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Thrive Homes has achieved an enormous amount since its formation as a LSVT in 2008: improving homes, providing quality services, supporting customers, and enhancing local communities.
From the outset they were determined to be much more than ‘just another stock transfer’ housing association. Their ambitious, business-like approach and drive to succeed has delivered impressive levels of performance, customer satisfaction and development of services as well as additional housing provision.
The organisation’s considerable achievements have put them in a strong position as they move forward with passion and energy in an increasingly competitive climate, with a unique business model for social housing providers. At Thrive, they recognise that having a decent home and employment opportunities promotes a sense of self-worth and are the foundations for a successful and fulfilling life. They are committed to their vision: ‘A professional landlord creating quality homes where people enjoy living’.
Coupled with this social purpose, they are also dynamic, forward-thinking, innovative, and alive to the need to evolve and adapt in a fast-changing environment. As they take stock of their successes to date, they are proud to have grown into much more than just a housing provider – they are a thriving business, with a social heart looking towards an exciting future. For colleagues, Thrive is a good place to work and they are proud of their attributes: friendly colleagues, supportive and innovative.
"I'm incredibly proud of my colleagues at Thrive Homes and delighted that we have achieved Best Companies 2 star accreditation in a year like no other. Over the year our team has continued to achieve a high level of service for our customers whilst adapting to new ways of working and the challenges of the Covid pandemic. This accreditation is testament to the hard work that everybody across the organisation has put in to ensure Thrive continues to be a great place to work." – Elspeth Mackenzie, Chief Executive.
An inspiring example of support from Thrive’s Leadership was demonstrated when discussing plans for their annual summer staff day. Driven by the Chief Executive, a decision was made to step away from a traditional virtual conference with sessions, seminars, and activities. Instead, the organisation would offer a short (30 minute) virtual business update in the early afternoon, then enable and encourage colleagues to 'switch off for the rest of the day’. It was recognised that employees were under increased pressure and, by promoting a time to switch off, it would carry a clear message to all about the importance of a healthy work-life balance, especially in these challenging times.
Thrive Homes has a well-established programme to provide support for managers. This includes regular ‘chinwags’ with line managers, as well as peer-to-peer action learning where issues can be discussed in a safe environment. It also includes monthly team meetings, which increased infrequency during the height of the pandemic. Mental wellbeing has a been key focus for Thrive over the past few years, and this has continued and adapted to reflect the challenges of the pandemic and the move to remote working. Virtual training was provided to all managers and team leaders and advice on how to manage the mental wellness of their teams remotely was shared.
As the organisation hit the six-month milestone of working differently, their managers took part in a 15 second challenge #PrideinThrive.Inspired by the New Zealand Prime Minister’s two-minute summary to the nation, each manager filmed themselves talking about what they were most proud of and grateful for. This was then posted on the organisation’s internal social network, providing the opportunity for the wider business to understand the challenges and achievements of every team in a light-hearted way.
The organisation arranged for Zoom Yoga and Tai Chi classes for physical and mental wellbeing and relaxation They also offered financial wellbeing sessions and distributed a 'Tips for Working from Home' guide – asking colleagues to ensure that they take regular breaks, vary their day, and are comfortable at their workstations. They provided electronics and furniture so that employees have a physically comfortable environment to work from home in.
They also offered flu jabs, sent Graze boxes to encourage healthy snacking during healthy eating week and highlighted Change4Life dietary and lifestyle tips. Additionally, they increased their internal e-learning library to include videos on topics such as Mental Health, Healthy Living, Resilience, Life Balance, Mindfulness and Winter Wellbeing to name a few. Thrive’s Occupational Health Practitioner also offered training to all on Emotional Wellbeing; the impacts of COVID-19, as well as looking after mental and physical health.
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