In early 2018 we offered three staff the chance to apply to be part of our first Programme.
It offered a range of new opportunities and challenges for them to hone their skills and gain valuable wider experience right across the business. These have included:
- Meetings with our Chief Executive and Board Chair
- Undertaking Leadership training
- Best practice visits to other organisations
- One-to-one coaching/mentoring sessions
- ‘Expert’ sessions from Senior Managers on areas of the business like Finance and Development
We made it clear from the start that there would be a trade-off; in return for being on the programme, we expected the Rising Stars to get involved in corporate projects in order to ‘give something back’ to the organisation.
Looking back on the first full year of the programme, there have been some really positive outcomes.
As hoped at the outset, the Rising Stars have grown immensely over the duration of the programme, so much so that they recently gave a presentation to 130 staff at our staff conference.
They spoke about what they had been doing over the past twelve months and also launched the application process for the new programme.
I know they were nervous about doing this, but they gave such a professional and polished presentation, it was one the highlights of the whole conference.
I lost count of the number of staff comments afterwards on how much the Rising Stars had visibly grown in confidence since starting on the programme and how inspired others were to apply for the programme this time around.
When originally launching the programme, I could only have wished that it would have such a positive influence across the whole organisation.
The Rising Stars have also become positive external advocates for the organisation.
A recent example of this was the visit to our offices from Joe Hughes from South Liverpool Homes, as part of his 24housing Future Leaders campaign.
The Rising Stars met with Joe and debated a wide range of issues including neighbourhood housing management, culture, communications and innovation.
Opportunities like this help them to grow and learn as professionals, while helping to identify ways we can improve what we do.
So why not set up a similar programme in your organisation?
The programme offers the chance to grow your own talent and help create the leaders of the future.
It’s a classic win-win for everyone.
I can honestly say that leading the programme has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my housing career.