On our staff at AMA we have Noel, who is an award-winning baker. She boasts several first place and best-in-show awards from baking competitions for a variety of different goodies. One of the things she loves most about baking is how each ingredient on its own is unexceptional, but in the hands of the right person, they come together to make something magical.
Public housing authorities are like this. So many different parts… none of which can achieve much on their own. But, when they work together as intended, there is the potential for something special.
At the risk of sounding cliché, the recipe is the key. Just like baking, PHAs can’t wing it and expect things to turn out right. There is a method to the madness and the method is what guarantees results.
So, let’s look at what the recipe for success looks like…
A quality product starts with quality ingredients
One of the biggest sins in the baking world is using anything other than real butter. Nothing else quite compares. Yes, there are substitutions and alternatives, but the end product won’t ever be as good as it should be.
In our agencies, we tend to overlook the quality of the individual parts in favor of warm bodies. We rush the training process and don’t make high quality results a priority for our teams. Just because we aren’t technically “selling” a product doesn’t mean we don’t need to care about the quality of what we’re offering.
Setting clear expectations.
Foster a positive workplace culture.
Invest in training for your teams.
These things will ensure that your agency is functioning at a high level.
Hiring with excellence in mind is also one way to ensure high quality results. Warm bodies can often create more problems than they solve and in our type of work environment, it can often create a bottleneck in our operational processes. Look for potential employees who possess high quality skills and who align with the mission, vision, and culture of your agency.
So many times, a baker must consider the weather when preparing to start a new baking project. If they are making bread, they have to be aware of the humidity. If they are making a cake, they have to think about both the outside and inside temperatures, as well as what the environment where the cake is going to be. Not to mention the obvious importance of the correct baking temperature. But, regardless of the existing variables, an experienced baker knows how to create the optimum environment to get the best results.
As a leader in your PHA, you need to do the same. If you aren’t getting the results you want, take a look at your environment and determine if there are adjustments that need to be made that can facilitate the desired outcome. What can you do, or stop doing, that will make a difference? How can you cultivate the prime environment for success?
A positive environment can have a significant impact on the quality of the results you are getting. According to an assessment by CliftonStrengths, an organization who focuses on a positive workplace is rewarded with 29% greater profits. While we don’t focus so much on profits in our particular business, the core value applies. Teams who operate in a positive environment are invested in the outcome of what they are doing. They will work harder, smarter, and be more loyal. You will see less absenteeism and more creativity. You will see a rise in teamwork and successful collaboration, which also promotes a healthy and positive workplace experience.
“Creating a company is like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportions.” – Elon Musk