Working with staff in a social landlord on their risk management duties

A provider of social housing in the north of England was aware that managing risk in the organisation was done to varying standards, and not coordinated corporately as well as it should be.  This had been highlighted as part of an annual inspection and flagged for action.  Having had experience of working with other housing associations we were asked to develop a series of workshops for staff with the aim of improving the organisation’s confidence in managing risk.

Rather than just deliver a series of standard workshops we initially undertook a series of enquiry events with representatives from different parts of the business to ascertain the underlying issues.  It was quickly found that a lack of corporate direction and commitment, together with unclear guidelines was hampering any progress towards a consistent and effective approach.

We therefore initially supported the organisation in clarifying its guidelines and examining how they would apply across the organisation, with ownership of the process and a move towards a positive attitude towards risk being a key driver.   With this in place we worked with the senior managers on their commitment and coordination to the process by a number of facilitated discussion groups.  We then ran a series of workshops aimed at other staff where they could explore what risk meant in their context and how its effective management could enhance their role.  With risk being put on the agenda for team meetings and personal action plans, the organisation believed they had taken significant steps towards a more open and active management of the risks they faced.