Attempting to change a company's long-standing culture must be one of the biggest challenges a business can take on, and Stamford Homes had to listen to a few home truths when it asked 64 of its 160 staff what they really thought about their employer. Staff complained that the board didn't care about or appreciate them, that there was a culture of blame, a lack of respect, and that they were sick of fads and initiatives. All that has now changed, thanks to a programme of training initiatives, including voluntary workshops for change champions encouraging staff to "Go MAD" – and make a difference to their company. The company expected around 25 staff to take on the Go MAD training, but in fact 88 people signed up. Stamford says the benefit is evident in staff's increased motivation and involvement. It has also changed its recruitment process, employing staff for their attitude, not just for skill, and it now coaches, develops and appraises its staff.
London & Quadrant Housing Trust
Three years ago London & Quadrant's residents told them that their repairs service was not up to scratch and only 77% of routine repairs were being completed within target time. This was the cue for a strategy of cultural change both for the housing association and its contractors. A series of focus groups with residents, restructuring of the repairs service, a contractor forum, staff conference and a contractor award scheme have changed the service dramatically. Contractors feel more positive about London & Quadrant as a client and 98% of routine repairs are now being completed on time. The housing association plans to keep the change strategy rolling, recently introducing a training session for contractors alongside its awards event.
Community Housing Association
Diversification into London's demanding private rental market has meant that Community Housing Association has had to come up with a different product, acquire new expertise and establish a profile in the sector. Its venture, which operates as a separate company called Citystyle Living, has exceeded expectations, with 108 homes in management and a further 80 in the pipeline.
It is a big, brave step to sort out the enemy within
Building Homes Quality Awards
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