World and national events over the past 12 months have shown that Leadership Matters now more than ever.
In any organisation, Leadership Matters. At Halton Housing (HH) we believe Leadership Matters. It matters because people want to be well-led. ‘Well-led’ by example, and not just in words.
We have taken the time to listen and respond to colleagues’ views via ongoing internal consultation and pulse surveys, along with a number of external assessments. There were a number of challenges identified and we have responded with our new ‘Leadership Matters’ programme.
A three-phase programme, the first step of Leadership Matters was about putting this aspiration into action and consulting with colleagues about how they would define a good leader. A series of focus groups and online surveys followed where colleagues shared their opinions about the embodiment of what a good leader looked like.
Feedback was collated, and the Organisational Development team formulated a leadership framework model that defined the ‘HH Leader’. Three core components emerged: Lead by Example, Know Your People, and Future Focus.
Why have we taken the time to establish a leadership brand, or model? Because Leadership Matters. This new framework will be used to evaluate leadership capability in our people, help us develop excellent leaders, ensure a consistency in approach amongst all leaders and identify leaders of the future.
This week marks the end of phase three of the programme, in which we have engaged an external consultancy to deliver a development course, beginning with our Homes directorate – the largest service area with the majority of front-line colleagues. It is a fantastic opportunity for all leaders – and aspiring leaders – to review their own leadership style and to develop plans to model the attributes defined in the new framework.
Colleagues have embraced the Leadership Matters course which has been challenging, engaging and practical – in equal measure, with one Manager commenting, “Thank you for the involvement in both the colleague engagement forums and the recent Leadership Matters course – both I have benefited from when considering how I manage the team during these difficult times, with positive outcomes”
This is just the start of our Leadership Matters journey as an organisation. To have been able to deliver this first three-phase programme in such a challenging year is testament to the positive attitude and willingness of the leaders in our Homes teams.
Whilst continuing to deliver frontline services, it has been a joy to see the way colleagues have embraced and participated in the programme. It has made such a positive difference and during a year dominated by Coronavirus and its challenges it has provided structure and focus. I’m confident that the training our leaders have undertaken and our ongoing commitment to leadership development will further support them to lead effectively going forward despite whatever challenges 2021 may bring.
It would have been easy to postpone or put leadership training ‘on the back burner’ in 2020, but I’m proud to say we have maintained our commitment to our leaders and their respective teams – because Leadership Matters.
Natalie is Director or People and leads on HR and Organisational Development; developing leaders, organisational culture, and recruiting and retaining people with the right skills to deliver our services.