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Developing capacity

Personal effectiveness, mental toughness and emotional loyalty training; impact on recruitment and retention rates in four diverse provider social care organisations


To evaluate a new training programme designed to reduce staff turnover rates in rural Cumbria by engendering ‘mental toughness’, ‘personal effectiveness’ and ‘emotional loyalty’ among managers and their staff. The evaluation explored how the training was implemented.



Research team

Michelle Cornes and Jill Manthorpe (SCWRU)
Lesley Gill, Sandy Armstrong and Mark Bowes (Care Sector Alliance Cumbria)


Care Sector Alliance Cumbria (CSAC)


The evaluation was small scale due to resource constraints. Focus groups and interviews were carried out, informed by change theory.


Although it was not possible to see reduced staff turnover, the training was rated very highly. However, the ‘emotional loyalty’ part of the course was less well received. There were concerns about the overlap between the ‘emotional loyalty process’ and procedures for staff supervision and appraisal.



Cornes, M., Gill, L., Armstrong, S. & Bowes, M., (2010), 'Personal Effectiveness, Mental Toughness and Emotional Loyalty Training. Impact on staff retention rates in four diverse social care provider organisations in Cumbria. Evaluation report' [pdf, 97 KB], Kendal and London: Care Sector Alliance Cumbria; Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King's College London. 


Cornes, M., Gill, L., Armstrong, S., Manthorpe, J. & Bowes, M., (2011), 'Can emotional loyalty training improve workforce retention rates in social care? A case study of four provider organisations in rural Cumbria', Journal of Care Services Management, 5(2): 97-104.


The findings have been taken on board by the Care Sector Alliance.

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