Friday, 12 September 2014

Nostalgia isn't really my thing - I prefer to look forward rather than glance backward. Of course I relish the movies and music of the 70's when I was growing up, but that stuff means as much to me now as it did then. In 1975 there was no bigger event than the release of their Physical Graffiti album by Led Zeppelin, but I was listening to that CD when travelling in my car this morning and it still sounds as vibrant to me now as it did almost 40 years ago. So that doesn't feel like a yearning for nostalgia, it feels more like an appreciation of the quality and the longevity of musical genius.
Similarly when I look back on our financial year 2013/14 it is the performance of our people, their dedication and commitment that resonates for me. Products come and go, marketing campaigns dissolve, but the tenacity and the focus on Hanley values remain intact as we reflect on a very successful year for the Society. That's why yesterday's meeting of the senior management team is so important. We met to discuss and evaluate the proposed PRP appraisal ratings for every member of staff at The Hanley, to ensure consistency and transparency and to challenge ourselves, and Key Managers, on our approach and our conclusions. Spending a full day talking about People Performance isn't an extravagance, it's a testimony to the culture at The Hanley and proof of the rigorous way we choose to appraise and develop our single greatest asset - our staff. It is also one of the most enjoyable and rewarding meetings for me personally, as it reminds me (in a non-nostalgic sort of way) just how amazing our staff are and the pivotal role they play in our success.
This year we held our PRP meeting against a backdrop of some of the best results we've achieved in many years -
    • Mortgage Advances up 39% to £65m
    • Net lending up 47% to £23m
    • Savings balances up 12% to £310m
    • New membership up 80% to 2,215
It is an obvious point to make, but an important one to repeat - our success this year is a consequence of having talented, committed and engaged staff. I’m grateful for all of their hard work and I’ll allow myself a brief look back to the past year, closely followed by a look ahead with optimism to an equally buoyant 2014/2015.

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