People development takes centre stage at Sheffield Theatres

Sheffield Theatres is in the business of creating exceptional experiences for its audiences. Key to its success is empowering employees to channel their passion into delivering these outstanding events. Working alongside BSA Training, Sheffield Theatres has provided a training and development programme for its managers over the past three months.

Sheffield Theatres is the largest producing theatre complex outside of London, home to three theatres: the Crucible, the Studio and the Lyceum. Combining classic and contemporary programming with a bold and ambitious approach, Sheffield Theatres has firmly established itself as one of the country’s leading theatres.

With many employees having worked their way up to manager level, Sheffield Theatres decided to invest in their people in order to develop their skills. To get the best possible outcome, they enlisted the help of BSA Training (, an award-winning training provider dedicated to improving people and organisations. Run by trainer, Bobby Singh, the business offers a multitude of courses such as Leadership & Management, Business Strategy, Sales and Marketing, Team Development, Communication and Customer Care.

Dan Bates, Chief Executive of Sheffield Theatres explains: “As a business, we create experiences, and our success is built on the talent and expertise of our employees. We are hugely proud of our people, and we chose BSA Training because we were confident Bobby was the right person to nurture and develop their skills.”

The training, led by Bobby Singh, covered leadership and management topics; including understanding and managing self, leading by example, managing people, developing relationships, coaching, time management and innovation. “It was important to us that our management teams had the same level of commitment and consistency,” says Dan. “Bobby took an untapped resource and gave them the tools and confidence to make a difference.”

Sheffield Theatres has a reputation for investing in new writing, the success of which often hinges on connecting the community with the work. Most recently, new musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge, with music and lyrics by Mercury Prize nominated Richard Hawley, opened to great critical and audience acclaim.  The show was accompanied by a range of activities and events that embraced local people’s stories and experiences. Local residents were the first to be invited to see the show, and this sense of community resonates among the theatre staff too.

Communications manager, Rachel Nutland, who leads a team of seven that promote shows such as Standing at the Sky’s Edge, has noted a change since staff across the organisation have completed the course with Bobby Singh: “We have a fantastic team with lots of expertise in different areas,” says Rachel. “Sometimes it’s hard to understand each other’s roles in such a large organisation, and there were some members of staff who needed a boost in confidence to stretch their expertise to its full potential. With the right, engaging trainer, we had the perfect ingredients to maximise the potential that was already there.”

As a company that produces a diverse programme of work, creating its own productions, presenting the best shows currently on tour in the UK and collaborating with a range of artists to nurture and develop new creative talent, it is also important for Sheffield Theatres to encourage existing colleagues to advance their careers through support and communication.

Sales and Customer Care Manager, Caroline Laurent, had five of her team members take part in the leadership and management training run by Bobby Singh. “Bobby’s training was massively beneficial,” Caroline says. “The best piece of advice I heard from him is ‘treat people how they want to be treated’. I had one member of staff who was driven by procedure and took on too much work himself. Even from the first session, he seemed to be more relaxed and delegated more work to peers. It had such a positive impact that he asked me if Bobby was a hypnotist!”

Since the employees graduated from their training, Sheffield Theatres has recognised their teams have built relationships and learned about each other’s roles. Technical manager, Stuart West says Bobby’s approach to training is a breath of fresh air:

“The training has provided my team with a good toolbox of skills to take with them into the next step in their careers. Bobby has a modern, fun approach to bringing the best out in people. He even has a way of engaging with those who usually shy away from the spotlight. You couldn’t give someone else his programme and expect the same workshop – Bobby is the selling point of his training courses.”

The Leadership & Management course from BSA Training is a three-part programme that helps people manage and work more effectively. Bobby explains: “In order to have a profitable business, you need effective staff. That is why this is our most popular programme. It equips employees with the skills, knowledge and attitude to manage themselves, build relationships and organise key tasks.”

Bobby is currently working with businesses in the Sheffield City Region on a local training funding initiative called SkillsBank. The scheme provides 50% funding towards training on topics like Leadership & Management, Business Strategy, Sales and Marketing, Team Development, Communication and Customer Care.

He continues: “I was honoured to work with Sheffield Theatres and their fantastic team. They have been really open to the new learning, and I’m delighted to hear they are happy with the outcome of the training.”

To find out more about the Leadership & Management programme, or the other courses BSA Training offers, visit

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