Gloucester City Homes team winners of Best Place to Work | Gloucestershire Live Business Awards 2023 sponsored by Randall & Payne
Category: Awards

Building futures – inside Gloucester City Homes’ journey to becoming the Best Place to Work

Gloucester City Homes are passionate about their role in tackling the housing crisis, bringing quality, affordable new homes in and around Gloucester. They have the same passion and commitment to their people with a range of initiatives and benefits to best support each colleague in the business.

We learn how this positive inclusive culture resulted in them winning the Best Place to Work Award in 2023.

Gloucester City Homes logo

  • Founded over 100 years ago. Gloucester City Homes (GCH) is an independent Housing Association based in Gloucester.
  • GCH 5,000 homes in and around Gloucester with 180 employees.
  • A social business which is committed to investing locally, creating jobs and opportunities and working with partners and community organisations to support people in the greatest need.
  • All GCH homes meet the Government’s decent homes standard and there is a 30-year financial business plan to deliver around £250 million investment in their existing and new homes.

The winning entry:

Key to their success is the passion and commitment from their team and they have a strong track record as an employer of choice thanks to their positive inclusive culture, commitment to colleagues’ wellbeing, empowering and listening to their workforce and personal development opportunities.

Using learning from the pandemic, they introduced a new benefits package, which includes 30 days leave regardless of role, 2 annual volunteering days, a wellbeing support package and benefits portal. They moved to hybrid working, closed their traditional office and invested in a new flexible collaboration hub. Alongside this they introduced trust-based working, providing colleagues with flexibility to ensure a strong work-life balance. They’ve seen an increase in employee retention, wellbeing, morale and teamworking as a result.

GCH pride themselves on developing their colleagues and continue to evolve their   professional development offer to colleagues, through programmes such as their Housing Professional Passport and more recently their companywide #BeTheDifference customer focused training programme.

Their two key employee groups – Colleague Voice and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Network, drive internal communications, provide colleagues with a voice in strategic issues and help deliver events and campaigns. Examples include discussions around menopause awareness and women’s wellbeing, Race Equality Week, International Women’s Day and Deaf Awareness Week, which were dentified by colleagues as important to recognise. In 2022 they were awarded with the ‘Inclusivity Works’ award for their commitment to making adjustments and offering employment opportunities to those facing barriers to work.

They support their colleagues and aid teamwork in many other ways:

  • Hosting events, celebrations and rewards for employees including a Values Awards and a volunteering celebration event with the winners enjoying special trips and prizes.
  • Monthly ‘Link Live’ event where over 100 colleagues come together in person and remotely across all teams to aid communication which is key for hybrid working.
  • In recognition of the increasing costs of living, they arranged financial wellbeing advice sessions, introduced a new benefits package for accessing medical costs and shopping discounts, provided shopping vouchers, and introduced the FinanciallyWell employee loan scheme.

GCH continue to build on their employer of choice status through the work of their new ‘People Strategy’ which focuses on three key areas; Attract, Enable and Include focusing on; attracting and retaining colleagues whose values align with theirs, attracting candidates from a diverse base, building a culture of trust, empowerment and learning from challenges, freedom for colleagues to take forward ideas, continuing to build an inclusive environment and continually supporting employees to unlock their potential.

Executive Director of Customer Experience, Michael Hill said:

We were thrilled to win this award in the company of some of the very best of Gloucestershire’s businesses. At GCH we trust colleagues to deliver for our customers and empower them to realise their potential. We also value and celebrate diversity and the benefits that this brings to GCH.”


Gloucestershire Live Business Awards 2023 | Partner Randall & Payne logo