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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27
Best Company to work for in the UK
th
Best Company
to work for

TO BE A household name is the bold ambition of YOU. The charity hopes to be as well known as a trustworthy brand such as Google or Virgin, by providing services to every local authority in Britain by 2020. YOU began life as Portsmouth Housing Trust in 1985, but by 2001 had spread its influence outside the city. Five years later it had contracts across Dorset and Hampshire, for services for the homeless and victims of domestic violence. Last year, the charity helped more than 10,000 people. Following a trip to the KaosPilots "school for business imagination" in Denmark, Nicki Youern, YOU's chief executive, asked managers for ideas on how to improve customer service and the results were then passed on to staff. Two-thirds of workers read Youern's intranet blog and she invites staff for tea and cakes when they reach five-year milestones with the charity. A bake-off earlier this year brought together all of YOU's Dorset staff with the young people they help. Cakes were judged by local residents and the mayor of Weymouth. Staff feel that people in their team go out of their way to help each other (81% positive, in the top 10 among mid-sized organisations). The nature of YOU's work can be very stressful, so the charity signed up to an employee assistance programme that offers 24-7 phone counselling and, if needed, face-to-face sessions. Staff are not exhausted by their work (52% positive, in eighth place). Managers are regarded as excellent role models (74%, third) and staff say intimidation is not used here (77%). Departments and teams work well together (60%) and everyone is treated fairly (71%). All four are top 10 scores. www.lifeyouwant.org.uk

Featured Workplace Factors

My Team

90% of staff agreed

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

Manager's main way of monitoring a job well done is through the clients being happy and having good support plans and risk assessments in place. Managers will then recognise this by praising staff, giving recognition at team meetings, through the Talent Reviews and by nominating staff for staff excellence awards. Managers take people's needs and desires into consideration when setting up rotas. For example, if possible they don't roster people on duty on nights they may have regular social activities or ask team members to swap shifts in order to be as accommodating as possible. Managers ensure that staff abide by the Code of Conduct and lay down what is expected in specific services at team meetings and through supervision. They ensure staff understand how they impact on the bigger picture at the Talent Review, where their objectives link to the organisational business plan and their Key Performance Indicators link to the organisational ones.

My Manager

88% of staff agreed

I feel that my manager talks openly and honestly with me

Sally Hutfield, Director of Operations, was invited to do a 'back to the floor' shift in one of their Direct Access Hostels. Although Sally has 'worked her way up' through the ranks, it's been some time since she's done a night shift as a support worker. When she was invited to 'give it a go' however, she jumped at the chance, booked herself in and rolled up her sleeves. In the end it proved to be a challenging night but a valuable one. Working with vulnerable young people at night in a homeless hostel presents any number of stories and scenarios but Sally rose to the occasion and used the chance to link in with staff there to hear what their issues were, ideas they had and to talk about how things were going or what the wider organisation was doing. Sally keeps a blog on the staff intranet and used the opportunity to write about what she'd been up to. It was brilliantly received and people loved the fact that people 'at the top' were prepared to roll up their sleeves and 'give it a go'. It showed that the senior managers were far from out of touch, knew what challenges were being faced by support staff and still had the skills and understanding to do the shop floor work. It had quite a significant impact on staff as they were able to read about and comment on Sally's experiences.

My Company

87% of staff agreed

My work is an important part of my life

This year, they have invested hugely in introducing e-learning across the organisation. 15 packages have been launched since May 2011 and since then, 898 modules have been passed. Feedback has been complimentary and positive and has allowed for a more flexible approach to learning allowing a dispersed and busy workforce to access specialist training at a time and place that suits them. This has had the advantage of reducing their costs whilst ensuring staff are engaged and motivated as well as being 'up to date' on training. The content of these packages are very interactive, fun and informative. An example of the difference this makes is that one service even has a learning competition which sees staff competing for the best scores and most modules successfully completed. This has really seen a transformation where staff see learning as a fun and essential part of their role.

Benefits

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%.

Women in Senior Management

At least 40% of senior managers are women.

List Positions

National Ranking
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27
Best Small Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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27
Best Mid-Sized Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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27
Best Large Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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27
Best Big Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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27
Best NFP Organisations 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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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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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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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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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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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
London
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Best Small Companies to work for in London
London
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Best Mid Sized Companies to work for in London
London
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Best Large Companies to work for in London
London
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Best Big Companies to work for in London
The Midlands
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East of England
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Best Companies to work for in the South West
Wales
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Best Companies to work for in the Wales
Yorkshire & The Humber
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Best Companies to work for in Yorkshire & The Humber
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