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Team Talk with Melissa Buckley

In this Team Talk, we spent some time getting to know Melissa Buckley, Resident Liaison Officer at Starfish Construction.

Melissa describes her career journey to date, explains what her role entails and tells us about her hopes for the industry and Starfish Construction.

Team Talk Melissa Buckley

Q1 Welcome to Starfish Construction Melissa. Can you tell us about your career journey before joining the team at Starfish Construction?

Sure, over the past 15 years, I’ve predominately worked within Local Authorities supporting the Social Housing Sector. These positions have included Oldham Council, First Choice Homes Oldham, Housing 21, Regenda Homes and Seddon Construction. I have vast experience in customer-facing and liaison roles and have been involved with repairs, maintenance and planned works throughout my career.

I’ve always had a keen interest in construction which led me to my position at Seddon Construction, working as a Resident Liaison Officer. My customer relationship management experience and knowledge of the construction industry provide the perfect combination for me to manage all aspects of Starfish Construction's resident liaison relationships. At Seddon Construction, I worked on-site delivering kitchen and bathroom refurbishment works, fire safety works, rainscreen cladding and new build properties.

Q2 What is the role of a Resident Liaison Officer, and what does a day-to-day activity look like?

As you can imagine, it’s a varied role, and no two days are the same. My position as Resident Liaison Officer means that I support residents and stakeholders, providing them with information directly associated with the construction project. It's certainly a role that requires focus and the ability to build strong relationships - the company values and culture help communicate and deliver customer excellence. I am the first point of contact for residents and our clients, managing the day-to-day enquiries and any potential concerns or complaints. I’m responsible for collating the pre-entry information from residents on access, understanding and addressing any vulnerabilities, and communicating with the site management and operatives. Working closely with our site teams, I ensure an open communication channel between all parties.
Another critical operational area is identifying issues that could affect or delay projects. The role demands you to pro-actively engage in site activities and listen to residents and the Site Team to improve the service offered continually.

I love the variety of the role, and meeting residents from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds is one of the things I enjoy most. 

Q3 How did you become aware of Starfish Construction, and what attracted you to join the business?

I first became aware of Starfish Construction from working in Manchester City Centre. I would regularly pass their sites, often seeing the company branding and thinking that I must check them out. Around this time, I became aware of the Resident Liaison Officer Role from a few platforms and on the Indeed website. The advert hit home with me, and further research on their website and LinkedIn page made my mind up that I wanted to apply.

The role immediately attracted me; the company divisions, operations, benefits and particularly reading about a culture of developing employee skills and knowledge was very appealing.

Now that I am here, that culture is evident, and I'm encouraged by the welcome and support I've received while settling in.

Q4 The company works on some large-scale projects, both commercial and residential. How does the resident communications function assist in these projects?

Communication from Starfish Construction to residents is vital in building successful relationships between all parties and stakeholders. Open and honest communication builds trust between the Site Team and residents. We must ensure our company brand and awareness of us is positive, and that comes from doing things correctly and well.

I ensure that residents continually have access to the information and tools to work collaboratively with the Site Teams. They must know how the work will impact their day-to-day lives and home.
Working across various projects, including; student accommodation, care homes, the defence industry, education, residential and mixed-use buildings, and hospitality, means you have to adapt your communication to a style that is accessible and easy to understand by all our customers.

For example, if a resident is unsure what action to take as part of the project, this could cause delays and affect delivery timescales. The uncertainty for the resident would also be unsettling, something we are not comfortable with and strive to avoid.
A key message in all our communication is the residents' safety whilst living in a live construction environment. It means that our communications to residents need to be robust, and the working site areas and hazards need clear identification.

Q5 Obviously, the function helps communicate better on-sites with residents and Starfish Construction's team, but what value does it add to the property owners?

Whilst we are creating more visually appealing, better environments and safer buildings long term through our design and operations, we never forget how important it is to ensure minimal disruption and mitigate short-term risks to residents. The Resident Liaison role gives confidence to the property owner, with the safety and satisfaction that our site operations, to their residents, is a key priority for us and is being managed effectively.

Having a direct link for the works minimises their involvement in the day-to-day management of the site works.
Our consultations with residents demonstrate that we want to work collaboratively with all parties to deliver projects right, first time, every time.

Q6 You are obviously very focused on the role Melissa. You have a passion for the industry, but what advice would you give to the next generation thinking about a career in construction?

Don't hesitate! I would say go for it! The range of employment opportunities across the construction sector means a role suits many skillsets and interests.

Websites including are a great way to learn the many different roles on offer and the pathways into these career opportunities. Many Construction companies offer temporary job placements and work experience to see if the industry is right for you, so I encourage people to make that contact and start your journey.

Q7 Starfish Construction actively encourages Women in Construction, and there's a wide range of career opportunities available throughout the company's many divisions. Do you feel the industry is embracing change?

Yes. I can see that over the years, women are playing a more predominant role in site-based careers, not only office roles which some people wrongly perceive to be women's primary involvement in the industry. Many businesses now employ more women, from organisational and account management to on-site operations and design. I think that shows campaigns and individual construction company marketing have successfully showcased the opportunities for women in construction.

I recently saw that Women make up around 14% of construction industry professionals. I believe that this number will grow with more and more women choosing construction sector jobs.

Organisations like are changing many pre-misconceptions and attitudes are changing for the industry's good.

The industry is experiencing a skills gap, so for me, access to the right people is the important thing, not gender.

Q8 Has initiatives like Elevate (the company culture and operational programme) helped you at the start of your journey with Starfish Construction?

Absolutely. It's refreshing to enter a business that focuses on helping people settle quickly by guiding, training, and supporting staff in operations and the company culture. I want to keep developing how I work and communicate by increasing my industry and product knowledge. Even at these early stages, I feel I'm already in the right place to do precisely that. It's immediately evident that resources are abundant, and people are here to help.

Everyone has been so helpful, and that extends to some of the business supply chain partners who have been in touch to introduce themselves and offer support. That speaks volumes about a great structure, processes and relationships.

Q9 It's a large, diverse team that you've joined Melissa and will take time for you to get around to a chat with everyone. Can you tell your colleagues and Starfish Construction customers something everyone should know about Melissa Buckley?

The first thing is that I am approachable. If any of my colleagues want to learn more about my role or think I can offer assistance in any initiatives they are working on, please reach out! It would be great to get involved and immerse myself with other departments to expand my knowledge and help out in any way.

That extends to potential customers looking to learn more. I’m more than happy to explain how we can add value and safeguard their operations.
I'm always willing to try new things, I’m excited and looking forward to life at Starfish Construction, working with a great team. I'm also a qualified barber trained by one of the UK's critically acclaimed barbers, but, before anyone asks, I’m too busy to offer free haircuts now!

Team Talk from Starfish Construction is a series bringing you insight into our people, operations, culture and careers.
This is developed over a series of articles and videos.

Look out for these on our company LinkedIn page, which you can find by clicking here

If you are interested in a career at Starfish Construction, visit our careers page for more information.