City West Housing Trust has implemented an organisation-wide cultural change programme using an online assessment tool from change management consultancy SFL.
18 months ago, City West Housing Trust took over the ownership and management of 14,600 properties from Salford City Council and immediately realised it needed to implement a cultural change programme throughout its organisation to ensure the new organisation’s strategic goals could be achieved.
SFL was engaged to bring structure, pace and effectiveness to the change process. Before embarking on the programme, SFL recommended that City West undertake an online change readiness assessment (CRA) across its workforce before significant sums of money were invested. This would enable a clearer understanding of how ready the organisation was for change and provide quantifiable evidence on where the change efforts needed to be focused.
Tim Doyle, chief executive, City West Housing Trust, said, “The CRA gave us robust evidence of the views and attitudes towards change throughout the organisation. For a CEO, this information is essential to allow the organisation to drive an efficient transformation agenda and challenge financial investment in specific areas of the business.”
The CRA system is a change diagnostic tool which SFL developed in order to streamline and add theoretical substance and technical sophistication to the existing paper-based assessment it developed for Lloyds Banking Group.
The CRA is for group analysis but uses data captured from individual assessments. It can identify deep-rooted and fundamental issues alive in an organisation, at both individual and group levels. By collating the results of anonymous assessments, the CRA charts the aspects of leadership, engagement, direction, measurement and change orientation through algorithmic analysis.
SFL’s assessment resulted in an in-depth report, at group and departmental levels, into the propensity to change, the values and beliefs regarding change, the employees’ perceptions of the organisation’s leaders and the extent to which employees were engaged with the organisation.
SFL was then able to recommend bespoke interventions to support City West’s cultural change programme and demonstrate the logic behind the recommendation with statistical evidence. City West was immediately able to avoid wasted spend on less beneficial areas and instead achieve rapid results in the areas singled out for extra focus. From this, the ultimate objectives of the cultural change programme were refined: to deliver lasting transformational culture change; to develop a behavioural framework that links to City West’s values, and to deliver a step change in attitude towards City West’s customers.
Following City West’s use of the CRA tool and SFL’s assessment, information and communications technology is now proving to be a great enabler in achieving City West’s business goals. While there was a service provider overhanging from the Salford City Council era, the IT systems were not commercially efficient. In the 18 months since its inception, City West has implemented a raft of new IT systems covering finance, housing, works management, asset management and performance management, all of which are now integrated to ensure that data only needs to be entered once, giving ‘one true version all times.
SFL’s CRA tool costs around £25 per person, based on an assessment of 100 people of more. The CRA assessment typically takes four weeks from project inception to presentation of the final report to the CEO. While the CRA took place during Q4 2009, City West’s cultural change programme is still ongoing.