Halton Housing is an innovative and forward-thinking housing association based in Cheshire with over 7,000 homes.
They have around 330 employees who are the heartbeat of the organisation. Halton Housing has a vibrant and agile culture that attracts people to the organisation and means many colleagues are with them for the best part of their careers.
We caught up with Eleanor Minshall (Interim Director of People) to discuss what winning an award would mean to them and what the future holds.
Can you give us a brief description of your company and why/how you’re making work better?
Understanding how we’re making work better for our colleagues is most powerfully conveyed from their own experience, in their own words.
Hear directly from our colleagues on the video below. They were not given any scripts, just honest, smiley, real experiences of what working at Halton Housing means to them.
Why did you enter The Investors in People Awards 2021?
We entered the Investors in People Awards to stop, think and celebrate what we do as an employer to make everyone in the business thrive.
Taking a breath and reflecting on how we invested in our people over the past 12 months was a great exercise in a year when the way we operated changed at such a pace, we had to make sure we looked after and invested in the needs of our teams.
While winning an award would be great for validation, the work we do with IIP is more important to us; it allows us to grow and develop into one of the best places to work – and that will always be our goal. An award would just help us evidence that.
Are there any goals or challenges you hope an award will help you achieve or solve?
An award will help us show externally that our people are at the absolute heart of what we do. Internally, we don’t ‘need’ an award to show this, but winning would help us celebrate what we have all achieved together as a major employer in the borough.
Prospective employees look for organisations that invest in their people – it says a lot about an organisation. After the pandemic, when organisations across the board are finding it more challenging to recruit, our IIP accreditation helps attract – and retain – good people. To have the award, too, is the icing on the cake!
Tell us what distinguishes you from other companies in the category you’re shortlisted in.
As tough as it has been, the pandemic has cemented our approach to looking after our people. With a pre-existing agile approach, we went above and beyond to move to a remote working situation. We took time to speak to our people through listening sessions, one to one calls and team meetings to make sure our people could work efficiently and stay engaged through a very difficult time.
Being an agile organisation anyway, we could concentrate on our people rather than our processes. So, whether colleagues worked at home or in the field, they still had complete access to development opportunities and the opportunity to have a voice while we adapted.
We placed a huge emphasis on wellbeing, encouraging creative and safe ways for our people to look after themselves while physically apart using the hashtag #yourwellbeingyourway.
Despite the challenging external environment, this was so important to us and helped us forge our way to one of our most successful years ever.
What does being shortlisted mean to everyone at your company?
Being shortlisted means the world to us. It helps us tell our people that all that work they did with us to make our place a great place to work has been noticed and that their voice and input has helped us stand out from other organisations.
We have a Halton Housing wheeled ‘cow’ which comes out at especially exciting occasions and company events… there will be many circuits of our Head Office, Waterfront Point on the cow should we win the award!! 😂
What would it mean to win?
Winning an award would be huge for our reputation, confirming our status as an employer of choice that cares and invests in our most important asset: Our people.
Also, we’re an organisation that truly lives and breathes our vision of improving people’s lives.
How does being shortlisted benefit your customers?
Our corporate vision is Improving People’s Lives, and our customers will know that this includes our colleagues and them. Having happy, motivated staff is a crucial objective for us as it always equates to better customer service.
What can we expect to see from your organisation in the next 12 months? (And beyond!)
In the next 12 months, we are using the feedback from IIP to strengthen what we already do, particularly how we utilise colleague feedback into action and how we recognise our people in a meaningful way.
IIP has given us the tools from the reports to focus on what means the most to our colleagues to do this in the most effective way – something we may not have been able to do so successfully without the report.
Beyond – well, we want to be an IIP Platinum employer, of course!
What advice would you give to anyone applying for The Investors in People Awards 2022?
There is no better way for other employers to feel how your organisation is doing and demonstrate to your people that you genuinely care and that they matter than going through IIP.
It makes you look not only at the action but also at the outcomes to ensure that what you do will have a tangible effect on your people, and in turn, the organisation.
The process has been helpful, informative and challenging in a good way across the years, and we value the award and what it stands for.
View more of our awards stories.