Project Description

Harvest Housing GroupLeadership & Team Development: balancing performance by growing individuals and building team capability for now and the future.

The Challenge

Harvest Housing Group manages over 18,000 quality, affordable homes throughout the North West. Working with all members of the community, the group also provides support through neighbourhood services, helping to regenerate areas and build local pride.

In order to deliver successfully in all of these functions, it is paramount that Harvest Housing Group is able to work effectively both within its own organisation as well as with its tenants and partners.

With a merger on the horizon, Regional Director, Kate Forrester knew that Harvest Housing Group would benefit from some support to help maintain high service levels and employee engagement through this period of change. The Management Team also needed to be equipped with the expertise to cope with the restructuring ahead and the ability to understand the competencies and behaviours required in themselves and in other employees.

Kate turned to Just Libra to provide a bespoke development programme that would enable Harvest Housing Group to not only cope with the current organisational and economic challenges, but also to build capability across the organisation to ensure future success.

Just Libra’s Approach

In the first instance, Just Libra worked methodically through Harvest Housing Group to understand each employee’s role, their relationships within the group and with its clients.

“Our passion for enabling people to reach their full potential means that we can’t simply walk in and deliver training without fully appreciating the structure and functions of a team,” said Janet Richmond, Director at Just Libra.

“To improve business performance and develop individuals, we first need to listen to the employees.  Only by fully understanding where each person is and where they need to be to enable optimum performance can we address any shortfalls.  After all, an organisation is only as strong as the people within it.”

By identifying the gaps within Harvest Housing Group, Just Libra was able to guide the Management Team to formulate resourcing and development plans, while also engaging and supporting the existing workforce to progress their careers laterally and vertically.

“Employees will thrive as a result of being given the encouragement to think, learn and understand the role that they play in delivering the business strategy,” explained Janet.

Using the resulting competencies and skills framework, Just Libra designed an in-house, systematic learning and development programme.   Workshops were held with managers and teams to help them to use the framework and the supporting tools as a common language to describe performance requirements, identify and plan essential competency and skill developments, and therefore aid personal and career growth.

The Outcome

Following implementation of Just Libra’s programme and recommendations, the organisational ability of Harvest Housing Group was improved and personnel gained competencies critical to their own success as well as that of the group.

The merger with Arena Housing was successfully achieved in April 2012 to form Your Housing Group, one of the UK’s largest housing groups.

Commenting on the outcomes for Harvest Housing Group, Kate Forrester said, “Just Libra worked on leadership and development training for my Management Team while bringing a flair for creativity, innovation, energy and fun, enabling engagement with the Team.

“The Competency, Skills and Role Route Map created for individuals and managers has assisted in development towards career progression.  Through this, Just Libra has successfully promoted a unique customer service experience by coaching managers and equipping them to make the best use of the resource for the broader business benefit. As a result, a number of people have been promoted into more senior roles.

“Staff have really valued Just Libra’s input and commitment to thoroughly understand the needs of our organisation.  The solution is easy to use and fit for purpose.  Just Libra is talented and enthusiastic about doing the right thing which really makes a difference to people.”