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By Clare Jupp, People Development Director



With the summer season in full swing, hanging baskets and patio planters flourishing everywhere, the gardeners amongst us will feel somewhat pleased that we invested the time and effort into the planning, the planting and definitely the watering. We can sit back and admire the fruits of our labours.


But I’m not a horticulturalist and of course this isn’t a piece about gardening, but I am wondering how many organisations have their own ‘greenhouses’ in place: does yours?


What I am talking about here is a vehicle; a system and a practice in place to nurture staff potential; to bring on ‘young seedlings’ and thus to grow your own future, in-house.


At Brightstar, our ‘greenhouse approach’ is an essential part of our people development strategy: we believe in identifying and harnessing potential and bringing junior members of the team through ‘the ranks’ to help them to reach their aspirational role. But it goes back even further than this: we believe in finding youngsters who are the best of their generation who have that added ‘sparkle’ to offer. Interestingly however, many of our ‘generation z’ may not necessarily have had experience of the industry or even any relevant experience. The difference is however, they have an edge; a side, something quirky, something different to offer. They are talented, bright young people with zest and drive and whilst their employment backgrounds might appear to be somewhat ‘maverick’ for their roles, they have been superb appointments: true Brightstars. They epitomise the belief that you can indeed ‘hire for attitude and train for skill’; that the key component for finding the right person for the role is ensuring that they’re the right cultural fit for the business.


I have worked in organisations where there is no ‘youth policy’ and where the staff structure has appeared to be relatively flat with very little opportunity for team members to move on. Similarly, there are many businesses where staff don’t seem to know where their destination is or could be or indeed, the steps to that. They are not aware of the opportunities that are open to them nor the possible pathways up the hierarchy. This lack of awareness and direction is no less than a ‘poison’ to motivation and staff retention: how can staff feel inspired, valued and even motivated enough to carry on if there’s nothing to aim for, nowhere to go, nothing to look forward to?


And so this is why ‘The Greenhouse Effect’ is essential to any organisation. I feel that people need to see that they can grow, they can be nurtured and that there is a system of developing ‘acorns to mighty oaks’ should they want to be part of it. They need to see evidence that people are given the ‘sunshine and the water’ (or the inspiration and the training) and that these opportunities are available to all. Routes of progression need to be shared with the team so that staff can get a sense of where they want to get to and what that journey looks like in terms of skills and training required. People Development should be available to all at every level of the organisation so that growth can continue and for the sake of succession planning and high levels of motivation. Quite simply, everyone has to keep growing and moving. And for the leaders amongst us, it is also healthy for more established and ‘senior’ team members to be part of the growing process and the people development mentality, isn’t it? If we want others to develop and be developed, we have to take the lead and ‘do as I do rather than do as I say’. We have a responsibility to show that we are learners as well as teachers.


The ‘teaching and learning culture for all’ is firmly embedded at Brightstar with every team member being part of at least one of our people development programmes. This arrangement supports our shared ethos that we are all learners and that we all have potential to grow.


In short, your ‘greenhouse’ is vital for building capacity for the future and to allow succession management at every level of the organisation. Generation Z are your potential leaders for the future and so their presence in your business should not be ignored nor underestimated.


FIND OUT MORE about our people development culture