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The Crown Estate launches values-driven change plan

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The Crown Estate has announced a 10-year change programme across the organisation, focusing on integrated values.

The Crown Estate is launching a 10-year change programme that involves moves to integrate all of its leadership and behavioural models across the entire organisation.

HR director Craig McCoy said the organisation, which manages the Crown’s real estate portfolio, needs to leverage diversity to achieve its aims.

“We have around 500 employees, but within that you’ve got lots of different types of employees in the different businesses,” he explained. “The aim is to drive sufficient integration to have a common vision for the organisation.”

 McCoy describes The Crown Estate as “an arm’s length public body” that is “run like a private sector company”. This leads to unique challenges for both the HR teams and the workforce as a whole, he explained. 

“You’ve got an interesting strategic mix of why The Crown Estate exists,” he said. “It provides long-term stewardship for the nation’s most valuable assets but also needs to be profitable. There are similarities to large corporates in that The Crown Estate has a large revenue base and generates significant profits. In addition, around 90% of the employees here have come from the private sector.” 

The hybrid nature of the organisation means there is a wide range of attitudes and skills among the workforce. The staff base includes employees managing the body’s real estate portfolio as well as energy industry staff working across the UK seabed, the whole of which The Crown Estate manages.

McCoy added staff are proud of working for the organisation. Some “derive  satisfaction from the fact we’re doing this for the benefit of the nation”, while others “like the fact we’re closely associated with the monarchy”.

Diversity means strongly integrated values are key. McCoy believes HR has a key role to play in making sure this is retained in the future, along with supporting the business’s commercial aims. McCoy says that while this is a challenge, the HR team is well-positioned to continue its success.

“With such a complex model you need to have a modern progressive HR function to support a very commercially astute business,” he said. “For me HR is about transformation and making sure we have a capable function.”