A Hotel of Views

Talent management is essential to both the future of the sector and the organisations that make it. Consequently it makes sense to work together to provide what many cannot do on their own.

Let’s Push Things Forward

As Adam Clark noted we still have an issue with people ‘falling’ into the sector like it’s a good thing. Certainly it’s the standard joke at any housing event I’ve been to. But clichés aside we’re still behind on nurturing talent and promoting the sector as a career of choice. Part of the issue is due to the disparate nature of the beast. Whilst there are some behemoths about, the majority fall into the Small to Medium Enterprise category. Whilst not intrinsically a bad thing, it means it’s doubly hard to set up AND maintain talent programmes. They require time, effort and drive. Lose one or two key staff members and the programme falls by the wayside.

The NHF has the Young Leaders events, the CIH has the Rising Stars, both are great for highlighting the potential we have in the sector. Having met winners and finalists of both they are humble, ambitious and utterly talented people. But it strikes me that few have been able to slot into follow-on talent development programmes. The kudos gained from entering national competitions has helped get them noticed but what happens afterwards? Elsewhere the GEM Programme is an exceptional means by which to get graduates into the sector.  But again, what happens after the initial placements end? How do we, as a sector, manage the undoubtedly talented guys and gals that we have?

Ducks fly together

It’s normally at this point in a blog about personal development that Richard Branson is quoted. This blog is no different. For me, the two most notable ones from him/Virgin more generally are:

Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.

If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.

They’re great quotes, and great principles to work towards but where are Housing’s Richard Bransons? I fully agree with Nick Atkin that we need to change our shop window. But to do that we need to have an honest look at ourselves, at who we want to be as organisations and as a sector. I’ve no doubt that many organisations want to develop and invest in their staff above and beyond what they already do. But whilst that willingness may be there in terms of developing talent, the ability to do so might not be.

For me what is needed is a sector wide development programme. One that allows the participants to work within different organisations as well as between different departments as is usually the case. As I’ve said before, we’re pretty darn good at sharing knowledge and best practice. Why not share the nurturing of the talent that will drive us forward?

The advantage of working together is the shared benefits. Organisations without the ability to provide talent programmes of their own would be able to offer their staff an opportunity to develop that otherwise wouldn’t be there. Bigger organisations could benefit from an outside view of their systems and processes that could be otherwise drowned out.  There’s also potential to help even out the mix and match talent managment programmes the sector currently has. Everybody wins.

This approach might not work for all, but the worst that will happen is that we just return to what we’re doing now. Hardly the end of the world in terms of risk, so why not try?

As ever, you can find more of my stuff here and follow me on Twitter here.

Photo Credit – Eirik Refsdal (2007) Scaffold


5 Types of Co-Worker That Drive You Nuts

Whether you love it or loathe it work is something us mere mortals just have to deal with. However, there are a few types of work colleague that make a mundane job mortally offensive. Below are those culprits, hint if you don’t recognise any of these you’re probably one of them.

1 – The Talker

Whether it’s first thing as you stumble bleary-eyed, pre-coffee (bastards) to your desk. Or last thing at night when you’re desperately trying to close things down in a vain hope that you might see your significant other before you go to sleep. At that exact moment this sod will chat away as if there’s no tomorrow. More often than not it’s about the most inane shite ever (like their kittens/kids/Liverpool fc). Akin to an alert Meerkat they perk up at noise, looking to join in any conversation going. Annoyability 4/5.

2 – The Jobs Worth

Ever needed access to something that would make your working day just a little less balls-achingly difficult? This person will ensure you don’t get it unless you’ve dotted every ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t’. Conversations tend to go as below.

Spawn of Satan – “I see you’ve worked in repairs for 5yrs and you want access to the latest repairs report?”

You – “Yes”

Spawn of Satan – “I’m sorry you haven’t completed the mandatory online training on what constitutes a repair. Or wrestled a bear one armed whilst dipped in honey, I can’t give you access until you do BOTH those things.”

You – “What the actual fudge?”

Spawn of Satan – “Data Protection, sorry.”

You – “That makes no sense, DP isn’t even relevant here!”

Spawn of Satan – “I don’t make the rules…”

You get the gist…
Annoyability 5/5.

3 – The Show Off

There’s no two ways about it, this guy/gal is a dick. Typically an Audi driver, suit sharper than a professional grade kitchen knife. They talk the talk, rarely walk the walk but like a Peacock you sure as hell know they are there. Whether it is boasting about a recent business success or the ‘mental’ night they had out over the weekend they will story top you at every opportunity. Probably work in a sales-focused position or the part of finance where people are allowed personalities. Annoyability 4.5/5.

4 – The Top and Tail-er

The ultimate bullshitter, always just about to finish off that work you asked them for 3 weeks ago, never knowingly completed anything on time, always ready with an excuse as to why they’ve managed to avoid doing their sodding job. Perennially involved in asset management of some form or another. A walking HR nightmare around non-work appropriate jokes. Redeemable features include their generally affable air and the ability to tell an entertaining story (aside from when explaining why they’ve done sweet FA). Annoyability 3.5/5.

5 – The Nice Guy

Probably more an issue in UK based offices where we’re more accustomed to grumpiness and are naturally distrustful of consistently nice people. Aside from a habit of laugh talking, where every sentence dissolves into laughter, with scant regard for the general tone of aforementioned convo, this person is actually really sound. Just. Too. Nice. Annoyability – Dependent on mood.

So there you have it, if you can avoid those lot in your day to day endeavours you’ve done well. Roll on the weekend.

You can find more of my stuff here and follow me on Twitter here.