HH Research



To us, your future is confident. It’s a future where you’re free to move forward and see the world through new eyes. That’s why we develop and build sophisticated frameworks which help individuals to acquire high levels of self understanding, building confidence and resilience leading to more positive and productive lives at home and at work.

HH Research

Hillcroft House reports and articles are listed below

2018: It’s all about - Teacher Wellbeing

SUMMARY (click on image on left to download full report)


In order to provide students with the best educational experience and the best pastoral care, teachers need to be working at the top of their game, year after year.


This is against a backdrop of increasing workload, changes in regulatory and curricular obligations and pressures to achieve improving outcomes for students.


To achieve all of this successfully, teachers need to feel confident and teachers need to be resilient.


It is well documented and acknowledged that in recent years, mental wellbeing figures for both teachers and students have been in decline. Understandably, attempts to improve mental wellbeing within schools have been generally focussed on initiatives to improve student wellbeing. This makes perfect sense and student initiatives are of vital importance. There is little doubt that these initiatives are welcome and invaluable.


Nevertheless, research also suggests that teacher wellbeing filters down to students. As such, a happy teacher will promote positive teacher-student relationships leading to greater student wellbeing and academic engagement. Conversely, an anxious or stressed teacher may quite unintentionally impact student wellbeing and academic achievement in a negative manner.


Consequently, there is a compelling logic for initiating successful, novel schemes within schools which improve teacher wellbeing and specifically improve teacher self-knowledge, confidence and resilience.


It must be made absolutely clear that there is a place for both student and teacher wellbeing programmes. The two are NOT mutually exclusive. In fact, the two should sit very comfortably together.


Alongside the essential focus on student education and care, the Head and Deputy Head Teachers at Bablake Junior School consider the wellbeing of teaching staff should be taken very seriously. In light of the points above and taking the view that prevention is better than cure, Bablake Junior School recruited Hillcroft House to deliver a wellbeing initiative to positively promote and evaluate the development of teacher wellbeing, confidence and resilience.


This was a whole school initiative which took place during the 2017-18 academic year and encompasses a ‘winning team’ philosophy which is very much in line with the school motto ‘the spirit of opportunity.  Give teachers the opportunity and the toolkit to acquire self-knowledge and the techniques to apply this knowledge successfully – then watch the win/win outcomes unfold.


Teachers received personalised reports for developing self-knowledge, something many psychotherapists deem essential for psychological wellbeing. Over one inset day and 5 ‘bitesize’ sessions, teachers were taught about their own behavioural profiles as well as those of others.


Subsequent staff interviews demonstrated teachers had successfully developed greater awareness of human behaviour at two levels: the self and others. This in turn, developed teachers’ patience and their ability to positively adapt their own behaviours in challenging situations, thereby reducing stress and improving wellbeing in a range of circumstances.

Click on image in top left to download report
2015: Growing management numbers in the NHS

Growing Management Numbers in the NHS

In the build-up to the 2015 general election, David Cameron referred to NHS Management as “a bureaucrat with a clipboard”. Media coverage has questioned the comparison between the numbers of doctors, nurses and other clinical staff with the high numbers employed in management of the NHS. National reports show that the perception of bullying behaviours is increasing in the NHS. Could this behaviour in any way be connected to the increased disparity between the numbers employed in management and those responsible for the medical and clinical needs of the NHS? Is it also one of the reasons for an abundance of whistleblowing cases?

Click on report image to read the full article

2014: Leading a ‘360° Compassionate’ NHS Organisation

Leading a 360 Compassionate NHS OrganisationIn February 2014 the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, sent a message to all NHS staff one year on from the publication of Sir Robert Francis’ report about the failings in Mid Staffordshire. “I know the reason so many of you choose to work in the NHS is because you want everyone facing a horrible illness to be guaranteed safe and kind care. And that’s exactly what the vast majority of NHS care is: a world class service for us and our families when we need it the most. But the lesson of Mid Staffs is that the system needs to be more honest more quickly where things do go wrong… Of course, it takes time to change culture, and there is much, much more to do.”

This report shows how training in the NHS can be applied on a wider scale and in doing so work towards the goal of improving patient care by creating a 360 degree compassionate NHS organisation.

Click on report image to read the full report

2014: Who Cares for the Carers? NHS Equality, Diversity & Inclusion in England

Who Cares for the Carers

This report was included in the Health Services Journal: Remove the glass ceiling for undervalued staff in 2014 and presents the findings of the investigation into how effective NHS employees feel Equality and Diversity is being conducted throughout England. After establishing the extent that the employer promoted Equality and Diversity and how effective this promotion translated to the employees, it was found that between 2008 and 2014: Over 90% of all employees said that their employer had a policy to cover Equality and Diversity and promoted this culture throughout their organisation. Nationally, fewer NHS females than males consistently feel valued and included by their employer. The number of BME and GLBT who feel valued and included by their employer has significantly increased. Although over half of the males surveyed consistently feel valued and included by their employer, there has been no significant increase.

Click on report image to read the full report

2013: NHS Leadership Culture 2014

NHS Leadership Culture 2014 & Beyond

The Report NHS Leadership Culture 2014 and Beyond, began in 2007; however, its importance became even more apparent when on Wednesday 6th February 2013 the results of the inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust were published. These results identified numerous warning signs, all of which signalled concerns for the rest of the National Health Service.
The Francis Report is both objective and meticulous. It identifies: “an insidious negative
culture involving a tolerance of poor standards” and “a disengagement from managerial and leadership responsibilities.” Is Mid Staffs unique in this, or is such dysfunction common throughout the country?
We find that much research carried out between 2009 and 2013 reveals leadership concerns:

  • ineffective management, which is estimated to be costing UK businesses over £19 billion per year in lost working hours;
  • 93% of NHS employees claim current leadership training is ineffective.


Click on report image to read the full report

2013: UK Leadership - Is it working? The Facts

UK Leadership - Is it Working

This report considers the responses given by employees in both the National Health Service (NHS) and the private sector in answer to the following questions:

  • Are you aware whether your line manager has attended leadership training in the last 12 months?
  • Have you seen any change for the better in his or her leadership style since their attendance at that training?

The first survey (2008) was conducted in seven UK regions. It was repeated five years later (2013). A total number of 1000 employees were interviewed. 500 were employed in the NHS and 500 employed by private sector companies.

This report compares the results of these two surveys and seems to indicate from the responses of those questioned, the following:

  • After attending leadership training, private sector managers are more effective than are NHS managers at utilising that training to prompt improvement in their leadership behaviour.
  • In 2008, 55% of private sector employees were aware that their line manager had attended leadership training in the previous twelve months. By 2013, this figure had decreased to a mere 22% of employees questioned. While in that same year (2008) 83% of NHS employees thought their manager had attended leadership training in the previous twelve months, this figure had decreased to 47% by 2013.

The report concludes that:


  • Leadership training provided to the private sector is apparently more effective than that provided to the NHS. Despite this, 75% of private sector employees either “disagree” or “disagree strongly” when asked if they had seen any change for the better in the leadership behaviour of their manager subsequent to him or her attending training. In the NHS this figure was even higher at 93%.


  • Since 2008 there has been a decline of investment in leadership development. This decline has been one major factor in the current people challenges which now face the UK. The potential consequence of ineffective and poor leadership on UK private sector businesses is a decrease in profitability and performance.

The resulting impact on the NHS has been covered in the findings of the Francis Inquiry

This report has been written for UK private sector executives, for NHS Chief Executives and for senior members of HR departments. Its purpose is to encourage them to consider whether these findings might apply to their own organisations. It should also support them in instigating plans which aim at reversing the findings in this report.

Click on report image to read the full report

2013: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Leadership into the 3rd decade

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

‘The Good, The Bad, The Ugly’ focusses on real case studies drawn from both the public and private sectors:

  • The Good: How exceptional leaders have made a difference to business performance
  • The Bad: The impact on an organisation of leaders who lack self-awareness
  • The Ugly: The results speak for themselves!


Click on report image to read the full report

2012: UK Management Culture of Fear?

UK Management - Culture of Fear

This report considers employees’ perception of the:

  • Performance appraisal processes and results
  • Leadership qualities of their direct line manager
  • Satisfaction levels when working for their current employer

The results show that:

  • In 2008, 58% of employees felt that their direct line manager did notcommunicate effectively and concisely until the formal performance appraisalprocess. By 2012, this figure had increased to 72%
  • The quality of essential leadership and engagement skills necessary for amanager halved or more than halved between 2008 and 2012
  • The 2012 results show a higher than expected rise in the number of dissatisfiedemployees, with 90% definitely considering leaving their current employer

This report compares employees perception of management culture in the UK (2012 compared with 2008).

It considers employees’ perception of the:

  • Performance appraisal processes and results
  • Leadership qualities of their direct line manager
  • Satisfaction levels when working for their current employer.


Click on report image to read the full report

2011: Why Should Anyone Be Led By You?

Why Should Anyone Be led By You

This report has been completed to establish how the type of leadership skills a manager possesses can be linked with their ability to effectively manage performance issues, achieve deadlines and minimise the behaviours that lead to the perception of bullying in the workplace. It follows two previous surveys which were the baseline for this report.


500 employees were surveyed nationally and asked to respond to questions in order to capture their perception of their direct line manager’s leadership skills.


Click on report image to read the full report

2011: Managing Poor Performance

Research has shown there is a knowledge and skills gap in the way organisations are managing performance challenges. The gaps are costing organisations thousands of pounds in tribunal costs, sickness and conflict.

The Roffey Park Institute has shown that just over half (51%) of public sector managers said underperformance was tackled ‘not at all well,’ whereas the figure for the private sector was 34%. While 64% of private sector managers described themselves as‘very confident’ about tackling underperformance, the figure for public sector managers was just 49%.

In Q1 2011 Hillcroft House asked 250 managers nationally to highlight their top three concerns when managing performance issues:

The results were:

1. Not having the right skills (42%)

2. Not having the confidence (39%)

3. Not knowing how to apply the relevant policies (19%)


The survey findings also highlighted there was an adverse impact on several indicators including:

  • Low productivity,
  • Low motivation,
  • Negative mindset,
  • Poor communication,
  • High stress levels.
2010: Bullying and Harassment in the NHS - A Solution to Overcome the Challenge

Bullying and Harassment in the NHS

This interim report has been written as a practical response to the costly bullying and harassment challenges which exist among NHS staff and are currently being experienced across all regions.

The evidence for bullying and harassment is highlighted in the NHS Health and Well-being Review led by Dr Steven Boorman, (November 2009) and produced after Dame Carol Black’s report Working for a healthier tomorrow (March 2008).

Click on report image to read the full report

2008: How effective are managers at communicating with their staff?

Of the 350 employees we surveyed about their employer’s annual review process:

  • 42% said the feedback they received was accurate and fair
  • 36% said the feedback was the same as they received at their previous review
  • 22% said that although they agreed with the feedback on the day it was unexpected

This survey suggests that 58% of employees are not being communicated to effectively by their direct line manager until the annual review.

This survey was conducted accoss the UK* with employees from private sector organisations
* 7 UK regions