Rhondda Housing Association - HAPUS

Good for business
  • Reduced absence rates – reported sickness rates have been reduced by 3%, saving around £9,000 in one year
  • Improved staff engagement – a 5% increase in the number of staff who feel that RHA is a “great place to work”
  • Reputation boost – a proactive commitment to talking about wellbeing has boosted RHA’s reputation and profile locally, driving down recruitment costs and generating new income
Wellbeing at Work Award in Wales, 2017, Winner

Rhondda Housing Association (RHA) is a 37-year old not-for-profit social landlord that manages over 1,700 homes, provides housing support for vulnerable tenants and works to alleviate poverty in communities across Rhondda Cynon Taf. 

Good for the workforce


Rhondda Housing’s HAPUS initiative is much more than an information campaign. The team responsible have developed a dynamic health and wellbeing campaign that supports colleagues with a range of ideas, tips, practical advice, actions, recognition methods and platform opportunities with the ultimate aim of supporting their wellbeing – both physically and mentally and at home and work. 

HAPUS takes a “whole person” approach and builds on the RHA belief that “healthy staff are happy, and happy staff perform better”. The development of the programme was initiated to address high levels of sickness absence and low staff morale. This was also a secondary driver to engage colleagues in the overall work that RHA does in communities – and walk the talk internally. 

After a recognition that sickness levels had reached a peak in 2014 a commitment was made to take action – driven by a business need. Armed with absence rate data and information from across the organisation, Board level support was sought and achieved to implement the HAPUS programme not only to address these issues, but also support RHA’s aspiration to achieve a Corporate Health Standard award. With Board support and a team from across the organisation, HAPUS is not “just an HR initiative”, it is a commitment to make the lives of colleagues better – regardless of the challenges or issues they are living with or facing. This means that the programme combines occupational health and safety, healthy eating days, line manager training on mental health, working with Time to Change Wales on mental health stigma in the workplace, yoga sessions, early GP referrals, whole body check-ups, mindfulness sessions and weight loss campaigns. The team responsible for HAPUS also used it as a vehicle to promote employee engagement and built in social activities – even getting a television in to watch the Wales team compete in the Euros! 

The whole person approach has paid and is paying off – absence levels are down (half of the 2014 peak rate), employee satisfaction and engagement levels are up and the buzz that RHA generated about the programme even led to services being provided to a third party, generating unexpected income for the company. 

What Rhondda Housing Association’s Chief Executive said:

“We have a fantastic intergenerational mix of experience and innovation in our workforce and we endeavour to create an inclusive culture that allows everyone to feel valued, engaged, enthused and naturally encourage a productive, healthy work environment. It is our priority and vitally important that everyone’s differing wellbeing is recognised and supported.”Lesley Davies, Chief Executive, Rhondda Housing Association 

  • Better equipped – 87% of colleagues feel better equipped to cope with pressures at work and home, managers have also reported feeling better able to support their team (after receiving specialist line manager training)
  • Feeling better – 90% of staff feel that the combination of physical and mental wellbeing activities have had a positive impact on their own wellbeing
  • Proactive referrals – after receiving information and advice internally 3 colleagues were referred for blood pressure checks and 18 colleagues engaged with stroke awareness training