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Best Company to work for in the UK
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GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE Carol Matthews' decision to hire a full-time trainer to deliver a course designed to help vulnerable service-users to find a purpose in life was a huge success. Out of more than 1,000 customers enrolled so far by the housing provider Riverside, which is based in Liverpool, 85% have returned to employment, training or education. Unusually, more than 300 of the staff of 2,930 have taken part, too, reporting that the practical techniques they learnt have improved their own motivation. People feel the experience gained is valuable for the future (72% positive) and good for their own personal growth (71%). Founded in its present form in 1996, this mid-size group has grown via mergers from a Liverpool-based operation with a history dating back to 1928 to a nationwide network of 417 sites stretching from Irvine to Kent. www.riverside.org.uk

Featured Workplace Factors

My Company

88% of staff agreed

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

The One Riverside Annual Training Plan & the launch of ‘Learning to Lead.' 100% of employees have an annual performance appraisal, containing a two-way discussion between employee and manager to evidence competencies and objectives. Training needs are identified and agreed. This forms the basis of Riverside's annual training plan. Each employee reviews development through a regular 1-2-1 meeting with their own manager. This training plan guarantees employees a range of elearning, workshop-based training, non-work related personal development opportunities, and the opportunity to apply for funded professional development – often with time off to study. All business areas have provision for learning adaptations, staff events and conferences and a continuous professional development. As part of this commitment and to provide the business with a bench strength of ‘ready talent to entry level line manager roles, the company launched a new talent programme called ‘Learning to Lead' – with applications open to those wishing to become ‘job ready.' This talentpool of 40 employees completed an assessment centre, 360 feedback, a series of skills, knowledge and behaviour workshops, heard from guest leadership speakers, and had unlimited access to a line manager elearning suite of modules. Each employee had a mentor throughout the 6-month programme. One year after the launch, 70% of employees in the programme had successfully been recruited into line manager roles, reducing our cost and time per hire and raising engagement with this talentpool and retaining their skills rather than lose them to other organisations.

Giving Something Back

85% of staff agreed

My organisation encourages charitable activities

Riverside has an in-house, bespoke, modular manager development programme called ‘Cornerstone'. This ILM accredited programme is mandatory for our over 400 managers and provides them with workshop based modules. Each module is highly participative and creative – with an onus on reflective review between modules to embed the learning through application of the learning back in the workplace. Cornerstone has won the 2015 Investors in People Leadership Development Programme of the Year. Feedback to the programme is consistently excellent and the theme of the programme is engagement through how to ‘inspire and challenge' by developing behaviours that will engage to drive performance and consistency in the business. The cost per delegate for the entire programme is £900 – an indication of the commitment to the managers who they know from previous Best Companies data to be the conduit to employee engagement at Riverside. The company utilise ‘Yammer' to build a network of delegates for Cornerstone – to share good practice, experience and challenges.

My Team

84% of staff agreed

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

The One Riverside Annual Training Plan & the launch of ‘Learning to Lead.' 100% of employees have an annual performance appraisal, containing a two-way discussion between employee and manager to evidence competencies and objectives. Training needs are identified and agreed. This forms the basis of Riverside's annual training plan. Each employee reviews development through a regular 1-2-1 meeting with their own manager. This training plan guarantees employees a range of elearning, workshop-based training, non-work related personal development opportunities, and the opportunity to apply for funded professional development – often with time off to study. All business areas have provision for learning adaptations, staff events and conferences and a continuous professional development. As part of this commitment and to provide the business with a bench strength of ‘ready talent to entry level line manager roles, the company launched a new talent programme called ‘Learning to Lead' – with applications open to those wishing to become ‘job ready.' This talentpool of 40 employees completed an assessment centre, 360 feedback, a series of skills, knowledge and behaviour workshops, heard from guest leadership speakers, and had unlimited access to a line manager elearning suite of modules. Each employee had a mentor throughout the 6-month programme. One year after the launch, 70% of employees in the programme had successfully been recruited into line manager roles, reducing our cost and time per hire and raising engagement with this talentpool and retaining their skills rather than lose them to other organisations.

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

Maternity

Companies offering at least 10 weeks’ full pay or generous alternative.

Pensions

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

List Positions

National Ranking
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96
Best Small Companies to work for in the UK
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96
Best Mid-Sized Companies to work for in the UK
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96
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96
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96
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96
Best NFP Organisations to work for in the UK
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