Written by Sue Greenland
Nurturing talent is a key focus for Landsec, with their leadership programme and talent pipeline an integral part of their business. Here the capabilities, behaviours and skillsets behind leadership are rigorously developed. They focus on what it means to be a leader; leading through change; what it means to be a coach, and how to equip leaders with all they need so they can go on both to develop, and lead, high-performing teams.
Through their leadership frameworks and development programmes, Landsec is continually evolving to ensure they’re able to address new challenges, however they present themselves, be it technological, economic, environmental, geo-political or cultural. Recently, there’s been a greater focus on the ability of Landsec’s leaders to demonstrate curiosity and an innovative mindset, along with insightful decision-making and learning agility. We had a string of questions for Sue Greenland, Landsec’s Head of Human Resources and Reward, which she was kind enough to talk us through.
Words by Sue Greenland
The key aim of our Leadership Programme is to provide participants the skills and confidence, not just to lead, but to be great leaders, giving them the opportunity to contribute to our strategy and address some of the challenges we face. They have the opportunity to work across the business; collaborate with their colleagues; research best practice across other organisations; broaden their awareness of what’s going on in other industries; and to work with the executive team to develop and deliver programmes that impact every corner of the organisation.
Alongside our Leadership Programme, we ensure we hire for diversity, and from outside the property world. For example, our Head of Development came from construction, our Head of Finance from technology, and our Head of Investment from the gas and oil industry. For the leadership team and commercial strategy, this not only extends our insight into other industries, but diversified our approach, experience and thinking.
That’s not to say we don’t need great talent from the real estate sector, too. There’s a balance to be struck when bringing in external hires from other industries and we feel that our approach has enabled us to broaden the talent pool and add more depth and diversity to our leadership pipeline.
As part of our hiring and development programmes, the Leadership Framework is a tool for identifying current skill-sets and areas of development in our leaders. The framework fully aligns current and emergent capabilities, which are most often needed for digital, innovation and analytical work. We’ve found this also encourages our people to develop new skills and learning gained from other sectors.
Identifying High Potential Talent
With comprehensive research and a review of our own pipeline, we now better understand how to identify high-potential talent. We look for three key capabilities: engagement, capability (for future roles) and aspiration. An employee can be technically capable and have good engagement with us as an organisation, however, they’re unlikely to achieve their career aspirations if they lack the motivation and ambition to progress. Because we appreciate that an individual’s circumstances, capability and engagement can change over time, everyone has an annual review and we regularly review our talent pipeline.
All our employees identified as future leaders, and have a clear development plan in place. This supports their long-term development with assistance from coaches and/or mentors as needed. Our talent plans are regularly reviewed by the Executive Committee, and annually by our Board, to ensure that our senior leaders have full access to, and knowledge of, our talent pipeline.
Staying Ahead Of The Curve
Our continued focus on talent and leadership over the last four to five years means we’re well-placed to tackle some of the challenges that face the real estate industry. We’ve also developed a more robust talent and succession framework, which helps us address any immediate or longer-term requirements, if new business opportunities arise.
Over the next year, we’ll be looking to further develop the skills of our managers and leaders to enable them to have more frequent conversations with their teams about talent and career development. We’ve already made some progress but as feedback from our engagement survey and employee forum showed, there’s always more to do.
A desire for diversity means we’ll continue to work with all our networks – internally and externally – to identify great talent for Landsec regardless of background. By attracting and retaining diverse talent, it’ll help us to address some of the challenges we face as an organisation and industry, ensuring we keep up with the pace of change and stay ahead of the curve.