comes, it’s not that I am a terrible manger and it’s not panic stations. It will pass. So, for me, it’s a confidence thing and validation. I need to remind myself, ‘We will come out the other side’ and try to think, ‘What can I do to speed up coming out the other side?’

“One of the interesting aspects for me was that I’d worked with part of the team as an engineer before I was promoted. I know what I think from the outside, but now I need to find out what’s happening on the inside. Now I was responsible for it all.

“There was a certain culture ingrained in the team and I was trying to change that. So, I needed to look at the motivation of the team members and how we managed their performance, by using SMART objectives and things like that. That was probably the most directly applicable part of the course.”

Three pieces of advice you’d give future attendees

1 “When you identify poor performance in a team, what do you do to address that? Or an individual’s performance? Bring these examples with you. You may be able to work out a solution with a stranger who has no experience of your exact situation.”

2 “Bring some examples of where things haven’t worked out quite as you’d hoped. These really hit home.”

3 “The course materials are really helpful, and I refer to them still. There’s a lot there I haven’t had the chance to implement yet, but I will."

What’s next?

“I found the course really useful and the IMechE training is of a great standard. I definitely recommend this course and the IMechE. In fact, I’ve already completed more training with the institution– Communication and Influencing Skills – and I want to do more.

“I am also going to suggest one of my principal engineers goes on the New Engineering Manager course as well as the Communication and Influencing Skills course.

“Since becoming Electrical Manager, I don’t have time to do some of the things that I used to. So, I am aiming to empower others to take over certain tasks. The course has given me the tools to find out about the individuals on our team, and who will be the best team lead for each task. So, I’m doing a bit of development on the team leads – and the development of those team leads will help the team below them to perform. That’s the dream anyway.”

Managing Team and Individual Performance

  • Duration:
    2 days
  • Location:
  • CPD Hours:
  • UK-Spec:
    D, C