Hello PPMA members and friends

This week, Lorraine Hallam, Head or HR and OD at Leeds City Council looks at people management initiatives to make economic development happen in Leeds.

“At Leeds City Council, our senior management team led by the Chief Executive, Tom Riordan, really do value the contribution that HR can make to the organisation. The city itself has a strong and robust economy that is predicted to grow – which is exciting, while at the same time this presents a number of challenges.

Employment growth will bring new demands around infrastructure, services and housing. In addition to this, despite ongoing efforts, inequality remains a theme in the city and addressing this is key to future economic development.  There is a real will to ‘close the gap’ for people in different parts of the city – in terms of participation in the economy and education, and health equality.

As one of the cities largest employers and provider of services, we are in a unique position to influence these issues through our people management initiatives. Just one of our initiatives is to address workforce planning in this whole city context.

There is agreement that the city needs to think about its longer term future and aspirations and how this fits with demand and resource patterns. We are working to develop a common understanding that this needs to take into account the workforce and recognise that there isn’t a simple set of planning activities that will solve this.

Bringing people together and building new partnerships will be key to making this happen.  Through our organisations’ values we are proactively encouraging all Leeds City Council employees to ‘Look up and Look out’.  This is very much a focus for HR and this year we have adopted this as our key theme for all development activity for our HR team of 150 people.  We are expecting everyone to become better at making connections within the council and across the city. This is key to breaking down traditional silos and barriers that often exist in large organisations, both internally and externally, making the council ‘easy to do business with’ and get to know.

One of our aims is to create a city workforce that reflects the communities we serve. Starting with our own workforce we are developing an approach to inclusion that will combine existing solutions with a fresh approach to exploiting the opportunities presented through social media to attract people who might not otherwise think of working with, or for, a local authority.

Although we recognise that things are going to be tough,  it’s also an exciting time. Our ambition is the be the best council in the best city and our people management initiatives are contributing in a real way to make this happen.”

Lorraine Hallam is Head of HR and OD at Leeds City Council