Goal:  People and processes

Optimise use of our people, skills, internal and external potential capacity by implementation of a programme of five system reviews over three years, to be agreed annually, to provide improved high level business processes.

Strategic context

The goal delivers improved processes, skills and capacity to support delivery of our expanding services, at a proportionately lower unit cost. The Human Resources Strategy was formed to develop high standards of performance and for us to develop as an organisation and achieve Rooftop’s goals.

Essentially this means having the right people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time, at the right cost, being effective (doing the right things) and efficient (doing them right).

Our achievement of Investors in People Gold accreditation in November 2011 (re-accreditation 2015), and success as a ‘Times 100 Not for Profit Best Companies’ in 2015 (one to watch!) and 2016 (two stars!) provides evidence of progress of this goal.

 Business process improvements under this goal are primarily corporate or ICT led and benefit all parts of the organisation. Improvements in business processes are also included in other goals to which they more specifically contribute.

 What we have done

1: ICT infrastructure – library rationalisation (2011-14)
It is some years since the file structure for all live and stored electronic documents was reviewed. This is our ‘library’ of documents used on a day to day basis throughout Rooftop. The main focus of the project was to identify an improved structure that will support efficient business processes for the future and to minimise the amount of unproductive staff time required in the transition to the new file structure. This project worked in conjunction with the Electronic Document Management project. This review was completed in mid 2013 and a new project has commenced to design and implement the recommended structure. 

2: Implement the governance improvement plan (2013-14)
This is an annual project to maintain or improve the governance processes. During 2013/14, we built on the change of rules at the end of 2011/12, which moved us to common board membership of three subsidiary boards with additional independents on the Group Board, achieving a reduction to 12 board members in total. Our continuing programme of board renewal involved recruitment of four members, a Group Chair and selection of three subsidiary Chairs during 2013. All governance related policies have been reviewed in light of the rule change and reflect the HCA’s governance standard.

An annual assessment of evidence of compliance with the governance and consumer standards of the regulatory framework has been updated on Clearview Service Excellence module for 2014.

3: Implement and review the effectiveness of a performance related pay scheme (2012-14)
Rooftop benchmarks our pay policy at ‘median’ for the sector.  A performance related pay scheme has been created to stimulate and reward exceptional performance. The scheme was implemented in 2012/13 and has a simple assessment process based upon outcomes which led to rewards in July 2013. The scheme continued for 2013/14, taking into account learning from the first year.  The effectiveness and continuation of the scheme was assessed in September 2014 and the board has decided that the scheme should continue until 2018.

4: ICT Review (2013-15)

This was the first of a series of back office function reviews being carried out as part of the VFM process.

The ICT review critically examined the current ICT environment and ICT service provision to assess if they were:

  • Appropriate (for future Rooftop service delivery);
  • Supportive (ability to enable innovation/efficiency/flexible working); Value for money (Service delivery competitiveness) and ‘Fit for purpose’ (to industry standards / good practice/ customer care);
  • Propose improvements which lead to excellent service provision;
  • Define a vision, strategy and policy.

The results of this review were generally favourable, with some areas identified for improvement and an action plan in place for 2014/15. This project provided a framework for review and a consistent process for all future back office function reviews.

5: Upgrade or replace HR/Payroll system (2012-15)
This project has seen research carried out into alternative software solutions from our current system. This research has been benchmarked against various other housing associations in our peer group.

Following an assessment of the HR functionality, we proceeded with the upgrade to Snowdrop, which provided a link to our Sage payroll and provided the best value for money. 

Following training and parallel running with the old HR system, the new system went live in July 2013.  Positive feedback has been received on the new system and the HR Team is continuing to develop use of additional features to increase the effectiveness of the system and reduce manual input.  The system is now fully implemented and a review was completed in December 2014.

6: ICT infrastructure – library design/ implementation (2014-15)

The Rooftop ICT team in partnership with all departments have implemented a new file structure for our main information storage system. The new design is based on functional operations. This design concept delivers improved access and support a more efficient approach to management control of information here at Rooftop.  The design and implementation phase completed in March 2015 to be followed by full implementation.

7: Rule changes (2013-15)

This project undertook the necessary legal and organisational work to change the organisation’s name from Evesham and Pershore Housing Association to Rooftop Housing Association.

8: Implement the governance improvement plan (2014-15)
This was an annual project to maintain or improve the governance processes during 2014/15.

9: Best Companies Employers – Times 100 (2014-16)

This award recognises true leaders in employee engagement, who look to help and encourage their staff to develop.  This project follows the initial embedding of the ‘Making a difference’ programme. In 2015 Rooftop became one of the ‘Times 100 Not for Profit Best Companies’.

10: Implement the ’Making a difference’ programme (2013-16)
Rooftop has a well established culture of delivering customer focussed services recognised by the Customer Excellence Award in 2011 and reaccreditation in 2013. In September 2013 we started implementing the Mary Gober method change programme to provide tools and enhance skills through a programme which has a track record of creating customer satisfaction, operational and financial improvements. 

11: Embedding the ’Making a difference’ programme (2015-16)
In September 2013 Rooftop started training in the Mary Gober method change programme. Embedding of the ‘Making a difference’ programme has been in 3 stages and completed in March 2016.

12: Corporate Resources Review (2014-16)

This was part of the programme of back office function reviews which considered Human Resources and Corporate functions.  The review was generally very favourable with some improvements identified and implemented.

13: Review the Capita Housing System (2015-16)

This project reviewed the need to replace the existing Capita Housing System.  After consideration of the options, the recommendation was that the system was obsolete and needed replacement.  A new project to implement the replacement of the Main Housing System has been set up under the Access to Services goal.

14: Action plan for the Corporate Resources Review (2015-16)

This project implemented the recommendations of the Corporate Resources Review.

15: Action plan for the Times 100 review (2015-16) to improve our staff engagement score

This project implemented the findings from the Times 100 Best Companies survey and supported our two star award in 2016 (Outstanding).

16: Implement the governance improvement plan (2015-16)
This was an annual project to maintain or improve the governance processes during 2015/16.

17: HCA – In Depth Assessment (2015-16)
This project planned in detail the process of preparation for the In Depth Assessment by the HCA in January 2016. The result of the HCA IDA was confirmation of the highest possible rating of governance (G1) and Viability with the financial capacity to deal with a wide range of adverse scenarios (V1).

18: Review of RHG non-social assets (2013-16)

This review considered all non social housing and the profile of the future organisation.  Initial investigations reviewed the potential for further modest expansion of the market rental provision.  Due to the changing strategic situation and the generally favourable performance of RHL at this point this project has now been replaced by a bi-annual review meeting.

What we are doing

19: CSV – Mobilisation (2014-17)

Following the successful implementation of the Cost Sharing Vehicle, this project tracked the processes required to fully bed in the new operation.

20: IIP process embedding (2016-17)

The IIP accreditation method has changed; this project will ensure that the processes which support our Gold IIP accreditation will be fully embedded.

21: Plan the long term future of Rooftop office premises (2014-21)
The lease on our headquarters office expires in 2021. We also operate a temporary office from a cabin at Bishop’s Cleeve in Gloucestershire and some staff work from ‘hubs’ within grouped schemes. This project is developing a long term plan that reflects customer access through digital services and seeks to make best use of our people to meet the needs of the growing number of residents.

22: Finance Review (2016-17)

This is part of the programme of back office function reviews which will be considering the Finance function.

23: Communications Strategy and Service Review (2015-16)

This is part of the programme of back office function reviews which will consider the Communications functions.

24: Implement the governance improvement plan (2016-17)
This is an annual project to maintain or improve the governance processes during 2016/17.

25: Pay to Stay (2016-18)
Changes in the housing regime means that Housing Associations can chose to introduce ‘Pay to Stay’.  Residents with a combined income over £30k a year could be required to pay full market rent.  We will review this option, consider the process and resources necessary to manage the administration of the scheme, the possibilities for partnership working and the relative benefits and costs of the introduction of this scheme.

Related projects

The following projects under other goals also contribute to the delivery of this goal:

  • Residents on-line programme
  •  Electronic Document Management – Phase 2