Learning & development at work | Connexus Housing Ltd

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Learning & development at work

11th June, 2020
Connexus meeting
Christine, Richard and Victoria meeting in the office

Connexus has seen many changes over the past few years, with two housing providers merging, creating an increased workforce across a wider geography and adopting new systems and ways of working. Learning and development; providing our colleagues with the knowledge, skills and resources to deliver in these new ways, is key to their success. For Connexus, COVID-19 has further accelerated some of our planned changes, particularly around our approach to remote working, meaning we’ve had to quickly learn and adapt – managing and supporting our teams differently as well as finding innovative solutions to keep our services running in a safe way.

One really important aspect is the strength of our leaders to be able to support and develop our colleagues in all of this. We place huge importance on all of our work and actions being underpinned by our values and through developing our culture; our Connexus Way, we’ve developed a number of frameworks and principles, bringing our values to life and shaping the way we work.
Jennifer Preedy, Head of Insight and Change

With these changes and new changes brought about by COVID-19, investing in our leaders is key. The Leadership Development Programme at Connexus has been specifically linked to managing in the Connexus way, to support the development of our leadership team, strengthening their skills to be fit for the future. The programme is focussed on individual development, as well as the collective leadership group development. Through using tools such as 360 degree assessments and Myers Briggs type indicators, we’ve been able to explore individual strengths and differences, and look at how we can use that to become a better leadership group as a whole.

Christine Duggan

Leading remote teams requires different skills, and we’re being proactive in identifying skills which support managing and working from a distance, as part of our programme. Indeed, even our programme is now being run from a distance! When it first started we were meeting collectively, face to face, with break-out sessions to support development and teamwork too. We didn’t want to lose momentum with this, so our Learning and Development team have been working hard to adapt, so that we can continue to run our programme remotely.

Its aim is not so much training, but to bring together the Leadership Group to share their skills and knowledge, as well as to strengthen and build on these skills through a range of learning activities. Reaffirming their understanding of what is expected of them as a leader within Connexus, ensuring there is a consistent approach to management across the Group and to fully understand and manage in the Connexus Way.
Alex Layfield, Learning and Development Manager

The programme covers a range of topics from problem solving in the Connexus Way, to wellbeing and leading safety, and managing our colleague journey. With 12 modules, the programme is run in small groups for each session, bringing together a range of skills and knowledge within those groups.  Following on from each group, we run action learning sets, looking at how our learning has been put into practice and to share experiences and identify any further learning.

But we’re not just about developing our leaders. We’ve been adapting our other training and support to be run remotely too. Our Aspiring Leadership Programme is still being run remotely, as well as other key training. And as a team we’ve been learning some new skills of our own too, getting to grips with podcasts to offer an alternative medium of learning and support – even the L&D team are constantly learning
Anne Catchpole, Learning and Development Business Partner

Connexus is committed to the on-going support and development of its colleagues, to find out more about a career with us, check out our vacancies and read our colleague testimonials on our Life at Connexus page.