An eye on RHPi | RHP’s rules of engagement

25th November 2016

We’ve had a pretty incredible couple of weeks at RHP – winning two prestigious awards. Last week, we were thrilled to win the OC Excellence ‘Organisational culture excellence’ award. And on Tuesday we bagged ‘Best Employee Engagement Initiative’ at the Personnel today ceremony.

At both events we were in great company, with other winners at the OC awards including Lindt Chocolate, Virgin media and Aviva and organisations such as Odeon, ITN and Barclays Bank taking the stage at the Personnel today awards. Proof yet again that we love to punch above our weight!

Awards for us go beyond a new bit of silverware in our reception (although our latest two additions are very attractive!) They act as an important way for us to benchmark how we’re getting on against our vision and are a chance for our people to feel proud and celebrate their success.

People always ask me ‘what’s the RHP secret?’ especially after wins such as these.

And for me it’s clear – it’s our amazing people and the special culture they’ve helped us to create that sets us apart. I could write a book on everything we’ve done over the years to continually try and increase engagement (and in turn improve service and achieve growth), but for now, here’s a little snapshot:

Since we were formed in 2000, RHP’s had a very clear vision to be one of the best service providers in the UK and an excellent employer. This core purpose runs through everything we do and if you ask anyone who works here about our vision, whatever their role, they’d be able to not only tell you what it is but also why it’s important and even better the part they play in delivering it.

Yes I know, it sounds obvious but it’s amazing how many organisations don’t put the time and care into getting this right. We recruit based on behaviours first and technical skills (which can be learnt) second, with our challenging yet fun (yes fun! Candidates actually tell us they enjoyed the experience successful or not) assessment centres designed to allow people to be themselves, let their personalities shine and show us what they’ve got. 

Throw away your  'suggestion box'

There’s no suggestion box at RHP with dusty bits of paper inside that no-one ever reads. It’s so important to offer a range of ways for people to share their views so that they can pick the way that best suits them. Examples of how we continue to look for new and improved ways for people to tell us what they think include our internal social network yammer, our discussion forums ‘Great place to debate’ and ‘Live lounge’, having a chat with me through one of my ‘elevenses’ sessions or by filming a short clip in our very own video booth (not just for the selfie generation!)

Whatever the medium the crucial part is to create a meaningful dialogue and respond to and act on any ideas you get – even if it’s to explain why something can’t be done.

We make people a commitment when they join us that’ll we invest time, effort and resources into helping them grow both personally and professionally – something that’s become even more important to stick to during periods of change. In times of austerity the training budget is often the first to be slashed – not at RHP. We of course look to run L&D as efficiently as we can (in fact we design and develop most initiatives in-house) and use our budget cleverly to make sure people have the right skills they need both now and in the future to do their jobs well and to help them achieve their career aspirations.

We talk a lot about innovating to provide better services for our customers and to create business efficiencies that’ll allow us to build more homes. However it’s important to remember that innovation is just as important for your employees. Just as we aim to give our customers ‘choice, convenience and control’ with the digital services we offer, we do just the same for our employees offering a range of self-service options they can use on the go. We’ve also worked hard to create a culture where innovation is driven from employee level with things such as the introduction of our own version of Dragons Den called ‘4 in 4’ where people can come and pitch an idea for business improvement.

And the last tip? We take the jobs we do very seriously and I’m proud of the hard work and dedication our people show. However it’s crucial to make sure you have some fun along the way too. As a leader it’s incredibly important to lead by example with this. Being persuaded to take part in spoof videos for our employee conference every year is just one of the ways I try – I’ve been Captain Jack Sparrow, Doc Brown from Back to the Future and even did the dance from the Cadbury’s ‘I can boogie’ advert!

So yes, it’s a lovely feeling to win these awards, a chance for us to celebrate and feel proud and compare ourselves with organisations we respect. However the important bit for me is that it represents the improvements we are continually trying to make for both customers and employees and the tangible impact it’s all having on our business results, which in turn is helping us provide more homes. That’s what makes me really proud.

David

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