Spotlight On: Performance Manager - Property Services
As we continue to grow and Develop Better Futures nationally, we would like passionate, determined, and ambitious people to join us on our journey.
To highlight the talented employees, we currently have at Babington we have caught up with Sarah one of Performance Managers who specialises in Property Services, to provide a real-world account of what it is like to be in that role at Babington.
Getting to know Sarah
Sarah is one of our dedicated and ambitious employees who has a CMI Level 4 Leadership and Management qualification alongside a wealth of knowledge and experience in the property sector and she re-joined Babington in 2021 as a Performance Managers after previously working here as a Skills Coach. Aside from your career with Babington in our property sector she has previously worked as a Sales Manager for a London based Estate Agency.
After a short period out of the FE Sector and back firmly within the property sector Sarah decided to return to Babington when a role became available that suited her professional development and career progression, as we have great people, a strong culture, and a fantastic working environment.
Focusing on her current role as a Performance Manager, Sarah speaks in detail about her role, what motivates her and what she could change about the role, giving real insight into what it is genuinely like to be a Performance Manager and managing an operational delivery team.
Being a Performance Manager
Why did you choose to return to Babington into this role?
Babington have grown significantly in the past few years and has strong, stable plans for the future, the business listens to their staff and strives to make the workplace a fantastic place for all employees. We are fostering a good working culture with flexible working, team days out, and brilliant rewards, so I was happy to be part of that again.
Having previously worked as a Skills Coach for Babington and enjoyed that role, I felt that I would be a great fit as the Performance Manager for the Property team, as I thrive when I have the autonomy to be creative and support my team to reach their full potential. With my experience and knowledge of property, the delivery model, and apprenticeships I feel I can really support the property team to the fullest.
What does the role entail?
I manage 8 out of 16 coaches we have in the property team, sharing the management with another Performance Manager on a remote basis, a significant portion of my working week involves a lot of planning between us to ensure the team feel connected and cohesive.
Aside from the above my day to day involves tracking learners ensuring progress and, on the job (OTJ) is increasing, monitoring gateways and End Point Assessments (EPAs), identifying learner risks, having meetings with employers and L&D teams, holding 121’s, leading team meetings, strategic decision making and supporting the development of our coaches… the list goes on!
Do you work closer to the learner or businesses, and what part of the journey do you play a part in?
Generally speaking, I don’t have direct contact with learners and leave the teaching and learning to our very competent coaches! However, I am certainly close to the detail ensuring learners are being seen regularly and working on plans to meet gateway dates timely. Additionally, I will often have tri-party conversations with learners and employers to support with learning. If a learner or employer wishes to discuss learning and planning, I will always find time to talk. After all, learners are at the heart of everything we do.
I am involved in the beginning through to the end of the learner journey. Once a learner has completed enrolment I will allocate to the most suitable skills coach (sometimes I may even be in touch with learners during the sign up to help choose the most suitable programme), we monitor all our learners regularly and I will liaise with the skills coach for regular updates, as learners approach the end of their time on programme I will be agreeing gateway planning with the coaches and ensuring that learners enter gateway on time. I then maintain contact with our EPAO’s to ensure learners have EPA dates and (most excitingly) get to hear of their results as soon as they are in.
Which teams do you collaborate with?
Babington is extremely collaborative as a business as everyone really does have the learner’s best interest in mind. Most often I work with our sales teams, enrolment, admin, functional skills team, and our quality team.
What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
I genuinely love to see the development of our skills coaches, seeing them succeed and working as a team is a real honour.
What is your most career highlight so far being a Performance Manager?
My most memorable moment in Babington so far has been a very poignant team meeting in which entire team let down their barriers and really opened up to us about their own challenges and achievements. It was inspiring to see such a diverse group of people working together in the best way possible and made me even more passionate about carving out the best careers possible for each of them.
If there is one thing you would like to change about your role, what would it be?
I would love more time in the day… It can sometimes feel there’s 1000 things to do at any one time, but we have lots of support and honestly, I would be bored if it wasn’t that way.
What is the least interesting part of your role?
When you go down an excel spreadsheet rabbit hole!
Are there any parts of your role you would like made easier or simpler?
There are lots of rules around apprenticeships – time on programme, off the job hours, funding, compliance etc. This can take some getting your head around and this can feel overwhelming for new staff.
Motivation, Babington Values and Opportunities
Do you feel that your role plays a part in developing a better future? And how?
Absolutely, as above our whole purpose of Babington is to create better futures for everyone. That’s inspiring.
Who is your greatest motivation and what gets you up every morning?
My daughter is my greatest motivation. Hopefully by seeing me working hard to be successful she will do the same and driving the team forward and reaching new goals. Every day brings something new!
Which one of our values do you relate with the most? (Passionate, Brave, Curious, Determined, Caring)
For me passionate and curious are the two areas I connect with most. Apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity for our young people and set’s them on a pathway of learning for life, from level 2 programmes up to level 7, our apprentices can carry on progressing for years to come. I have always been a big picture thinker and in my role, I can really make a difference, be it helping to design new programmes, coming up with ideas to solve challenges internally or helping my team overcome barriers, I can really let my creativity out!
Opportunity and progression
Overall Babington is a great place to work, you will learn new skills whilst being supported by a great management team. In the past I have completed a Level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET) and a Level 4 Certificate in Leadership and Management which has really cemented my knowledge and skills in teaching as well as my management skills. In the future I would like to complete my management level 5 and CIPD level 3&5 to progress me to being the best manager possible in the training and education industry.
Right now, I am really happy in my role and really want to help the team reach the top of their game. Down the line I’d like to see the property department expanding into commercial delivery in addition to apprenticeships as I think this would also be very well received by the industry. Eventually I would like to progress to a director level and even beyond. Who knows what lies ahead!