Director recruited to drive major HR and people strategy

Nikki Ritchie of Bield Housing and Care

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A HOUSING and care specialist with more than 800 employees has hired a Director of People and Organisational Development (OD) as it looks to deliver a new strategy around staff wellbeing and performance.

Nikki Ritchie has been appointed by Bield Housing and Care to help position it as the employer of choice in the sector, while targeting increased staff development and retention and the delivery of industry-leading levels of service.

She brings more than 20 years of senior-level experience to the role, serving most recently as Head of OD, HR and Learning and Development at Historic Environment Scotland, where she’d spent more than 10 years. Before that she spent close to 10 years working in a number of HR roles within the Scottish Government. 

The newly created role will involve everything from how to resource the organisation to overseeing health, wellbeing and staff development, with her first challenge being the creation and delivery of the new, far-reaching people strategy. 

Nikki, who is from Tranent, said: “To have been given an immediate high priority job that will touch on every aspect of the organisation is a privilege.” 

“Bield has long had a top reputation in the sector and brilliant people working within it. It’s been a very challenging few years for so many and we want to put the organisation in the best possible position to thrive.” 

“Our people are at the heart of everything and we look forward to sharing some of our new initiatives very soon.” 

The Edinburgh-headquartered charity’s new people strategy will bring renewed focus to working and developing within Bield, strengthening employee experience and supporting Bield’s staff to be successful for its tenants and customers. The strategy will be launched over 2022.

Nikki added: “The new strategy will look to combine Bield’s strong values of kindness and inclusion whilst bringing it to life through simplifying current strategies and working closely with staff and tenants.”

“The roles I’ve worked in have all revolved around bringing a positive impact to the people of Scotland. I’m really looking forward to implementing that with the older generation to ensure they have the best possible experiences at Bield.”

In addition to the years of expertise, Nikki has achieved postgraduate qualifications in both HR and employment law, and was key in delivering Historical Scotland’s first people strategy in 2017 and developed an award-winning health and wellbeing programme during her time there.

Dr. Lynne Douglas, Chief Executive at Bield Housing and Care said: “It’s an exciting time for Bield to welcome on board such an experienced new director with an incredible amount of expertise in her field. 

“We’re looking forward to taking the next steps at Bield in looking to improve everything related to staff and tenants.”

Bield has been providing high quality housing and related services in Scotland for over 50 years, promoting a “Free to Be” ethos that allows older people to live independent lives.

Bield is a registered charity dedicated to providing flexible housing solutions and support for older people. Bield Housing and Care has around 180 developments across Scotland, providing independent living for those over 50 years old around the country.

To find out more about Bield, visit https://www.bield.co.uk/housing-and-other-servicesor follow on Facebook @bieldhousingandcare and Twitter @BieldScotland.

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