Cestria Community Housing Association

Hidden mission statement
http://www.cestria.org

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TRANSFORMATION IS AT the heart of Cestria Community Housing Association, which began life only six years ago. This small organisation was set up to deal with the housing stock from what was once Chester-le-Street district council. The buildings had suffered from under-investment and about half of them were failing the government's Decent Homes standard. Tenant satisfaction was among the worst in the Co Durham region and workers' morale was low. So this small establishment set about empowering colleagues, and in 2011 the vision and values of the group were revised, with everyone — including tenants and stakeholders — being involved in the process. Consequently, the association's homes now exceed the government standard. Cestria even offers financial advice, debt counselling, training and employment opportunities, health guidance and physical activities. Asa result, tenant satisfaction has improved significantly and is now one of the highest in the region. According to our survey, people are proud of being a part of Cestria, giving this question a 79% positive score. They are also confident that they can make a valuable contribution to the success of the organisation (82%). The group values of customer focus, honesty, efficiency, excellence and respect are reinforced by a competency system that underpins its appraisal process and in turn is linked to a reward package. A housing officer can expect an average salary of £25,319 and flexible benefits include performance-related pay, private healthcare that covers dependents too, vouchers for childcare, counselling, an occupational health programme and discounts. Employees are happy with their pay and benefits (76% — only five small organisations did better) and they feel fairly remunerated for the work they do relative to others in similar enterprises and roles (71%, eighth). www.cestria.org

Featured Workplace Factors

My Company

89% of staff agreed

I believe I can make a valuable contribution to the success of this organisation

As part of their on-going commitment to developing their staff, and ensuring they have the right people to take the business forward, Cestria have created the Stepping into Management Programme for staff who have high performance in their current role along with the ambition and commitment to work towards their first managerial role. The objectives are: To improve internal succession by developing a pool of high potential individuals, to provide a structured, challenging and rewarding development opportunity that will help to develop some of the core skills, knowledge and experience required to be an effective manager. To further enrich the current performance of high performing members of staff a number of their staff are involved in the HDN Mentoring Programme. The Mentoring Programme offers the opportunity for staff members to access an external Mentor for one-to-one professional development support and to attend Mentoring Workshops focused on a variety of career development topics. . As well as the HDN mentoring programme they have also launched an Internal Mentoring Program for staff who would like to mentor or be mentored by existing Cestria staff members. All staff have been given the opportunity to work alongside and gain experience of the role of another individual, and gain an insight into a particular work area through job shadowing. Cestria are keen to support staff to develop skills and/or gain qualifications which contribute to the achievement of agreed personal and career goals. Recently, with the help of funding, 10 people gained a nationally recognised qualification.

Giving Something Back

86% of staff agreed

My organisation encourages charitable activities

Cestria are currently working towards the Better Health at Work Bronze level Award and staff have completed a health assessment questionnaire to indicate the areas that the company should focus on. This has highlighted that diet, alcohol use and fitness are the three main areas to concentrate on, and a programme of activities is being arranged to improve wellbeing in these areas, along with campaigns such as Stoptober, Dry January and Mental Health month.

Fair Deal

84% of staff agreed

I am happy with the pay and benefits I receive in this job

As part of their on-going commitment to developing their staff, and ensuring they have the right people to take the business forward, Cestria have created the Stepping into Management Programme for staff who have high performance in their current role along with the ambition and commitment to work towards their first managerial role. The objectives are: To improve internal succession by developing a pool of high potential individuals, to provide a structured, challenging and rewarding development opportunity that will help to develop some of the core skills, knowledge and experience required to be an effective manager. To further enrich the current performance of high performing members of staff a number of their staff are involved in the HDN Mentoring Programme. The Mentoring Programme offers the opportunity for staff members to access an external Mentor for one-to-one professional development support and to attend Mentoring Workshops focused on a variety of career development topics. . As well as the HDN mentoring programme they have also launched an Internal Mentoring Program for staff who would like to mentor or be mentored by existing Cestria staff members. All staff have been given the opportunity to work alongside and gain experience of the role of another individual, and gain an insight into a particular work area through job shadowing. Cestria are keen to support staff to develop skills and/or gain qualifications which contribute to the achievement of agreed personal and career goals. Recently, with the help of funding, 10 people gained a nationally recognised qualification.

Quick Facts

Organisation established in
Total number of employees
Number of UK locations
Employee average age
Male : Female employee ratio
Employees earning £35k+
Employee turnover (voluntary)

Benefits

Long Service

Companies where at least 40% of the staff have worked there for more than five years.

Pensions

Companies offering a final salary scheme to all employees, or one in which the employer's contribution is at least 5%.

Women in Senior Management

At least 40% of senior managers are women.

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