Approved by Board December 2016
How are we Controlled and Run?
We are continuing to make good progress towards our main governance outcome ‘We make sure our purpose is clear and we achieve what we set out to do – knowing who does what and why.’
We have received positive independent reviews of governance and verification of our compliance with Community Housing Cymru’s Code of Governance. An internal review of our compliance with the Code was undertaken in November 2016 and confirmed our ongoing compliance.
We are independent from the Council and operate in line with an up-to-date and appropriate constitution – our Rules. We are making excellent progress on delivering the Offer Document promises on behalf of the Council to our tenants. Only 13 of the 118 promises remain and these are due to be completed in 2017. Once the Offer Document promises are complete, our new Corporate Plan, which is in the process of being developed in conjunction with tenants and staff, will be implemented. The plan will set out a clear vision for the organisation for the next 3 years.
We have made significant progress to improve our culture and staff performance through our Making a Difference Dialogue (MADD - staff appraisal process), our Leadership programme, staff training, a new organisational structure and our approach to equality and diversity.
Significant efforts have been made to address Board member learning and development needs and training programmes are being delivered to address those needs in order to develop the capacity, skills and tools to deliver our purpose. Through our ‘Come On Board’ campaign we have improved the age profile and gender balance on our Board.
Our organisational approach to business planning and performance management is maturing. Board has approved a suite of key performance indicators which measure the progress made with the Corporate Plan and the overall health of the organisation. Performance is reported and discussed at Board quarterly. The Corporate Services team continues to work with the business to support planning and monitoring of objectives and outcomes.
Our Academy has been established. Part of their role is to undertake self-evaluation of our local outcomes in conjunction with staff over the course of a year on a thematic basis, the evaluation is then reported to Board. An independent audit of our self-evaluation process has provided substantial assurance.
What difference do we want to make? (Main Outcome)
Facts And Figures
We have strong, accountable leadership, with clear, informed, transparent decision-making to ensure we achieve our purpose
The CHC Code of Governance sets standards and practises that boards and their members must adhere to. It has been designed to help housing associations to develop good governance structures and support continuous service improvement for tenants. An independent review carried out in 2015 by Central Consultancy and Training confirmed that we are compliant with the Code. An internal review of our compliance with the Code was undertaken by the Corporate Governance Team in November 2016 which confirmed our ongoing compliance is available from the Corporate Services Team on request.
Our Standing Orders and Schedule of Delegated Authority set out clear, transparent lines of decision-making to ensure we achieve our purpose. These documents will be subject to an in-depth review in 2017 so that they reflect our new organisational structure and aspirations for the next 3 years.
The whole organisation is aligned to delivery of its purpose and has the capacity, skills and tools to deliver successfully and our culture supports the delivery of our purpose and outcomes, innovates, seeks new ideas and evaluates learning from others
Every year, our Board members have a meeting with the Chair and Chief Executive to discuss their performance and identify their learning and development needs. In 2017, the Board appraisal process will be reviewed by a sub-group of the Board to align it more closely with the MADD staff appraisal process including goal setting and an assessment of behaviours (see ‘Our Staff’ section below).
Significant efforts have been made to address Board member learning and development needs through formal and informal training. Over the past year training has included:
Risk Management Refresher
Violence and Domestic Abuse
Health and Safety
Head of Service Updates
Finance including Treasury Management and Accountancy Principles
Technology and Innovation Workshop
Every 3 years an independent whole Board appraisal is carried out to assess the Board’s performance. The results of the last whole Board appraisal are available on request from the Corporate Services Team.
Attendance at Board meetings averaged 70% in 2015/16.
We are pleased to have made improvements in attendance and average attendance figures for the first 8 months of 2016/17 are 79%, just short of the 80% best practice figure.
Come On Board
Come On Board campaign aimed to improve the age profile and gender balance on our Board so that it is more representative of our local community. The work has resulted in younger people joining the Board and a 50/50 gender balance. There is still work to be done to widen the age range of those who sit on the Board.
Further information on the equality and diversity profile of our Board members compared to the Neath Port Talbot area can be found here.
Our innovative Academy is now well-established. This is our approach to training tenant Board members of the future.
The Academy members also undertake self-evaluation of organisational performance in conjunction with staff over the course of a year on particular themes and report their findings to the Board.
Our process of self-evaluation was independently audited by Barcud (shared internal audit service) in the Autumn of 2016 with very positive results. A copy of the internal audit report can be found here.
The Board has recently appointed two new independent co-optees to the Board, one of whom is our new Chair. They bring with them a wealth of skills and experience from the public and private sector, further strengthening the Board. There are also plans to co-opt a tenant who has been engaged with the organisation on a variety of projects, to fill the tenant Board vacancy.
During the last year we have made significant progress to improve our culture and staff performance.
With the introduction of Making a Difference Dialogue during 2015/16, employees have three ‘Making a Difference Dialogue’ meetings with their manager during the year. These take the form of:
Goal Setting: agreeing goals for the individuals which align with the goals of the organisation
Mid-term Review: Discussing the progress employees are making toward their goals and also taking time out to share feedback using our ‘behaviour framework’
Year-end Review: Reviewing and rating the employee’s performance over the year and also reviewing their potential based on where they are in their career. These two ratings are combined to give us our ‘high performing workforce’ key performance indicator which was 80% for 2015/16.
Personal Development:The year-end review is also an opportunity for the manager and employee to discuss the employee’s personal development needs based upon their reflections of their performance over the year and what development they will need to achieve their potential.
November 2015 saw the official launch of our bespoke Leadership 5:3:5 framework at our first leadership conference. An advisory group consisting of senior leaders have since developed a plan to engage and develop our leaders. This development plan will give them the skills and knowledge to enable them to engage, inspire and lead their teams to achieve the organisations vision and purpose.
Equality and Diversity
We are making good progress in the area of equality and diversity. A copy of our Equality and Diversity Policy can be found here.
We have an Equality and Diversity Champion Group which is made up of tenants, staff and Board members. Details on the outcomes of the group’s work, including a short video, please click the link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10CEg4jo0T0
Research proves that an engaged workforce delivers more successful outcomes. During early 2016, the organisation embarked on its first employee engagement survey. This survey measured how people feel about working in the organisation and whether they clearly understand and identify with its mission and purpose.
The results of the survey showed that there is still work to be done with a score of 3.82 out of a possible 5, ranking 39th out of 100 for similar sized organisations.
Underneath this overall result there are a widely differing scores by department with some areas very highly engaged and others less so.The excellent information gathered from this survey is being used pro-actively to target the areas we need to improve to achieve higher levels of engagement.
One of the realisations from the engagement survey was that employees were not clear about what was expected of them in their roles.
We have responded to this by reorganising and simplifying our organisational structure. This resulted in rationalising departments and roles with a view to providing clarity and improving collaboration amongst services.
Learning and Development
In addition to the standard programme of learning and development for employees, we have introduced an e-learning system for all office based employees which has resulted in flexible access to additional learning materials via the internet. This increases learning opportunities for all in that they are able to access training at a time suitable for them. Plans are in place to enrol all other employees onto the system early 2017 and course materials and content will continue to be reviewed, updated and added.
Our planning, self-assessment and performance management supports delivery of our purpose and ensures we continually improve
Our organisational approach to business planning and performance management is maturing. Board has approved a set of key performance indicators which measure the progress made with the Corporate Plan and the overall health of the organisation. Performance is reported and discussed at Board quarterly. The Corporate Services team continues to work with the business to support planning and monitoring of objectives and outcomes.
We are making good progress in the area of risk management. In November 2016 the Board agreed its risk appetite statement for the organisation and approved an updated Risk Management Policy. The user-friendly Policy sets out how we record, score, prioritise, mitigate and manage risk and can be found here.
The Board has a clear understanding of risk, developed through mandatory training, and takes ownership of the organisation’s risk register which covers both operational and strategic risks and links to the Welsh Government’s Sector Risks. The Audit and Risk Committee scrutinises risks and mitigating controls.
Work now needs to be done to communicate the risk appetite statement to staff throughout the organisation as a basis for decision making and planning and to continue to raise awareness of risk identification and management across the whole organisation.
We are independent from other bodies and operate in line with an appropriate constitution
We are an independent organisation although we are closely linked to the Council as we are delivering the Offer Document promises made to tenants on transfer on the Council’s behalf.
Offer Document Promises
We are making excellent progress on delivering these promises. Only 13 of the 118 promises remain and these are due to be completed in 2017. The table below shows progress between September 2013 and September 2016.
Further information on the Offer Document promises progress can be found on our website:
Our plans for the organisation, once the Offer Document promises and current Corporate Plan for 2014-17 have been delivered, are being developed with tenants and staff. Our new Corporate Plan for 2017-2020 will be published in the Spring of 2017. The plan will set out a clear vision for the organisation for the next 3 years.
We operate in line with an appropriate constitution – our Rules.
A copy of our Rules is available here.
New Model Rules are currently being drafted by Community Housing Cymru and there is an expectation from the Welsh Government that RSLs across Wales will adopt them. This means that a re-draft of our Rules will be required in 2017.
We make sure our purpose is clear and we achieve what we set out to do - knowing who does what and why