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SFHA Annual Conference Speaker Interview: Barry Johnstone

Ahead of our Annual Confernce, taking place on 14 and 15 June at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow, we asked our speakers about what they'll be discussing during their session and simple actions we can take to make a difference in our organisations. Barry Johnstone, Director of People at Caledonia Housing Association shared his thoughts with us. 

 

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What are you discussing at the conference and why is this an important issue? 

I’ll be discussing Caledonia’s role supporting the GEM talent management programme in Scotland and how this innovative initiative can support the development of our future leaders.

What does a resilient organisation look like to you? 

I see structure and culture as key to organisational resilience. Establishing an operating model that can deliver flexible services and proactively adapt to a changing operating environment, and designing a culture that builds a multi-skilled, highly engaged and continuously developing workforce. Quite simply, if everyone individually grows in their roles, it creates a stronger and more resilient organisation. If you can get structure and culture right, it goes a long way to helping organisations thrive in difficult times.

Has the pandemic changed our working practices forever? 

Covid will be the catalyst for lasting and continuous change.  At Caledonia, we introduced a new “Agile for Everyone” framework and redesigned our office estate to reflect new working practices and ways of delivering services. Underpinning our agile framework is recognition we will need to constantly innovate, adapt and learn.  In a world of continued disruption and challenge, we will need to keep listening and adapting to meet the changing and diverse needs of employees and customers.   

What simple actions can organisations take to make a difference to staff wellbeing?  

Invest in supporting your managers. Management can be tough, particularly in times of change. But we need great people managers more than ever.  The relationship with line managers is the most important factor in strong engagement and wellbeing.


SFHA Annual Conference

14 and 15 June 2022, Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow

Barry will be speaking during the 'Attracting talent - widening the Routes to Housing' workshop on Wednesday 15 June. 

Click here to book

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