How to support managers and deputies

The successful development of new managers and deputies will depend largely on your support and direction. 

Talent alone will not be enough for them to succeed.  Your future managers will need to be nurtured, supported and developed.  They will need both the commitment of the organisation and the dedicated time of existing managers.

Supporting a member of your team in their career progression can help you to retain talented staff and create a pipeline of future managers and leaders.  In contrast, where providers and senior managers don’t protect time for people’s development or offer regular supervisions, this can lead to people feeling disempowered.

Checklist to support staff to develop

Further examples of how to support your staff are available in our ‘Good and outstanding care guide’.

Supervision is primarily about sharing, showing and giving support, confidence building, reflection on practice, assisting in skills, and learning and providing the necessary information to help another person make progress and feel comfortable in their work.

Day-to-day good supervision enables and supports workers to:

  • build effective professional relationships
  • develop good practice in the performance of their work
  • exercise judgement and make good decisions
  • improve the quality of work and daily success in treating and caring for others.

In addition to talking about your day-to-day work, if you’re responsible for supporting the development journey of a new manager or deputy then you can use supervision to also:

  • talk about opportunities they need to help you try new things, develop particular skills or complete an element of the pilot (e.g. the Manager Induction Standards or Lead to succeed programme)
  • talk about what they’re learning or the ideas they have for the service, based on something that they’ve done
  • ask what additional support, advice or guidance they need from you.

When, where and timings

  • We recommend that a regular monthly supervision is considered as a minimum for the development of your new managers and deputies.
  • You should arrange to have supervision in a confidential space where you cannot be overheard.
  • You should ensure you have sufficient time to talk about everything; you should keep a written record of what you discussed or any actions that come out of the supervision.
  • If the new manager / deputy uses a learning log (recommended), then refer to this as part of the supervision.

Further information is available in our Effective Supervision guide.


“Supervisions provided a really good way to sit down with my manager to reflect on what I was achieving and discuss what else I would like to do to get me into additional roles.”

Leanne Batten-Smith, Deputy Manager, Rose Court, HC-One



“As a new deputy manager, I was supported by the team around me, which included really inspiring people who had come from various health and social care professions.  Their expertise helped me to understand how social services worked, what a CCG was looking for and what the regulations are. All the things that lead to having a good inspection. I was learning bit by bit.”

Marissa Brown, Registered Manager, Cascade Cohen House


“We treat learning and development in the same way as annual leave in protecting people’s time to be able to do it.  The way we look at it, if you can afford to give somebody a day off for annual leave, why can’t you do the same for their development?”

Tim MacIntyre, Assistant Director of Adult Services, The Westminster Society


“It was also important for me to get to know the new locations I would be deputy manager for.  There was a one-month handover with the previous deputy manager so it was really important for me to spend time with them.  We talked about everybody in each home and their support plan, involving all the people themselves where they had capacity.”

Ben Humphreys, Team Manager, Future Directions CIC


“I’ve been very fortunate to get lots of support from my manager. It has been essential to my development. My advice is to remember that you’re a role model and that to become a successful manager, anyone aspiring to the role needs support and the opportunity to work with others.”

Lucy Doughty, Company Manager, Wirral Independent Living and Learning (WILL)


“We wanted a manager who could work alongside me and stand-in in my absence at a senior managerial level.  I understand the importance of equipping people properly with the skills to carry out their role effectively.


“My advice to other employers is to help future managers build confidence and gain a really good insight into the manager/registered manager’s role and responsibilities.”

Dave Large, Chief Executive, Wirral Independent Living and Learning (WILL)


“It’s important that I support my staff but equally I receive great support from my own Area Manager.  We work together closely and share expertise.”




Abid Ali, Team Manager, Eden Futures


“It’s important that you have the right senior management team and backing behind you to help you to progress. When meeting with staff from other organisations, I recognised just how supportive my own managers have been in encouraging me to embed new ideas rather than being told what I can’t do. 


“I feel I’ve been very fortunate to have had the support over my career, so far, of a great manager who has helped me to progress.  To be told I can’t try new things is an alien concept to me but I realise not all deputies have the same support networks I do.


“I think the higher you go in a role, the more secluded you can get from team members.  It can be quite isolating so having the opportunity to discuss day to day issues with my own manager is really important.”




Leanne Batten-Smith, Deputy Manager, Rose Court, HC-One

“My employer has helped me to undertake this extra training and qualifications and has always been available when I had questions.  I value the support I receive from my manager. It gives me comfort to know somebody is overseeing the work that I’m doing.”

Zainab Saleem, Deputy Manager, The Care Company Plus