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Being a leader means being more than someone who manages people. 

Effective leaders play a critical role in the success of an organisation and become positive role models of behaviour. 

Acas is committed to helping organisations work better and has developed the Acas framework for effective leadership to support them. The best places to work have high levels of employee engagement and are built on good working relationships, effective organisational practices and by effective leaders who can communicate well and inspire others to want to make a real difference. 

To find out more about how to lead people, download 

pdf icon Acas guidance Leading People [171kb]

Also view pdf icon The Acas framework for effective leadership [70kb]

>>> Watch Acas leadership videos

>>> View upcoming leadership training events

The Acas framework for effective leadership

Leadership skills Acas has developed a framework that helps leaders to focus on the key areas of leadership.

These are: 

Personal style 

Workplace culture 

Communication skills 

The big workplace issues




"The Acas framework for effective leadership focuses on four areas that have the highest impact on engagement and productivity. The framework can be applied to leaders at all levels as leadership is about qualities and behaviours rather than a specific role. 

What is key is identifying the opportunities for people to develop and use their leadership skills, and to create environments where good leadership can flourish. 

I'm really pleased to introduce the new Acas framework for effective leadership and also the supporting guidance and training events we have designed".

Brendan Barber, Acas Chair

Read Brendan's blog 'Let's talk about true leaders'


Exploring the Acas framework for effective leadership

Personal style 

Personal style is a leader's character, qualities and personality - and the impact they have. 

Perhaps the most important personal quality for a leader is trustworthiness. 

Workplace culture 

A workplace culture is shaped by everything from people to policies, and shared history to individual goals.    

Everyone knows what a toxic workplace culture feels like, but what makes a good culture? It often relies on leaders at all levels championing the right values and taking ownership of workplace problems.   

Communication skills 

Communication skills are essential to any manager in almost anything they do - and building on this to lead is helpful. These skills are used in familiar situations and routines, plus new ones requiring creativity and innovation. 

Successful leaders listen as much as they talk. They influence and engage a range of groups from their employees and colleagues, through to their customers and stakeholders.  

The big workplace issues 

Being an effective workplace leader relies on a good and current understanding of the key employment issues that form the foundations of a successful organisation.

These include:

Discipline and grievance | Health and wellbeing | Mental health | Performance

Why leadership skills are so important 

Around a quarter of the UK's productivity gap with the US is down to 'poor management practices' Bloom and Van Reenan (2010) 

Ineffective management costs the UK over £19 billion per year in lost working hours; 43% of UK managers rate their own manager as "ineffective". Department of Business and Skills (2012) 

Employee disengagement is contributing to our disappointing productivity figures. Analysis indicates that were the UK to move its engagement levels to the middle of the top quartile such as that for the Netherlands this would be associated with £25.8bn increase in GDP (Kenexa)

Acas leadership videos

Acas council members talk about leadership and what makes a good leader.




Acas leadership training 

Acas have new training events, based on the Acas framework for effective leadership, scheduled across Great Britain. We can also organise in-company training for larger groups.

These events are designed to make good leadership more understandable and to provide practical tips and skills that delegates can take back and use in their workplace. We explore leadership styles and any potential skills gaps that would be useful to address.

Feedback about this training from Acas Training Manager Rich Jones:
"I really get a lot out of running this training. It's clear to me how differently people see leadership as a quality, and as a set of practices that can easily be put into place. What strikes me also is how many similarities there are in what people agree a good leader acts like".

View training event listings or Contact Acas to ask about running this training in-house

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