SIL – Best Place to Work 2022

In October 2022 Services For Independent Living (SIL) won the coveted Hereford Times Health and Social Care Best Place to work award. 

We had long been utilising the hashtag #EmployerOfChoice, the title of this blog place to as we strove to promote care work and our mission to be the very best, providing a supportive and professional environment for carers.

Our mission to recognise the overall culture, developed through training, support and leadership,  makes SIL a great place to work. SIL has consistently been a finalist in this category, showing a long-term commitment and success at maintaining an excellent work environment.

What does SIL do best?

SIL has developed a culture where employees are engaged and involved in the way the organisation is run, through involvement in operational planning, participating in task and finish groups looking at specific projects, and an open staff forum where employees can speak directly to Senior Managers and the Chief Executive.

We have developed our in-house training to ensure all staff receive the highest quality support and learning. This is now provided to other agencies and the feedback is over 98% good or excellent. In addition, Mental Health First Aid is part of the mandatory training requirements at SIL, which has encouraged an open culture where people can talk about the things that are causing them stress, anxiety or other mental health concerns and be signposted to appropriate support.

SIL has a monthly prize draw for staff and also rewards their commitment with Easter and Christmas gifts. SIL’s annual awards recognise exceptional individual and team achievements.

In December 2021 SIL gave all staff a 10% pay increase to help with the cost-of-living issues that were developing. SIL has also increased the mileage rate paid to staff to help offset the rising costs associated with running a vehicle.

The open staff forum, staff social calls, WhatsApp groups and video briefings from the Chief Executive have all been used to maintain the sense of ‘team’ during lockdowns and home working requirements and have had very positive feedback from staff. Many office-based staff have continued to work at least part time from home and this has been supported by the organisation.

SIL’s sickness policy includes paid sickness for people who are off work for up to 6 months. SIL also contacts anyone signed off work to see what other support they can provide and offers one-to-one telephone “buddying” to those needing additional support.

All staff have regular supervisions and support.

SIL’s sickness and turnover levels are far lower than the sector average and have been so for the past 5 years.

SIL recruits to most of its vacancies via word of mouth referrals from existing staff…

What SIL staff say:

“I feel respected and supported. There are always opportunities to further your career and interests. Being supported in and out of work means a lot”. Jo

“I enjoy my job. Nice clients, lovely bunch of carers and first company I’ve worked for that give you enough time to travel in between visit”. Trish

SIL were really supportive of me in the early days whilst I found my feet. The training is great; especially the Mental Health First Aid and everyone is treated the same – top to bottom – with respect. It’s like a family and we all help each other out. Sam

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