In for the long haul

26th June 2020 | posted in News

In for the long haul

I was delighted to discover recently that one of the Railway Housing Association team, Charlotte Wallace, had achieved a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Building Studies, and with an overall merit too.

It’s always nice when a member of staff achieves something related, or unrelated, to work, but it was particularly pleasing in Charlotte’s case because she was the first-ever apprentice we employed.

That was in 2009 when she was aged just 17 and now, in 2020, she is a 28-year-old professional woman employed as our Contracts Coordinator.

We saw something very early on in Charlotte, hence we took the decision to employ her full-time when her two-year apprenticeship ended.

Her success got me thinking about all the staff employed by Railway Housing and how it’s very rare for people to leave, unless they retire of course (which is the only thing we allow!).

The vast majority of our staff have been with us for well over 10 years and in a lot of cases, it’s over 20 years.

Having such a low turnover of staff is fantastic and undoubtedly part of this is down to the fact we offer good hours, terms and conditions and pension.

But I think just as importantly, it’s because we are a good organisation to work for. Being small helps, but we create a nice environment to work in and people are proud to say they work for us, and we see this reflected in their productivity.

We are currently advertising for a housing officer for the Hull and East Riding area and even though the closing date isn’t until the end of July, we have already had 140 applications at the time of writing. That’s no coincidence.

Our staff have been fantastic during lock-down. Imagine working pretty much all your life in an office, then suddenly and at short notice, you are told you will now have to work from home for the foreseeable future? That’s a big change in anyone’s books!

For some this has meant working around children who are home-schooling; we have had staff working from a laptop sitting on their sofa, others from their bedroom and one from a motorhome on their drive.

Regardless of how they have adapted to continue doing their jobs from home, they have all done it without complaint and there has been no drop in output whatsoever.

It has worked so well that we’re not rushing to return to the office and we certainly won’t be pressing colleagues to do so for the immediate future.

If the last three months have taught us anything is that we can work flexibly and still provide a great service to our residents.

That’s why I am glad our staff are in it for the long haul.


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