Customer Service Excellence (CSE)
We have been accredited with the Customer Excellence Standard, improving our results year on year and we are in the top 2% of organisations in the country.
The Government wants services for all that are efficient, effective, excellent, equitable and empowering. Customer Service Excellence ® was developed to offer services a practical tool for driving customer-focused change within their organisations.
The ‘Customer Service Excellence ® standard’ tests the areas that research suggests are a priority for customers:
- Staff attitude.
The standard is:
- A driver of continuous improvement
- A skills development tool
- An independent validation of achievement
Arawak Walton has continued to achieve high scores in the standard. In 2016, our assessor noted that we are continuously making progress and he made particular mention of how we are listening to customer and working in line with our mission and not just making cutbacks in these challenging times.
Arawak Walton achieves highest grading from HCA after In Depth Assessment
Following continued growth, Arawak Walton moved into mainstream regulation in 2016 due to owning over 1,000 homes.
After completing an in depth assessment (IDA), earlier this year, the Homes and Communities Agency awarded Arawak Walton Housing Association a rating of G1/V1. This rating is the highest grading achievable and confirms that Arawak Walton benefits from robust governance and are financially viable respectively.
Ms Cym D’Souza, Arawak Walton’s Chief Executive, said “At a time where the social housing sector faces many challenges, this is a fantastic result. Sound governance and financial stability are essential in allowing us to do what we do in the community.”
As a Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) specialist housing association, we are delighted to be able to evidence that an association born out of the community has grown and flourished and has now achieved the highest regulatory grading possible.
Investors In People (IIP)
We are absolutely delighted to announce that following a rigorous first assessment process, we achieved Investors in People Gold accreditation, demonstrating our commitment to high performance through good people management.
Investors in People is the international standard for people management, defining what it takes to lead, support and manage people effectively to achieve sustainable results. Underpinning the Standard is the Investors in People framework, reflecting the latest workplace trends, essential skills and effective structures required to outperform in any industry. Gold is one of the highest levels of Investors in People accreditation that can be achieved.
Our assessment was completed by Carol Davidson. Following the assessment Carol noted some of the association’s particular strengths:
• “Strengths were demonstrated across all indicators not least how the leadership team has inspired and motivated people to deliver the organisation’s vision and acted as role models”
• “A culture of openness and trust has been created”
• “The values of Arawak Walton were clearly defined, highly visible and well embedded in the people management strategies”
• “People were confident and empowered to take decisions in their day to day work and had been encouraged to use their initiative”
• “Arawak Walton HA are commended for developing best practices policies and strategies that are comparable to those normally assisted with larger organisations.”
Our Chief Executive, Cym D’Souza, is absolutely thrilled with the achievement: “This is a fantastic achievement that we are incredibly pleased and proud of. It not only recognises our commitment to staff but also our aim to create a positive and stimulating working environment, where the needs of our tenants are at the heart of everything we do. It showcases how hard we have worked to create a workplace where our diverse teams respect skill sets, embrace teamwork and encourage endeavour to enable every member of our association to be the best they can whilst enjoying what they do. We are very pleased to be on our Investors In People journey and look forward to building upon the result that we have achieved this year.” Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate Arawak.”
Time to Change Pledge
Arawak Walton are ‘Passionate about People’ and our People Strategy outlines our approach and commitment to all people involved with our organisation.
The association’s roots are in the African-Caribbean community, however, we have grown and prospered over the years by offering an excellent, culturally sensitive and personal service to a very diverse customer base. We have continued the work of our founder members in contributing to local regeneration activities and tackling social deprivation and we pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and on making a positive difference to people’s lives.
Arawak Walton have signed the pledge because we are committed to creating a workplace free of stigma and discrimination surrounding Mental Health Issues. We care about our colleagues and we aim to support and improve the health and wellbeing of all.
The Time to Change pledge complements our existing work and supports our commitment to our people and our aim to encourage and embed a culture that fosters and promotes our values, diversity, inclusion and wellbeing amongst all staff, tenants and stakeholders. Our agreed action plan highlights several positive steps which we will take to ensure our workplace remains free of stigma and discrimination. We will have dedicated Mental Health First Aiders who will be the first point of contact for colleagues experiencing crisis as well as Champions who will ensure the association keeps mental health on the agenda, via policies, sharing stories, signposting and raising awareness by supporting national and global mental health campaigns.