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It's official - Isos is a great place to work; ISOS.

SOCIAL housing specialist Isos has won two nationally recognised quality marks in just a matter of weeks. First, Isos has become officially recognised one of the best places to work in the UK. The North East company, which manages over 12,000 homes regionwide, has recently been listed in the Top 100 in the not-for-profit category of the national Best Places to Work list 2013.

And just last week, the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) announced that it was recognising the high standards attained by Isos staff, in awarding its prestigious Service Mark accreditation. Isos is the first company in the region to reach this standard, and only the second housing association anywhere in the country.

Isos sees both accolades as key stepping stones towards its '2020 Vision' of becoming the leading housing company in the north by the end of this decade. The social landlord is currently rated as a 'one star' organisation by Best Companies, and aims to have three stars by 2020, which is defined as having "outstanding levels of staff engagement."

Jennifer Flint, Assistant Director People at Isos, explained how Isos believes having engaged staff will also deliver results for its customers. She said: "We want to be the kind of company that enjoys an excellent reputation with everybody we work with - whether that is our customers, our staff or our partners.

"We are always pushing to raise standards in all areas of our work, but we also know there is a proven link between high levels of staff engagement and excellent customer satisfaction, and so by achieving one thing, we are also helping to achieve another. It's a truly virtuous circle."

The Best Companies listing came about through Isos inviting the Best Companies organisation to carry out an anonymous survey of its staff, which found high levels of satisfaction with the business as an employer.

Best Companies found Isos staff had been engaged and enthused by the company's new 2020 vision, aimed at becoming the north's leading housing company by the end of the decade.

Isos was also praised for managing to engage its staff at a time when the business had only just completed the complex consolidation of three separate housing providers into one organisation.

The Sunday Times Best Places to Work lists have been published annually since 2006 and are designed to encourage excellence in every area of the workplace while rewarding organisations which make a genuine commitment to staff.

This year the lists have been derived from entries of 896 organisations following surveys of over 240,000 employees, evaluating each organisation's key statistics, processes and policies.

The detailed results of the Best Companies survey listed some key aspects of working at Isos which staff had highlighted as key to making it a great place to work.

The benefits package for all employees was regularly cited, including the ability to work flexibly; a well-funded pension scheme; and private medical insurance, as well as smaller items such as an extra day's holiday on your birthday; and free fruit provided in all Isos offices each week. Staff also cited the feel good factor generated by 2012's staff conference which set out the business's targets for the years ahead.

Keith Loraine, chief executive of Isos, said: "We have worked hard to engage with our people and make them feel motivated to come to work; to bring creativity and ingenuity to the office, and make a positive difference to the lives of our residents.

"To have been placed in the top 100 best places to work at the first attempt shows that we are getting things right."

I think there is a genuine belief in the Isos values and I believe we care about each other as well as the service we provide. We've been through a lot of change over the last few years and I think it's brought out the best in people. I love my job and I work with some great people at all levels across the organisation. Isos staff member, quoted in the Best Companies survey Strong, clear, social purpose, giving something back to the community this is what makes Isos a great place to work. Isos staff member, quoted in the Best Companies survey A culture genuinely based on fairness and sound ethical principles is what makes this a great place to work. Isos staff member, quoted in the Best Companies survey


Staff Forum chair Angeline Rochford-Briggs, centre, and chief executive Keith Loraine, right, receive Isos's trophy from Best Companies executive Glenn Dimelow.

The Walker family from Beadnell, Northumberland outside their new Isos home. They were full of praise for Isos customer service.

The whole Isos team attended the staff conference to plan the way ahead for the organisation.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 17, 2013
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