Karen Gilmore, Group Director of Corporate Services at Clanmil, and Greg Bell, Group Director of Finance discuss the third of our five aims in Clanmil’s Corporate Strategy 2021-2026, ‘Create a brilliant and sustainable organisation that’s fit for the future.’
This aim is about first focusing on why Clanmil is a great place to work, looking at how we recruit and develop our people, have fulfilling jobs and have structure and purpose and space for creativity. It is about how we manage our finances and what technology we invest in, and the sound reasons for that investment.
We live in a world of digital, environmental and social disruption, and change is something that has become a constant, not just in our work, but in every part of our lives. We have lived through the past 20 months and, not to use a cliché, it has been unprecedented!
We’ve had to act and move to adapt what we do and how we do things. We are still doing that and will be for some time.
To achieve the five year aims in our corporate strategy, we must be financially strong and be as efficient as we can be, to allow us more quality time to do what adds value.
We receive public money and tenants pay us rent, and with that comes responsibilities, so it is right that we manage our business to the highest standards.
We are aware of what we spend and how we spend it and how we structure loans with the banks so that we can continue to fund building new homes and looking after the ones we already have.
We want to charge a rent that is fair and reflective of the service that we provide to customers.
A great place to work
We’re only as good as our people and that’s why we want to work together to create a great place to work. In three years, we will have invested over £1m in new posts and restructures and almost every department in Clanmil has had an impact from that.
The changes are just bedding in and may not be fully felt yet. For example, we have created new patch management teams in housing and assets to be closer and more responsive to customers, established a project management team to co-ordinate delivery of key projects, invested additional resources in income and money advice management, and created an Assistant Director team to manage in-year performance in Clanmil. We have also created new administration and apprentice roles.
At our schemes, we had two days recently listening to the effort colleagues made and are making during the pandemic, and the pride they take in providing great service to older people. It is an area we will be focusing on in developing a new Older People’s Strategy.
We’ve had to look at changes that are challenging and have caused some anxiety, such as the pre- consultation on the viability of some of our care homes, but we always aim to listen and to do what is best for the people who live in Clanmil homes. The pre-consultation has now ended and the homes continue to be places where older people. are cared for and supported.
Customer satisfaction is another key area where we are focusing our attention over the next five years, and we recognise that we need to be more efficient in how we respond to customers. That’s why we are creating a service centre that will improve the customer journey, with one point of contact to manage any issues and seamlessly keep the customer relationship management system up to date.
We are delighted to have just launched a new website and a customer portal, ClanmilConnect, for logging repairs and managing payments. A small team of dedicated colleagues from all departments worked hard to deliver something that will just keep getting more useful to customers.
Significant investment has been put into our organisational systems and processes, including our housing and assets system, CX, our iTrent personnel and payroll system where colleagues can view payslips, update their personal details and book courses and learning opportunities, and applicants can search and apply for jobs and our Keystone and Proval systems which help collate data on all our homes and buildings
All of this will help colleagues work in a more streamlined way, allowing them more time to focus on other work, while still providing a great customer experience.
A growing business
To create a brilliant, sustainable organisation, we must ensure we are financially sound and secure, with reserves available for meeting our future commitments in maintaining our properties and building new homes. Our aim is to optimize our financial group structure and identify opportunities for future growth through partnership or innovation, launching new effective services for our customers and communities.
Clanmil is a growing business. We’re building new homes that will last for hundreds of years; we’re maintaining the homes we have; and we employ more than 300 people.
With loans and commitment to banks, it’s important that our financial plans are strong. To achieve this, we structured our loans differently which secured us over £1m of added revenue that we can use for growth and investment in new homes. While we understand that it is the rent paid to us that funds a lot of what we do, we need to charge a fair rate to people who live in Clanmil homes.
People are weary after living through so much fear and upheaval over the last two years, and colleagues have gone above and beyond to adapt to the ‘new normal’.
Change for the better
We know that asking colleagues and the people who live in Clanmil homes to work with us as we move through more change is a big ask, but we hope that if we communicate why we are changing, and if that change makes things better, we can all be proud to be part of what we do and the impact we can have in Clanmil.