IN A SERIES OF ARTICLES, RICHARD GAWTHORPE EXAMINES HOW LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE WIDER PUBLIC SECTOR CAN RESPOND TO RISING DEMANDS ON THEIR PROPERTY SERVICES WHILE GRAPPLING WITH CAPACITY CHALLENGES WITHIN THEIR ORGANISATIONS.
The so-called “era of the Great Resignation” has left significant talent gaps across local authorities and resulted in calls for greater investment in the management tiers of tomorrow.
Furthermore, “The Future of Local Government”, a report published by PwC and the County Councils Network in July 2021, suggested more flexible working arrangements might provide solutions given that the private sector is attracting staff, who appreciate flexibility in the workplace and might not have previously considered this area as it does offer work/live benefits including a reduction in commutes and the culture of long hours at a desk are changing.
In addition, today’s younger workers often want flexibility across all dimensions, an opportunity to exercise their entrepreneurial spirit, and an employer that promotes their well-being. They also care a good deal about compensation, and not as much as prior generations about a possible pension.
The public sector does therefore need to channel other benefits to attract new talent, such as capitalising on the social value aspects of the work it delivers and emphasising its agility and great purpose within the community.
So, today I am going to look at interim management as a solution to the shortage of skills and expertise within the built environment in local government.
This is another area that we at the Norse Group, a 100% local authority-owned company, are very experienced in, especially via our multi-disciplinary property consultancy Norse Consulting.
But, in the meantime, leaders with expertise and experience are desperately needed and interim management can provide a solution.
According to the 2020 Interim Management survey from the Institute of Interim Management (IIM), the professional body for interim managers and executives, approximately one-third of interim management now takes place within the public sector.
Again, Norse Consulting has seen significant success in this area; it has recent examples of this type of placement to support the senior teams within councils.
In its experience, bringing a new leader in from outside the local authority allows an independent review to take place to determine the strengths in a team and where support and development is needed to ensure cohesion and efficiency of that property team moving forward.
An Interim Head of Property Services is also able to break down barriers and facilitate a more effective and efficient operating model with a buy-in from the existing team.
This article is part of the Rising to the Challenge series. For more information on creating capacity within your own teams contact Richard Gawthorpe via Richard.Gawthorpe@norsegroup.co.uk or call 01603 706140.