Muir Group Housing Association Ltd

Hidden mission statement
http://www.muir.org.uk

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MEETING THE CHALLENGE to provide affordable homes and create thriving communities can be difficult, but staff at Muir Group Housing Association are up to the task. The credit crunch has affected the association's move into shared ownership properties, as mortgages are more difficult to obtain, and that led to one redundancy last year. But low interest rates have created savings of £200,000, reallocated to improving existing homes. Muir Group gave staff a 1% pay rise last April, while many housing associations were freezing salaries. The firm wins our special award for innovation in employment practice and employees can apply to the Staff Activity Fund for £100 towards non-work-related study. Recent claimants have signed up for lessons in karate and windsurfing. Community housing officers earn £23,890 and our employee survey shows staff are happy with their pay and benefits with a positive score of 75%, in eighth place among small charities and public sector organisations. Staff say they are paid fairly compared with others in similar associations (72%) and for their responsibilities (68%). Benefits include childcare vouchers, subsidised sports facilities, free parking and refreshments. The workforce of 171 people stay an average of more than seven years and a quarter have worked for the association for more than 10 years. After five years, staff gain an extra three days' holiday. They can also ask for a day off when they get married or move house and can buy and sell holiday allowance up to a maximum of eight weeks. Everyone has the choice of signing up to a Medicash scheme to help to pay for specialist healthcare or complementary therapies. Lone workers are protected by GPS phones or other technology linked to a monitoring system to alert the emergency services in a crisis. The association, based in Chester, has 28 sites across the Midlands, northwest and Wales and looks after 5,000 properties. Staff feel they have the support they need to provide a great service (75%). John Bellis, the chief executive for the past 19 years, is highly regarded by employees, who believe he runs the association on sound moral principles (84%). Staff have confidence in the leadership skills of their managers (76%). Study towards formal qualifications in relevant fields is fully funded and time off is allowed for classes and exams. Eight staff are currently working towards degrees or accountancy qualifications. muir.org.uk

Featured Workplace Factors

My Company

92% of staff agreed

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

They pay average market rates for jobs but also have an excellent benefits package which is constantly being reviewed and benchmarked to maintain competitiveness and to attract and retain employees. As part of the benefits package they have a final salary pension scheme which remains open to new employees. They have recently introduced a dedicated staff benefits discount website, which enables their staff to obtain discounts on local services such as dining out or car leasing; discounts on leading brand names as well as holiday discounts, cheaper energy tariffs, home and car insurance deals and vouchers for discounts on family days out to theme parks and zoos. Managers regularly praise employees for doing a good job - verbally and through treats such as buying chocolates/cakes/biscuits/bottles of wine for the team.

Leadership

89% of staff agreed

The leader of this organisation runs this organisation based on sound moral principles

The Director of Housing recently took his managers off site for a strategy awayday. The content of the day allowed managers time to self reflect and consider: What are the three best things about working in the Housing Services Department at Muir i.e. stuff you would never want to change? What consistently irritates you about working in the Housing Services Department or for Muir, this needs to be things they can change or influence? How do you think other Departments would describe the Housing Services Department and do they need to try to change this, if so how? The Director of Housing Services suddenly becomes the Chief Executive (this is hypothetical) and you have the opportunity to request one major change at Muir to make it a better and more effective organisation, what would it be? What practical ways can they improve how effectively they work as a team? What practical things can they do to improve motivation and engagement with their staff and teams, particularly across teams? How do they raise their profile with their teams and improve the staff views of ‘management'.

My Team

85% of staff agreed

People in my team go out of their way to help me

Muir Group have a Supporting Volunteer work in the community policy which gives staff up to 5 days paid leave - one employee regularly supports a Gold Duke of Edinburgh's award expedition. They provide 3 days paid leave for employees who undertake public duties, i.e. magistrate, school governor. They support employees who are members of the Territorial Army by giving one week's paid leave for annual training camp - they currently have one employee who is in the TA and has benefited from this. Staff regularly collect for charities by having dress down days during the working day such as for Children in Need, Genes for Jeans Day.

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

Holidays

Companies offering a minimum of 26 days annual leave to all employees.

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

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