BER21: Supporting and developing talent in our business

Midland Heart

This blog post was produced for inclusion in the Birmingham Economic Review for 2021.

The annual Birmingham Economic Review is produced by the University of Birmingham’s City-REDI and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce. It is an in-depth exploration of the economy of England’s second city and a high-quality resource for informing research, policy and investment decisions.

This post is featured in Chapter 3 of the Birmingham Economic Review for 2021, on the city’s labour market and current and future challenges

Click here to read the Review.

The employment market we all face is changing.  The mixture of new household names, such as Goldman Sachs, BT and HSBC, joining the region’s labour market, a new generation entering the workforce with very different expectations of a what a workplace should offer and the way the pandemic has changed the way we all work, leaves us all with unprecedented changes and challenges to face.

Our ambitious corporate plan ‘Making What Matters Brilliant’ commits us to delivering first-class service, building as many new affordable homes as we can and becoming a leading employer within our region.  Attracting, developing and ultimately retaining the best talent within our business will be key to our successful delivery of this plan.

Growing our people so that they choose to stay and a build a career with us is a key part of our offer as an employer and something that we take great pride in.  Investing in our talent sits at the centre of everything we do and every member of our management team takes it seriously. Our Executive team sponsor specific development programmes, as well as taking time to coach and mentor colleagues with potential to grow and supporting our degree apprentices.

Our approach to learning and development ensures that every colleague has the necessary skills to not just do their job well but to do it brilliantly. All of our roles have a specific training profile that ensures that colleagues time is spent learning and developing the skills they need rather than on generic corporate courses.  For those colleagues that show both the ability and desire to grow we put together bespoke packages of support based on their development needs, whether that’s technical skills, interpersonal skills, leadership and management or situational judgement.

We ensure that our managers understand the importance of developing talent and it forms a central part of our performance management framework and colleague engagement surveys. 

This year we’re investing in 55 colleagues to develop their skills, as well as supporting colleagues to develop their careers through additional duties, secondments, planned lateral moves, and promotions. To support this, we’ve created a model for career pathways to broaden career management from traditional hierarchical progression to focus on career growth. Our career pathways will facilitate employee’s ability to build and grow skills through planned moves that are focussed on enhancing potential.

We have an established leadership and management development program for aspiring managers and front-line managers, this has created a pipeline of talent ready to step up into their first management position.  This approach again is delivering results. To date, nearly 50% of those who have received this development are now in senior roles and 25% of all our roles are now appointed to internal candidates, demonstrating the impact of targeted development plans and our commitment to growing our own talent.  

We recognise, that our sector, like so many others will be presented with significant challenges as we start our work to become a carbon neutral landlord by 2050; particularly in terms retro fitting our existing properties, many of which are over 100 years old, with state-of-the-art green technology. We will need specialist skills to address the demands of responding effectively and efficiently to central government policy as outlined in the Social Housing White Paper, the Planning Bill and Building Safety Bill. We look forward to embracing the challenges ahead and ensuring our talent play a key role in our future delivery.

For more information visit

Baljinder Kang
Executive Director of Corporate Resources
Midland Heart