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Wales & West Housing, Finalist 2012, The National Grid Best for Innovation Award

Wales & West Housing employs 341 people. The organisation is always trying to improve its offering to staff, and has been innovative across a variety of areas to do this. A bespoke parents and carers portal has been designed and launched, containing relevant information and signposting relating not only to things like flexible working and work-life balance, but also to volunteer as mentors and to share experiences and knowledge via a bulletin board and forums. Wales & West Housing has also been careful to not alienate those without caring responsibilities, who felt that parents especially received preferential treatment.

Through its health and wellbeing strategy Wales & West Housing has begun to understand how non-work issues (like relationships, finance, bereavement, etc) affect employees’ performance at work, as well as issues like stress and pressure. The aim is to use these findings to develop staff to be more resilient, and also to find new ways to support employees’ domestic lives.

Wales & West Housing is also moving away from a command and control culture to one where values are a key guiding principal, and competencies are discussed within this values-led framework. Individual staff can revisit their plans aspirations and development with their manager throughout the year – not just at annual appraisal meetings.

Wales & West Housing has taken steps to publicly brand itself as a family-friendly and flexible employer, and ascribes the same level of importance to flexible working and wellbeing as it does to pay and pensions. By realigning its employer brand with a commitment to flexible working, Wales & West Housing demonstrates its values and the family-friendly nature of the organisation.