“Hyde has given me the opportunity to do so much. I feel valued and, I must say, I am very loyal to Hyde.”Vicki Sanderson
When Vicki Sanderson joined Hyde as a temp 11 years ago to deliver a support service to teenage parents, she could never have imagined that she would one day be Hyde’s Head of Responsive Repairs.
About 10 months into the 12-month fixed term contract, she was made permanent and was moved into a special projects role which meant looking after specific training requirements for Hyde’s supported housing business at the time.
Vicki then became Learning & Development Manager, later progressing to Quality and Improvement Manager with a responsibility not only for Learning & Development, but also for policy & procedures, performance compliancy and IT databases.
When the supported housing division was acquired by another housing association and Hyde went through a major re-structure, she moved sideways into Customer Services. This was not out of the ordinary, because she had previously worked in retail and is a real people’s person.
“For me, it’s all about the people – whether it’s managing a team, or dealing with internal or external customers – that is what motivates me.”
Vicki headed up Hyde’s new Customer Service Centre in Chichester for around 18 months, before taking charge of both Chichester and Lewisham sites for a further six months.
“Working in Customer Service was a great learning experience – you have to know a little bit about everything.”
Three years ago, after a further re-organisation, Vicki moved into Property Services as Performance and Operations Manager, progressing to Head of Performance & Improvement.
Vicki is now Head of Responsive Repairs and looks after a team of 150.
Her team is multi-faceted, covering various disciplines – including complaints, performance reporting, voids, legal disrepair and responsive repairs - and operates across the whole of Hyde’s geographic foot print.
“No two days are ever the same. We’re an agile team that gets on with it. And I’m proud to say that our performance is the best it’s ever been at Hyde.”
Vicki is grateful to have been given the chance to move around (she’s had at least nine different roles) and learn more about different aspects of the business.
It has also shown her that she thrives under pressure: “Early on I realised that I get a kick out of solving puzzles, fixing things, making them better... And that I needed to be in some kind of service role.”
Vicki thinks her current role is perfect for her. Responsive Repairs is, of course, all about solving problems and ensuring that Hyde delivers an excellent customer service.
Over the years she’s received plenty of professional and leadership training (most recently the Lean Thinking qualification) and has been involved in numerous special projects, including leading on Hyde’s ‘Louder than Words’ accreditation.
And she’s a great believer in taking any opportunity that is given you to raise your profile. For example, she enjoyed being a Communications Champion, a platform she believes helped increase her visibility within the business.
“Hyde has given me the opportunity to do so much. I feel valued and, I must say, I am very loyal to Hyde.”
Vicki is currently being mentored by Tracy Allison, Director of Change & Strategy. “It’s very telling that we have an Executive Management Team that is so committed to developing their managers.”
She has also enjoyed the benefits of external coaching : “Not only has it given me clarity about why I behave, and react as I do, it was really insightful, holding up the mirror and helping me develop myself as a professional.”
Vicki takes being a female in a predominantly male environment in her stride: “You have to be yourself, and if you’re credible and are delivering, it gives you the confidence to succeed.”