Tower Hamlets Community Housing

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

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THERE MIGHT HAVE been a pay freeze at Tower Hamlets Community Housing (THCH) but it has not affected performance. Although there's been no rise for two years, all staff received £500 as a thank-you for their efforts after resident satisfaction reached its highest ever level. In a memo to colleagues, chief executive Michael Tyrrell, who knows all 84 employees by name, said he was particularly grateful for their commitment. His “hands-on” approach includes regular reviews with managers and quarterly briefings for all. Tyrrell even buys everyone a Christmas present and regularly invites people to join him for pizza. Staff are inspired by him, scoring 83% positive, a score bettered by just five other small organisations in our survey. They also have a great deal of faith in him (86%, seventh). Formed in 1998, the housing association provides more than 3,000 homes for rent or shared ownership in the London borough. Its residents have diverse backgrounds and beliefs and much of its work is based on forging community spirit. Staff believe THCH has a strong social conscience (84%, top 15) and are proud to work for the organisation (82%, top 25). Like Tyrrell, senior managers get to know everyone. All those in middle management have completed, or are taking, a professional leadership qualification. Employees have confidence in their leaders' skills (74%, and a top 20 ranking). Staff share ideas and give feedback in focus groups. When they requested a Christmas party for the whole workforce, bosses agreed. They also meet up for an annual conference, planning and setting targets in the morning before an afternoon of fun activities such as crazy golf and paintballing. Employees love working for THCH (77%, top 20). Staying late to do extra hours can result in two days off a month and anyone can take a day's leave for a religious feast of their choice. Dropping children at school or avoiding rush hour can be accommodated. Workers' health is the subject of workshops and awareness events every January, which include walks at lunchtime, cycling, yoga and help to stop smoking. Benefits include dental insurance, chiropody and massage sessions, health checks and free fruit.

Featured Workplace Factors

My Company

88% of staff agreed

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

THCH's Leader (CEO) engages with all staff, he takes the time to get to know each and every one one of the staff. He meets new starters and personally takes them on an induction tour and then off to an informal lunch so that he can get to know the person. He has an open door policy and has been operating an “Afternoon Tea with the CEO” which is an opportunity for each and everyone of the staff to sit informally and speak to him. He has a presence and is always available to everyone to talk too. He delivers the customer care training so that all staff know what he and the organisation expects, in relation to the service that is provided to their residents. The CEO delivers Quarterly Briefings which updates staff on current legislation, gives praise and information on service delivery. He is passionate about Housing and the Community which filters through to staff making him an inspirational leader. He leads by example and encourages staff development. He see the organisation as a family and invited each and every one of his staff and their partners to celebrate his 50th birthday – the venue was packed which shows that staff want to engage with him. The staff away day team building activity is his personal idea and staff are encouraged to compete for prizes. Even members of staff that have passed away in service, have been remembered by having a plaque and rosebush in their memory. Some have had a park and a block of flats named after them.

Giving Something Back

86% of staff agreed

This organisation has a strong social conscience

THCH has a number of initiatives in place aiming to deliver health, wellbeing, educational attainment and community cohesion. Some of these include: Employment and Training - through their partnership work with local providers and support to groups such as The Rooted Forum and Employment First, a number of training and capacity building programmes have been delivered to residents throughout 2013/14. Those who attended the sessions received detailed help and assistance. Debt and Welfare Advice - THCH continued to work with agencies, such as St Peter's Community & Advice Centre in Bethnal Green, providing debt, welfare and financial advice. Health & Wellbeing - a number of groups using the company's centres provide regular weekly health and welling activities, such as Zumba, martial arts and football – through to equally as enjoyable, but less energetic activities such as bingo and coffee mornings where residents can meet and gain help, support and friendship from each other. THCH have also maintained a number of health and wellbeing outreach sessions providing advise ranging from the cancer awareness workshops through to hosting events by the Tower Hamlets Food Growing Network, a local network of community food growers in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets providing advice on not just growing your own, but eating a balance and healthy diet. THCH were also delighted to receive £50,000 Sport England funding for an Outdoor Gym at the Cameron Best Park in Bethnal Green, which was opened by Olympic Gold Medallist, James DeGale in November 2013.

Leadership

77% of staff agreed

I am inspired by the person leading this organisation

The staff's pay at THCH is negotiated through National Joint Terms and Conditions, therefore any pay rises are agreed through Unions and Central Government. The last couple of years, there had been no pay rises for three years. The CEO sought Board Approval to have a one off bonus payment for staff to reward appreciation of the continual hard work and that the staff had constantly had an excellent resident satisfaction rates. This was a huge success and staff very much appreciated that their efforts had been rewarded.

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.

Long Service

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

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%.

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