Where are we going and who is taking us there?

Does the new financial year have you pondering the plan? We asked performance consultant and people person Nicole Cooper to share some strategic nuggets of truth in WCPT’s latest blog – one for the leaders and thinkers out there!

Last week WCPT’s Diploma students tackled two of the toughest business disciplines out there: strategic planning and people management.

As we huddled in teams to contemplate real estate performance and techniques to manage our people towards our collective goals, I was struck by two critical insights:

  1. We do a reasonable amount of thinking about how to manage our business operations into the future; and,
  2. We do a miniscule amount of thinking about how to manage our people to enable that future.

I am not talking about performance management today – being goals and KPIs and even personal development plans. I am talking about sketching out future horizons for our people: what their jobs will look like as our industry continues to evolve, and how we can prepare them (and us) to meet these new performance expectations.

Sales people and BDMs will be savvy to the concept of a pipeline: that reserve of customers that are sitting upstream, ready to feed our next sales opportunity when we are done with the current one. A pipeline is a critical prerequisite, not just to business growth, but to business continuity, meaning sales people have one eye to the pipeline at all times.

Yet as an industry, we are far less instinctually inclined to consider our pipeline of human talent: our staff, and their development, now, and in future.

Each week, we welcome new Diploma students of vastly different backgrounds with immensely varied aspirations. But they share an orientation to learning, to challenging the status quo and educating themselves beyond the regulatory requirements of their job roles.

But how willing are we to embed this aspiration in the culture of our businesses?

Consider this: how regularly do we put our administrators through CPD because consumer protection is at the core of our industry? How often do we qualify each customer-facing staff member with a registration course because they represent our industry to consumers? And just how much planning are we putting into the skills our people need, to really perform in their job role of tomorrow?

The answer is a generalised one, but relevant none the less: not regularly, not much, not enough.

When it comes to staff retention, real estate is one of the most transient industries out there. We must remember that movement of staff is not purely an inevitability in a fiercely competitive, retracting property market. Real estate people become so when we choose to give them a job. And when we give them a job, we have a responsibility to enable their performance in that role: today, and tomorrow.

Share your thoughts!

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