SGCH (formerly St George Community Housing) is an industry leading community housing provider with 37 years of experience providing safe and secure housing.
SGCH has a contemporary and appropriate structure, suitable for the size and complexity of our business and the requirements of our funders, financiers and other stakeholders. SGCH have 231 employees including 206 permanent employees and 25 contractors. SGCH currently has a 92% retention rate for our team members and workforce makeup is 68% female and 32% male.
One outcome of the SGCH Strategic Plan 2019-2024 is to have a high performing culture. This means operating with commercial acumen; and providing people with clear accountabilities and consistently aligned behaviours.
Culture and Leadership
To be able to effectively forecast, schedule, implement, report and evaluate, and accommodate growth we have a consistent way of working – “The SGCH Way”. This is guidelines for the whole organisation to regulate the way we operate in teams, across teams and across divisions. What makes our culture so strong is our values of Innovation, Support, Accountability, Respect and Integrity.
Key initiatives in this area include training programs such as our Byala Cultural Competency program, providing our team members opportunity to develop a better understanding of Aboriginal history and experience, learn about the current Aboriginal urban culture; Crucial Conversations Training, which teaches skills for creating alignment and agreement by fostering open dialogue around high stakes, emotional or risky topics at all levels of an organisation; and our consultative approach with staff on key organisational changes. Our Return to Work planning and Structure Realignment both demonstrate this consultative approach.
Education, training and development
SGCH fosters a culture of continual learning and development for team members through a range of formal and informal training and learning opportunities.
Our online Learning Management System, Apollo, enables team members to manage their own learning journey through flexible eLearning options. SGCH have a completion rate of 89% across 7,841 enrolments. This is one of the highest completion rates amongst all other companies our LMS provider services.
External learning requests are also facilitated. In the 2020-2021 financial year, the Learning and Development team received 158 requests for external learning. 123 of these were completed within the period, with another 24 in progress.
Ongoing development and coaching approaches for staff are also facilitated by our approach to change management and initiatives such as our Social Work Supervision program, which teaches skills to de-escalate situations, de-briefing after events, helping staff to cope when aggressive behaviour does occur, reduce burnout and increasing team connection; and our Empower You to Lead Program, which aims to create conditions of safety, trust and care when engaging in team member and stakeholder conversations, cultivate a resourceful Way of Being which includes accountability, issues resolution, empowering decisions, giving and receiving feedback and embodying behaviours.
Performance, Recognition and Remuneration
SGCH recognises employee contribution and job performance through our annual performance review cycle and annual remuneration/increment review. The SGCH approach to Performance Management is underpinned by a values and strengths based approach.
Team members across the business have Annual Development Plans in place. Our approach to Annual Development Plans is continually reviewed and feedback is sought from staff to ensure currency and value for team members.
SGCH regards employee recognition as an effective method of promoting positive engagement and retention. The structure for issuing awards is not solely focused on performance, it is equally aimed at promoting our values and motivating team members to adhere to the behaviours. Rewards and recognition include: ISARI Values Awards, Special Awards, GEM (Going Extra Mile) Award, Thank You Program and Manager’s appreciation incentives.
Employees are employed under either the Social, Community, Home care and Disability Services Industry Award (SCHCADS) or an individual employment contract. The position description of each job states whether the position is a SCHCADS Award position (and the award level) or that the position is a contract position. SGCH currently pay above award minimum rates. Generally, employees will start at the base point for the award level and move up the levels via incremental pay progression. As recognition of the many challenges staff faced as a result of COVID-19 during 2021, SGCH provided an appreciation payment to all eligible staff as an acknowledgement and appreciation of team members contribution, commitment and patience.
Health, Safety and Satisfaction
SGCH are committed to a safety culture and ensuring our staff and customers are safe. To keep this front of mind, all team meetings include a ‘safety moment’ where staff are encouraged to share an observation relating to safety. A key priority for the past two years has been to ensure COVID-safe approaches that enable our teams to perform their roles and continue to meet the needs of our customers safely and flexibly. This has been guided by the SGCH Resilience Coordination Committee, which acts as a consultation channel for staff.
In December 2020, SGCH launched ‘Recharge’ a practical health and wellbeing plan to foster a resilient workplace. This innovative and responsive program aims to help our team members be the best version of themselves, both inside work and outside work. The program offered 30 different initiatives team members could take part in throughout the year. These include promotion of financial seminars, offering on-site skin checks and flu vaccinations, yoga classes and walking groups, promotion of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) service and flex leave.
SGCH has been measuring employee engagement through the Gallup Q12® Employee Engagement Survey since 2017. The Gallup® approach identifies twelve core elements that link powerfully to key business outcomes and best predict employee engagement and performance. SGCH adopts a leading approach to foster the potential of our team members, using the Gallup Clifton Strengths tool as a personal and team development activity.
For more information about SGCH, visit sgch.com.au