We measure and compare our performance in a number of ways including against our Critical Success Factors which are set by the Board, considering value for money and through our internal audit programme.
Our Critical Success Factors (CSFs) monitor progress and performance against our key business priorities and Corporate Plan objectives. They helps us measure our success, see what we’re doing well and look at where we may need to improve.
Due to the challenges presented by the pandemic, we have provided focused, flexible and appropriate performance data to meet the demands of the business, which is shared regularly with colleagues and Board members.
We use a benchmarks to compare our performance, including the Institute of Customer Services, the North West Employee Engagement Group and data provided by the Regulator of Social Housing and the Sector Scorecard.
Despite being an unprecedented year of challenge, we achieved eight out of 10 CSFs, with three exceeding their stretch target, resulting in a record performance year.
The two measures that did not reach target were ‘Households into Work, Training and Volunteering’ and ‘Development Completions’, which were hindered due to restrictions and challenges brought about by the pandemic.
Despite everything, we still helped 701 households into work, training and volunteering opportunities and redirected much-needed resources to our Hardship Fund, which was established to help customers struggling during the pandemic.
Although we experienced three lockdowns, we built 292 properties and completed on a further 33 Equity legacy homes (which are not part of the CSF), resulting in 325 new properties in total. At the end of March 2021, we had 36 ‘live’ sites with 1455 new homes under construction, contributing to our 2021/22 CSF.
The original ‘Development Completions’ CSF target was met in May 2021, which aligned with the eight-week Covid closure and delays impacting completions.
All three of our Sharing Greatness measures, our colleague incentive scheme, were achieved which included:
Each year we share a range of VFM information in our statutory accounts, which highlights how our performance compares to our peers and any areas of underperformance to address. This information is shared with our stakeholders and provides them with an understanding of our performance against both the Regulator’s and our own targets.
This year, through our statutory accounts, we will be reporting that our 2020/21 performance is better than our 2019/20 median in 10 out of 15 categories, with particularly strong performance across growth indicators and social housing costs per unit.
In addition to the Sector Scorecard performance information provided in our statutory accounts, we report on our performance against the Regulator’s seven VFM metrics. We report these metrics to Board through our management accounts, finance updates and VFM reports.
Underpinning our VFM approach is the delivery of economies of scale through steady organic growth of homes owned through grant-funded development, together with growth in associated or complementary management services.
Following our merger with Equity Housing Group, our continued development programme and our management contract with Legal and General Affordable Homes, the number of homes that we own and manage has increased by 25%. This approach demonstrates that our Board continues to consider the most appropriate delivery models for achieving its strategic objectives.
By merging with Equity, we created a new ‘bigger and better’ Great Places which will achieve meaningful and sustained efficiencies and deliver increased VFM, enabling a better offer for our customers and the development of more new homes.
A large part of our VFM focus is now on the delivery of the Equity business case, both in terms of cashable savings, projected at circa £3M per annum by 2022/23, and non-cashable benefits, with improved performance over a range of measures.
We have a number of ongoing initiatives related to integration, and beyond, which will ensure that there is a focus on VFM activities going forward. As of 1 April 2021, we also have a new Corporate Plan, which has a strong focus on VFM and on delivering against our strong profit for purpose ethos.