After working across a range of sectors in learning development roles, and even a three‐year stint as Head Coach of Gloucestershire women’s cricket squad, Steven was ready for a new challenge.
Here he says how his first few months in the housing sector has gone:
“I joined Melin Homes as Learning & Development Business Partner in August 2020. I’ve worked in learning and development roles for several different organisations in mobile telecoms, the dairy industry, the legal sector and most recently in the care sector. A lot of my experience has revolved around leadership development and supporting leaders to support the performance, development and welfare of their teams. I’ve also worked in cricket and was head coach of the Gloucestershire women’s cricket squad for three years.
“Melin is my first role in housing. It wasn’t a planned move to get into housing, I saw the job, really liked what Melin was saying and was successful in getting it. So far it’s been a really positive experience and I’ve realised what a fantastic job housing associations do to support people and communities.
“My day to day role is focused on putting structure around how we support our staff to learn. The pandemic has forced us all to work in very different and unfamiliar ways. We’ve had to change how we support people to learn new skills and behaviours. This means that I’ve been exploring how we make learning resources more relevant for our staff and how we maximise the use of our learning management system so that people have greater access to learning right when they need it.
“I’ve developed an ambitious plan to move us towards a high impact learning culture and I’ve lots of exciting work to do over the next 12 months that will really make a difference to all of our staff. More immediately, I’ve been working on a programme to develop the resilience of our resident facing staff in these very challenging times. This will support our staff to support themselves as they deal with very challenging situations.
“The best thing about working in housing is undoubtedly the people. The people are awesome! I interact with so many people who want to do the very best for our residents, and their caring and supportive approach makes me very proud to work in the sector. Some of the support they provide to our residents is incredible and makes me feel very humble.
“To anyone considering a career in housing, my advice would be, if you want to really make a difference to the lives of people who may not have had the best breaks in life then working in housing will be perfect for you. You can take a small action that will mean everything to a person and their family and they will never forget what you did for them and the impact it had on their life.”
Steve Dent is Learning & Development Business Partner at Melin Homes