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Talent retention, leadership development and change management high on agenda as Greater Manchester Housing Providers discuss future of HR and OD in housing

Over 80 representatives from 15 housing providers across Manchester joined forces last week for the Greater Manchester Housing Providers’ (GMHP) inaugural HR Housing Summit, which raised almost £2,000 for the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Homelessness Fund.

Organised by Equity Housing Group and Great Places Housing Group, and hosted by Stockport Homes, the conference discussed the challenges of attracting talent in the sector and the future of the HR profession.

The event hosted a number of high-profile speakers including Ed Houghton, head of research at the CIPD. Also in the line-up was Helen McHale, chief executive of Stockport Homes, who kicked off the day by affirming that devolution across Greater Manchester is effective and something that housing providers in the region need to utilise. Andy Burnham’s work in the region was also praised.

The event set out to increase sector knowledge for HR & OD professionals and provide opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing to improve efficiencies of housing providers across Greater Manchester, with five key areas of focus: attracting and retaining talent, employee engagement, the effectiveness of leadership development programmes, service excellence and emotional intelligence in change management.

The day ended with a Q&A session with sector Chief Executives and suggestions on how the social housing sector could attract the best talent, such as capturing interest early by visiting schools to educate young people about the exciting and rewarding career opportunities in the sector, as well as citing apprenticeships and recruiting for the right attitude rather than simply skills being crucial.

Nicola Parkinson, director of HR & OD at Great Places Housing Group said: “We are thrilled with the success of the event and the dedication from housing providers across the region to work together and leverage the strong Greater Manchester Network.  The icing on the cake is the £1800 raised for the Mayor’s Homelessness Fund, which supports a cause that all GM housing providers feel really passionate about.”

The GM HR & OD Group meet on a regular basis to discuss key strategic HR and organisational development issues across the sector.  Following the success of Friday, they are already considering next year’s HR Housing Summit.

For more information on Equity Housing Group, visit:

For more information on Great Places Housing Group, visit:


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