Officially a Very Good
Company to Work For

Officially a Very Good
Company to Work For

Officially an Outstanding
Company to Work For

Officially an Outstanding
Company to Work For

Officially a World Class
Company to Work For

Officially a World Class
Company to Work For

Officially a Good
Company to Work For

Officially a Good
Company to Work For

#
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Best Company to work for in the UK
th
Best Company
to work for

AS RIOTING SHOOK Liverpool and other cities last summer, staff at Plus Dane Group underlined their commitment to their tenants and communities. Ken Perry, the chief executive, was on holiday but returned to help his team meet needs in their area and rounded up other social landlords for an emergency meeting to co-ordinate the response. Our survey shows the housing association's 556 staff, who manage 12,500 homes in Merseyside and Cheshire, have great faith in their leader, scoring 77% positive. They believe he runs Plus Dane according to sound moral principles (79%). Plus Dane was formed by a merger of Merseyside Plus and Cheshire-based Dane Housing in 2008. Staff work from 27 local sites, supporting tenants and offering neighbourhood services. In winter everyone joins in the Beat the Chill campaign to visit 600 vulnerable tenants with extra blankets and advice. An apprentice programme for 30 people is the first step in career development here and staff say their training is of great personal benefit (76%, a top 10 score among mid-sized organisations). All staff work flexibly around core hours of 10am to 3pm and can take up to 30 days' holiday. Staff are happy with their pay (71%, in eighth place), and benefits include health cover for employees and their families. They feel their pay packages — just under £25,000 a year for the average neighbourhood officer — are fair compared with those for similar jobs elsewhere (65%, a top 10 score). Staff see a positive future for themselves at Plus Dane, scoring 74%, in seventh place. www.neighbourhoodinvestor.com

Featured Workplace Factors

My Team

85% of staff agreed

This job is good for my own personal growth

A raft race and fun day was organised by staff from Plus Dane's Youth Engagement Team and members of Plus Dane's Cheshire Youth Forum. The event took place on 26 August 2011 at Astbury Mere in Congleton, Cheshire. Members of staff also attended as volunteers and also took part in the raft race, including Ken Perry Plus Dane's Chief Executive. The raft race involved teams battling against the clock to build a raft and sail it across the lake as the main event of the day. The race was supervised by water-sports instructors and full safety equipment was provided on the day. As well as the raft race the day included a wide range of family-fun activities, sports and promotions of interest to young people, the event was also opened up to all staff to attend and get involved. The event ended with a BBQ for all those who took part in the raft race, organisers and staff that attended. This is the first time an event such as the raft race has been organised within Plus Dane and proved to be a great success. This allowed staff to take part in something a bit different and engage with members of the Cheshire Youth Forum.

My Company

87% of staff agreed

This organisation is run on strong values / principles

For the past two years all staff have received the same amount of pay award irrespective of their level within the organisation. Plus Dane also operate a 'Neighbourhood Hero Award' which staff and managers nominate a staff member to receive. Along with a Neighbourhood Hero card, they receive Marks and Spencers vouchers thanking them for their involvement in a particular piece of work or for them going the extra mile.

Leadership

83% of staff agreed

I feel that my manager talks openly and honestly with me

Live Your Dream was introduced in 2009 in response to staff survey that indicated people felt there was not enough career development support in place. It encompasses a number of career progression workshops on completing applications, interview skills or managing your career, along with bitesize briefings and work shadowing opportunities and Colleague Swaps to increase cross team working and knowledge sharing. Plus Dane introduced Countdown to Success to offer particular support to those on short term contracts (e.g. an apprentice, maternity leave cover) and it gives the skills and confidence to take the next step in job search whether it is with Plus Dane or another organisations. It is a stretching but supportive programme where participants spend two days building their confidence and appreciation of their own skills and then Plus Dane invite local employers to come to a presentation event where they have the chance to pitch themselves to another employer, gathering feedback on the impression they make. Some apprentices were able to take volunteer work that has led on to new career opportunities.

Benefits

Holidays

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

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%.

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