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Berwickshire Housing Assoc.

In 2009, concerns were raised about what the future held for Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA) when a critical inspection report highlighted that many within the organisation felt it wasn’t performing to the best of its ability. This, compounded with BHA coming 52nd in a 2012 survey for Sunday Times of the best non-profit companies to work for, showed that change was required if the organisation was to become the high performing culture the new management team sought.

It was identified that change could not happen as part of a piecemeal strategy, and that cascading change was required within the whole organisation. This is where The Leadership Factory stepped in to work with the top leadership team to implement a leadership development programme to instil the skills needed to start and manage an effective culture change within the business.

The programme was a great success, and The Leadership Factory were welcomed back to facilitate the next stage in the strategy, where every manager under the senior team received management development training via the Managing People for Growth programme with Scottish Enterprise. The managers participated with both an in-house programme for BHA staff and attendance at the external programme where they could network with managers from other organisations, allowing them exposure to new ways of thinking and different experiences. With additional access to coaching from The Leadership Factory team, coaching workshops and one to one coaching with BHA management, the programme not only successfully supported the cultural change, it also ensured that employees felt valued and supported.

Now, six years on from the initial inspection report that spurred the leadership team into action, BHA have experienced a successful change in the company which they say is linked to the investment in leadership, management and talent development. Staff noted that morale, employees’ confidence, and the positivity of people around them have improved – a great win for the organisation. Kimberley Hoddinott, Tenant Communication Officer in the company, sums it up well: “Not only is BHA a great place to work, my experience is that the course has enabled all of those who attended it to grow and develop, be more confident and work better together across the whole organisation.”

Having previously ranked 52nd in a 2012 survey by the Sunday Times of Best Non-Profit Companies to Work For, change was evident when in 2014 they ranked 15th in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For.

To add to that, November 2014 saw BHA shortlisted for the CIH Scotland Excellence Award for Excellence in Developing Skills and Capacity. Brian Glennie, Director of The Leadership Factory said: “We were delighted to work with BHA to develop their leaders and create a culture for excellence and success. It’s great when one of our clients is recognised for their hard work, and we would like to congratulate them on this achievement.”

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