Working with housing associations

Working with housing associations

Posted by Amanda Furness

At In Equilibrium we are always keen to find out as much as possible about the organisations where we are asked to deliver training.  One sector where we have regularly provided training over many years is the not-for-profit sector and, more specifically, housing associations.

We recently discovered that they take nine of the top ten places in the 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2014, with social housing organisations making up 70% of the top twenty places of that list.

It’s certainly a sector where those working within it feel they are making a difference and have a chance to touch people’s lives in other ways than just putting a roof over their heads.  Since the control of managing housing stock was passed to not-for-profit organisations from local authorities, careers in social housing have been considered more creative and dynamic.   Things have moved on from just providing houses to creating neighbourhoods and developing communities that tennants choose to live in.

The management of the associations themselves seem keen to listen to their staff and then act on that listening.  Visible leadership appears to be a core strength, people are inspired by good leaders and have confidence and faith in them.  In some associations staff, management and the board are judged on how they’ve done things as much as on what they’ve done and people who don’t follow the association’s values are openly challenged.

A high emphasis is placed on learning and development.  This sector has realised that it won’t attract staff who are interested in earning sky-high salaries but appreciates that the reward it can offer is an emphasis on personal development … and perhaps this is why In Equilibrium finds itself frequently working with housing associations.

We recently delivered a Developing Personal Resilience course for one of our regular housing association clients and a couple of the feedbacks left by delegates echo this ethos:

“Really enjoyed this training.  I think staff attending will feel more confident about themselves after the meeting and where they can make personal and professional changes to help them through a time of uncertainty.  Staff will also be able to support colleagues who did not attend the training.”

“Thoroughly recommend that all staff take this course as it certainly opens your eyes to why resilience and boundaries are vital in our lives, be it for business or home life.”

In Equilibrium looks forward to continuing to work with housing associations and play whatever part we can in making them such inspiring places to work.