Stepping into Housing Leadership

With the NHC set to launch a training programme for new and aspiring housing leaders, Glynis Osbourne discusses the importance of investing in first-time managers.

Here are our top 10 reasons to invest in first level management

The Northern Housing Consortium and Thinking Success UK will soon be launching their Stepping into Housing Leadership Programme. Running over a period of 6 months the course has been designed for those newly in management, or those aspiring to a management position, and will consist of a mixture of group sessions, 1-2-1 coaching sessions, and work-based tasks to allow individuals to reach their protentional.

In a previous NHC Member News, Glynis Osborne (Thinking Success UK’s founder and Senior Development Consultant who will be delivering the course) discussed the importance of developing future leaders as part of any growth plan in the social housing sector. Building on these themes, and based on her years of experience as a performance coach in the social housing and business sectors, Glynis here provides her top 10 reasons to invest in first level management.

  1. Often first level managers will have direct interaction and thus impact on residents and customers:

Equipping these people with strong engagement and communication skills will ensure a positive impact on residents and will instil a customer-centric philosophy that they will take with them as on their journey through your organisation.

  1. First level managers are your leaders of tomorrow:

 Developing from within an organisation, where possible, is always the best option. Investing in those already attuned to the values of the social housing sector means the development of knowledge and skills which together means your future leaders will deliver with a greater focus and passion for their organisation.

  1. “Good managers” need time to discover their own style:

There will of course be role models and existing leaders in your organisation from which to learn. But setting aside time to focus on their development – the time to learn and reflect on good skills, actions and behaviours – can help a person newly into management develop a version of their best self in their new role.

  1. Often the transition from team member to team leader can be tough:

New managers often find it easier and quicker to complete tasks themselves instead of stepping up, delegating and developing the skills of their team.  Working at this level is often where colleagues feel useful and at ease, especially if the task is one they are familiar with.  Teaching how to delegate in the right way and communicate effectively to give good quality feedback to their team members will allow new managers to embrace the new responsibilities they have been given.

  1. Start as you mean to go on:

Investing in the development of new managers from the outset sets the right precedent on what is an important role within the team structure. All colleagues will know where they stand and have a mutual understanding of what is expected of them.

  1. Managers are the messengers of your organisation’s objectives and ambitions:

Enabling your first level managers to lead from the front and communicate your organisations goals clearly and confidently will deliver the best results.

  1. Connected teams means engaged employees:

 Strong and healthy working relationships between team members and line-managers is often cited as one of the best ways to maximise employee engagement across the organisation.

Instilling in your first level managers the ability to effectively engage, challenge, support, and communicate with their teams promotes a level of engagement that is maximised and maintained.

  1. Good morale means a productive workforce:

 Managers have a huge responsibility in not just fostering a confidence that drives performance but ensuring collective and individual wellbeing. The first level managers who are confident in their ability to delegate may also be struck by their new role in resolving personal issues and looking out for their team.

  1. Create employees who are the envy of other organisations, but committed to yours:

It’s the perfect balance; great people within your organisation so great there could be plenty offers to leave, but driven to stay by the value placed in them by their current employers. Investing in your management team makes them an asset to your business – leaders who are valued, supported, challenged and directed – and also breeds loyalty.

  1. Create people ready to share the responsibility of senior leaders:

When people are engaged, skilled and knowledgeable, their ability and willingness to go further in their job is increased. They are more likely to work on their own initiative and be able to plan and think about the future of themselves as well as their teams.  This will also mean senior leaders are better supported and can start the process sharing tasks downwards trusting in the ability or their departments.