Southern Housing Group

We want to be a trusted, caring landlord that listens to residents and builds high-quality homes in places people are proud to live.
Hidden mission statement
https://www.shgroup.org.uk/

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112
Best Company to work for in the UK
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Creating a working environment where everyone feels a real sense of purpose and pride in what they do is the goal of Southern Housing Group.

The Group, which was established with a charitable gift in 1901 and has grown to become one of the largest housing associations in the southeast of England, provides more than 30,000 homes for over 77,000 people.

As a “people business” it says its ability to offer a variety of services to communities across the southeast of England comes down to having a diverse and committed workforce where everyone plays an important part. In return for their efforts, the Group offers plenty of benefits, including a competitive salary, flexibility, wellbeing initiatives and inclusive activities to help support colleagues to live company values and achieve a happy work/life balance.

An increased focus on ED&I across the business has led to an approach where it is now firmly part of the culture, and something that it says is ‘top of the list’ of things that have increased overall engagement within Southern Housing Group.

Initiatives include regular meetings held by an ED&I steering group, as well as having a team of ‘Diversity Champions’. Diversity networks have been established and embedded, which include LGBT, BAME, Disability, Parents and Carers, and Women’s groups, which are led by colleagues and sponsored by a member of the executive team.

A spotlight on

Southern Housing Group

View the latest achievements

Featured Workplace Factors

My Company

84% of staff agreed

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

A new set of company values have been embraced by colleagues, thanks to them being relatable for everyone in the business. These values are used when launching new initiatives, from projects and programmes through to general announcements and events to help add clarity and purpose for employees.
Wellbeing

64% of staff agreed

I am happy with the balance between my work and home life

Following a Group-wide awareness exercise for World Menopause Day, which was accompanied by a personal blog from one of the company’s directors, several initiatives have been launched. These include managers menopause guidance, live workshops for menopause awareness and a Yammer page for menopause support, amongst many others in what is an ongoing campaign.
Leadership

63% of staff agreed

This organisation is run on strong values / principles

Thanks to Chief Executive, Alan Townshend’s natural leadership style, authentic engagement with colleagues in the Group is achieved through monthly meetings with managers and regular email communications to staff. He also attends staff forums where he invites open questions from all colleagues, enabling him to keep in touch with how colleagues are feeling.
My Company
%

84% of staff agreed

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

A new set of company values have been embraced by colleagues, thanks to them being relatable for everyone in the business. These values are used when launching new initiatives, from projects and programmes through to general announcements and events to help add clarity and purpose for employees.
Wellbeing
82%

64% of staff agreed

I am happy with the balance between my work and home life

Following a Group-wide awareness exercise for World Menopause Day, which was accompanied by a personal blog from one of the company’s directors, several initiatives have been launched. These include managers menopause guidance, live workshops for menopause awareness and a Yammer page for menopause support, amongst many others in what is an ongoing campaign.
Leadership
96%

63% of staff agreed

This organisation is run on strong values / principles

Thanks to Chief Executive, Alan Townshend’s natural leadership style, authentic engagement with colleagues in the Group is achieved through monthly meetings with managers and regular email communications to staff. He also attends staff forums where he invites open questions from all colleagues, enabling him to keep in touch with how colleagues are feeling.

Quick Facts

Organisation established in
1910
Total number of UK employees
Number of UK locations
45
Employee average age
41% : 59%
Male : Female employee ratio
31%
Employees earning £35k+
22%
Employee turnover (voluntary)
Quote from the top...
I have a strong guiding leadership principle in the importance of providing open and transparent messages delivered with clear expectations on a regular basis to the whole Group. This is based on the well-known fact that when employees are engaged at work, their productivity is of a higher quality, success rates for both the individual and the company increase, and personal commitment to fulfil the aims and objectives of their job roles prove more satisfying to the individual. It goes even wider than that, high rates of employee engagement result in better customer service and improved employee health and wellbeing. The tricky part can be achieving engagement and maintaining it in an ever shifting economic and social landscape. At the Group we build on engagement by providing an environment whereby it’s, okay to be you. We invite open discussion with employees with many opportunities throughout the year to voice opinions, call out where improvements can be made, suggest changes for consideration. In evidence of this in 2021 the Group has: • Surveyed employees about their thoughts and feelings about hybrid working. • Introduced changes to how we brief senior colleagues. • Held three Executive Team Roadshows with extended Q&A sessions. • Strengthened the establishment of employee networks that represent colleagues from the LGBTQ+ community; disabled employees; colleagues from the BAME community; women; and parents and carers. • A very active Group Staff Forum whereby representatives act for colleagues from across the Group. I prioritise my attendance at each meeting as does the Group Director People & Communications. • Introduced a new way to do 1:1s which allow for better discussion for career progression, wellbeing, and greater engagement with the forward projection of the company. • Celebrated achievement success by awarding employees who go the extra mile for customers or colleagues and who live the Group’s values. Over 120 Chief Executive accolades have been presented this year to date. • Invested in the Best Companies survey for the third year running. We recognise that employee communication is essential in the development and staying power of employee engagement and we celebrate success, and relay corporate news via our weekly In House Weekly newsletter, create entertaining and informative podcasts, formal and informal announcements and use our Yammer channel for a multitude of topics from highlighting job vacancies to pets’ corner.

Alan Townshend, Chief Executive - Southern Housing Group

Benefits

Maternity

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

Women in Senior Management

At least 40% of senior managers are women.

Pensions

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

Latest Achievements

National Ranking
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112
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112
Best Mid-Sized Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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112
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National Ranking
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112
Best Big Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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112
Best NFP Organisations to work for in the UK
London
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37
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London
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37
Best Mid Sized Companies to work for in London
London
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37
Best Mid Sized Companies to work for in London
London
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37
Best Large Companies to work for in London
London
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37
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East of England
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The Midlands
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The North West
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Northern Ireland
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Scotland
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The South East
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The South West
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Wales
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Yorkshire & The Humber
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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22
Best Companies to work for in the UK
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22
Best Companies to work for in the UK
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22
Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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22
Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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22
Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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22
Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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22
Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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22
Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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22
Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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22
Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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22
Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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22
Best Companies to work for in the UK
Sector Ranking
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22
Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Southern Housing Group
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