Excellence Awards: Going the extra mile

Excellence Awards: Going the extra mile

Congratulations to the 25 employees who have won Novus Excellence Awards this quarter! The awards acknowledge and highlight those employees who go above and beyond in their role. In this blog, four Novus employees from across the country share their Excellence Awards stories.
James Riley – Wrexham

I joined Novus as an apprentice painter a year ago and have come a long way in that time. I was delighted when I was selected to represent the UK at the Uniep Legacy Event in the Netherlands earlier this year. The event involved a team of painters and decorators from across Europe coming together to develop their skills and test the latest painting products at Akzo Nobel’s head office. We also took part in a charity project to refurbish a school. Mike Demattia, my line manager, said he cannot speak more highly of me and that my attitude, work rate and willingness to learn are all first class, which I’m really proud of.
James is on the far left of our photo.
Mick Morgan - Romford

I’m a senior contracts supervisor and have been with Novus for five years, working on decent homes and refurbishment contracts. I live in social housing, so feel that I’m in a unique position of being able to relate to this type of work from both a customer and contractor point of view. Working for Novus is all about going the extra mile, which results in repeat business. I went the extra mile recently when a vulnerable elderly lady had a new kitchen fitted by us. She took the opportunity to purchase some new kitchen appliances, but was struggling to get them installed and was also very worried about not knowing the people who would install them. As me and my team had built the trust up with this resident, we collected and fitted the appliances meaning she could start enjoying her kitchen straight away.  
Randolph Simpson - Preston

Having worked for Novus for about 40 years, I’m one of the company’s longest-serving employees. My line manager has described me as a first-class tradesman, a nice guy, honest, hardworking and a great role model, which I find very satisfying! An example of when I went the extra mile was when I got speaking to a resident at a housing scheme I was working for. I discovered that she sat on a bench outside her house every day and noticed it was looking a bit tired. So even though I was on a tight schedule to complete the contracted works, I spent my lunch time to repaint the bench and bring it back to its former glory!
Kevin McGee - Bathgate 

On a key contract I was working on, some problems were experienced on site and I took it upon myself to lead the rest of the painting team working on that job. I ensured the programme of work was completed smoothly and ahead of time, while meeting Novus’ usual high standards. My operations manager said he was impressed with my commitment and drive and I’ve received my Excellence Award for my hardworking, professional and modest attitude to work, which I’m delighted about!

A day in the life of Michelle, our Helpdesk supervisor


It’s a bright mid-May morning at Novus Scotland’s Bathgate office and Michelle has just come back on shift.   Michelle and her team of eight coordinate the responsive repairs of about 15,000 properties across Scotland, scheduling some fifty maintenance operatives to fix a whole range of resident-reported problems ranging from blocked toilets to broken garden fences. Michelle first checks the e-mail from the afterhours Helpdesk to see how her last job of the previous evening has progressed. Michelle is proud that Novus provide a 24-hour continuous service to help the residents with their most pressing maintenance issues, but sees that this plumbing job has not yet been fixed due to some sensitive safety considerations preventing Neil - the maintenance operative - from visiting the property alone.   After fully understating these concerns, Michelle contacted her Housing Association customer and arranged for Neil to be accompanied on his visit. Using the Impact Response workforce management system on-line job scheduling system, Michelle arranges for Neil to meet his Housing Association “chaperone” at 10:00am so the job could be completed. All the information he needs is automatically routed to Neil’s handheld Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) allowing him to see all necessary job details then record his arrival time at site, hours on task and capture the resident’s satisfaction with the finished job. Satisfied that the job had now been scheduled, Michelle returned to the other outstanding jobs across Scotland.  By querying the Impact Response system, she determined that twenty eight new jobs had been entered into the system - either by residents calling in, or directly by the Housing Association customers.  Michelle sorted these jobs by region and distributed them to her team for scheduling.   Michelle then got down to allocating the open jobs in her region to maintenance operatives.  She drew on her knowledge of the local area including traffic conditions during the day and of which types of repair an operative is qualified to handle.  This also involves optimising the route between jobs to ensure that each operative is busy but can make each appointment in the scheduled time window.  Michelle allocates operatives by postcode and has several printed maps of her coverage area to make this possible.   As Michelle grabs an early coffee she reflects on her morning so far.  She is delighted to have got the sensitive plumbing job underway and pleased that all the reactive repair works are being scheduled by her team.  Michelle knows how critical her team is to maintaining the resident’s quality of life, whilst ensuring that the Novus team are used to best effect to fulfil the contractual commitments.