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“Empowering the team, addressing employees changing needs”

Meet final five finalists of the European Responsible Housing Awards 2019

31 May 2019 | Social, The future of the EU & Housing

Leading up to the 3rd European Responsible Housing Award ceremony taking place in Lyon on June 6th as part of the International Social Housing Festival, we will be showcasing all 25 finalists with their shortlisted projects. “Empowering the team, addressing employees changing needs” means fair labour practices in a healthy, safe and positive work environment that actively promote equality and diversity - an essential starting point for the personal and professional development of employees. Check out our finalists below...

24 hours of managerial innovation – Rouen Cedex, France

Housing company Habitat 76 organised a 24 hour “hackathon” (space for innovation, co-creation and learning) in which ten teams had to resolve four specific challenges. The aim was to create innovating managerial methods, making human interactions a priority. The two winning projects answered the questions, “Participatory governance – how to associate employees in the firm’s decision-making” and “How can we take advantage of digital development and use it to improve daily life?”

According to the project manager, Gwenaelle SEGALEN,

This hackathon is based on the principles of symmetry of attentions i.e. the quality of the relationship between a company and its customers is symmetrical to the quality of the relationship of this company with all of its employees. On this logic it was necessary to establish a jury, coaches but also participants presenting a diversity of profiles. That is why very different projects have emerged. Other ideas, as those of the laureates, have attracted the interest of the General management. Reflections are underway on the possible modalitie. 

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Gewobag City Campus – an employee development programme – Berlin, Germany

The public limited company Gewobag Wohnungsbau-Aktiengesellschaft Berlin created the City Campus – a comprehensive learning and innovation programme for the development of the company. Here, employees in all capacities can drop in for consultations, where topics are identified, and working groups are formulated.

Gewobag told us,

The Gewobag City Campus started with the idea to create a place of exchange. The cooperation in the City Campus should allow and unite various perspectives to develop ideas and solutions for quarters of the future. With the "Bülow 90" pilot project, we have turned this idea into reality - perhaps our greatest success. It took courage to dare to complement proven ways of working and thinking with new, creative approaches and to try oneself out with an open mind. The "leap into the cold water" has paid off: Valuable concepts have been developed in an interdisciplinary exchange both within Gewobag and in partnerships with external partners and our customers, which are implemented successively. A particularly good sign for us is that the City Campus is increasingly being used as a catalyst for further projects.

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Power to the People – empowering the team to improve services – Torino, Italy

Public body ATC del Piemonte Centrale underwent a strategic repositioning of the organisation, which involved comprehensive training of 100 staff members, as well as redefining dialogue with stakeholders, implementing new procedural and managerial methods, and service-oriented approaches.

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Working for the common good - “1,100 Stunden sozial engagiert” (“1,100 hours of voluntary work”) - Berlin, Germany

Housing company Gesobau AG created a volunteering database, including concrete fields of action and specific tasks, in collaboration with cooperation partners, volunteer agencies, network partners, daycare centres, schools, neighbourhood centres, etc. So far, 300 employees have been involved in 94 activities at 53 different institutions and initiatives.

Speaking about the positive impacts of the project, GESOBAU say,

 Social engagement is an important part of our value channel. And where we can help us, that's what we're doing - this year with the entire workforce, says Jörg Franzen, CEO of GESOBAU. GESOBAU underscores the significance of the topic of "social responsibility and entrepreneurial commitment" by including social aspects in corporate goals.

A one-time action can make a difference, a continuation can deepen something. We want to build on this and continue our project "1,100 hours of social engagement" in 2019. We believe that the concrete everyday experiences that around 300 colleagues were able to do outside of GESOBAU in 2018 have contributed to greater diversity and openness. On both sides the participants learned from each other. In terms of the proximity to the districts where we have our housing stock and the community on the ground, the greatest potential of our project. 


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Reinventing Management: from a traditional organisation to a horizontal company releasing creativity – Villeurbanne, France

Public company Est Métropole Habitat wished to move towards a new approach to management which would promote “creativity, autonomy, accountability and co-production”. Five working groups were created: 1. Strengthen the knowledge, 2. Encourage usability, 3. Develop the practice of feedback, 4. Increase the number of initiatives taken by those closest to the field, 5. Reduce frustrations, of which 10,000 ideas emerged, culminating in “colour-based management”.

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The European Responsible Housing Awards is a joint initiative of Housing Europe, the International Union of Tenants (IUT) and Delphis.

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