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About Hafod

Hafod has grown from a small housing association in 1968 to be one of the largest providers of housing, care and support in South Wales.

Hafod began with 300 properties in Cardiff, seven staff and a turnover of £100,000. 50 years later, the organisation now works across nine local authority areas in Wales and helps over 16,000 people each year. Hafod employs just under 1,400 staff and has a turnover in excess of £60 million.

In October 2018, Hafod issued a tender to find a partner to undertake a review of the terms and conditions for all frontline colleagues. This was because they recognised that poor terms and conditions was a sector wide issue which needed to be tackled head on, leading the way for key improvements. Hafod also wanted to strengthen the HR function and provide the right conditions to facilitate their business goals.


Our remit as Effective HRM

  • Review Hafod’s employment contracts and handbook and individuals’ contractual commitments.
  • Develop a new Hafod contract and handbook and provide advice on changing employees’ contractual terms.
  • Advise the Executive Director of People of Change on the terms and conditions review and ensure that the new conditions were incorporated into the new contracts and handbooks.
  • Develop an employee consultation process for contract change including training for the HR team and managers on the consultation process.
  • Develop a training plan to up-skill managers and the HR team on the consultation process and the contents of the new contracts and handbooks.


Our approach

  • Various mergers meant many employees were on different contracts as a result of TUPE. There were high rates of attrition and a fear of change was also demonstrated during the consultation stage. These complex issues required strong change control along with open and transparent communication at all times.
  • The language used in both the contracts and handbook needed to be changed to make it more accessible, employee centric and aligned with the values of the organisation. This meant a re-write of contracts and the handbook before rolling them out to all employees.
  • Effective HRM led a workshop with the internal HR team to take them through the draft contract clause by clause; ensuring that they were part of the revision process.
  • The confidence of the managers was integral to the ultimate success of the project. This required support with training and upskilling so that the tight timescales could be achieved.
  • A Management Conference was held to introduce managers to the new contract with its improved terms and conditions, as well as offering an opportunity for them to feel supported in creating their own message through the development of a communication plan. Importantly, as the first ever conference held by Hafod, it also helped raise confidence and ownership across the teams.


What difference have we made

  • The outcome of the Managers’ Conference was an increased understanding of contracts and changes. Managers developed their own communication plans, enabling them to deliver the right message for their teams with increased confidence in themselves and their HR team.
  • There are now user-friendly documents, with simple steps to assist managers with matters such as grievances, disciplinaries and return to work processes.
  • The feedback on the illustrated colleagues’ handbook has been extremely positive, with the HR team now using the imagery on other documents and internal publications.
  • Staff are now identifying as part of the wider Hafod organisation, rather than being belonging to a particular element (e.g. a specific care home).
  • Managers’ report that they are better at dealing with day to day HR matters. This empowerment has prevented the immediate escalation of matters to HR business partners.
  • There has been a positive shift in HR not just being seen as enforcers, but as people who can help the managers solve people related issues as opposed to purely reactive engagement.


The results

  • The managers’ conference received a 100% positive feedback score with 99% of those attending having scored their confidence to implement the issuing of the new contracts at 8/10 or higher.
  • 4% of the new contracts issued had been returned and signed within one week of issuing.
  • 94% of the new contracts issued were returned signed within the first month of issuing.


What the client has to say

“Working as our HR partners, Effective HRM were able to draw on best practice to deliver great HR solutions that put employees at the forefront of our thinking when creating the new contracts and handbook. Gone are the days of overly complicated legal language and jargon; our HR documentation is now fully aligned with our values and goals meaning much better engagement and integration.”

Alison Woodward, Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development, Hafod

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