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Asset Management – Challenges for Defence People

It is often said that people are a business’ greatest asset. This is undoubtedly true of our country’s defence forces. But how does asset management contribute to the care of staff? How should supportive leadership and workplace culture be delivered in order for asset management to thrive?

If people are truly to be defence’s greatest asset, supportive leadership must be the underpinning feature of the workplace culture. When employees feel heard, supported and understood, their sense of loyalty instinctively increases. Value then becomes a flow-on effect.

In pondering the link between asset management and supportive leadership within defence, we must first recognise it is the organisation that delivers asset management, not consultants. A company can bring in experts—and many do—to design plans that will enhance and protect its assets, people and profits, but if the employees are disregarded, then asset management is doomed to fail. For defence, however, the complexities of competing demands on land, sea and air, and the numerous industries contracted to provide superior products, asset management can easily fall into gaps. Senior leadership takes a singular focus, rather than a holistic organisational view, the collective voice of employees is overlooked, resulting in an unsuccessful asset management plan. Everyone loses in such a scenario. Morale plummets. Profits decrease.

For asset management to thrive in defence, it must always come back to delivering a collaborative and supportive workplace. Senior leadership needs to be seen mingling with, and listening to, all staff. The leadership cohort of all defence services must be in conversation together about the ways in which they can provide a more supportive culture.

The determinants of defence’s values and assets lie in its leadership and culture. By improving collaboration between employees and senior leadership, by allowing all staff to be involved and feel a sense of ownership, asset management will flourish.

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