News and Articles

12 July - 2024

Exec and Non-Exec Opportunities

14 March - 2024

Balancing AI and humanity: insights from ema consultancy's artificial intelligence polls

In our latest blog Anne Elliott reviews the results of our polls examining the extent of the use of AI and the willingness to use it in HR and recruitment practices.

7 February - 2024

AI in Social Housing Recruitment: Observations and Strategies by ema MD Anne Elliott

1 December - 2023

Get ready to throw the merriest Christmas party ever. Our guide is packed with tips to ensure your staff celebration is fun, inclusive and safe.

3 July - 2023

The Role of a Non-Executive Board Member in a Housing Association: A Journey of Influence and Impact

21 June - 2023

Stepping into the Role of Chair: Leading the Way in a Housing Association Board

In our latest blog Anne Elliott sets out what qualities it takes to be the chair of a housing association board.

22 February - 2023

ema consultancy joins Housing Diversity Network

21 December - 2022

Blog: Learning from 2022

19 October - 2022

The social housing podcast - The cost of living crisis - what does it mean for pay and reward?

15 December - 2022


8 November - 2022

Blog: Why keeping close to your employees retains talent in a challenging marketplace

14 October - 2022

Defining imposter syndrome and ways to overcome it

5 September - 2022

Stop the Talent Drain Webinar - how does the social housing sector recruit and retain staff? October 4th

1 September - 2022

September: the perfect month for reflection

Anne Elliott shares her thoughts on making the most of September to reflect on the year to date and using the opportunity to look ahead.

28 February - 2022

How to achieve a great interview

You’ve got an interview. Great news. You’ve identified an opportunity you’re suited to and gained their attention with your CV. Don’t let yourself down at the interview, even though you might feel daunted. Read this blog from Anne Elliott about how to make a success of your interview.

7 April - 2022

Total Reward and Workplace Survey 2022

Our 2022 Total Reward and Workplace Survey is now live and this year is set to give an even greater insight into the #socialhousing #workplace than any of our previous surveys.

7 February - 2022

All change – why it’s more complex than the Great Resignation

Anne Elliott writes: A new phrase has taken hold – the Great Resignation. Apparently, record numbers are choosing to leave their jobs. There’s so much behind this situation. I’m concerned it’s become labelled without sufficient thought about what’s happening. Many risk being swept along with the hype, prompting career changes that shouldn’t happen.

17 January - 2022

The social housing podcast: Future Working and the Pandemic – how the workplace has changed

Here's the first ema consultancy podcast of 2022. Ian Robertson is discussing how the workplace has changed as a result of the pandemic and how things previously thought impossible for our way of working are now the norm. He shares our experience of how organisations are having to change pay, reward and benefits to suit the new workplace.

21 December - 2021

What have you learnt from 2021?

Ema's Anne Elliott writes about how you can learn from the last 12 months on both personal and professional levels - and use these lessons as we look ahead to 2022. Use the holiday to plan what you want from the next year - "Don’t let the weeds grow around your dreams in 2022. You can choose to make them happen."

3 December - 2021

Are you strategic about your CV?

Are you strategic about your CV? When we receive a great CV, it’s a pleasure to read. And it’s far more likely to get shortlisted. As the year ends, now is the perfect time to reflect on your approach. Read Anne Elliott's blog about getting your CV right.

3 September - 2021

Hybrid Working - The T&Cs and Allowances Challenge Podcast

Listen to our podcast about the impact of hybrid working on t&cs and allowances.

3 September - 2021

How to develop your growth mindset

As we start to settle into the autumn routine, we should take the opportunity to pause and reflect on the last 18 months. In this article, Anne Elliott looks at the importance of growth mindset and how by setting time aside for personal development can make such a difference to how we approach work and day-to-day life.

3 September - 2021

Hybrid Working – Impact on T&C’s and Allowances for Working from Home

Ian Robertson looks at the implications of hybrid working on employee terms and conditions and the equipment staff need to work from home. As the workplace continues to change, the social housing sector needs to ensure T&Cs also change to reflect the new ways of working.

21 July - 2021

The Hybrid Workplace Podcast

Listen to The Hybrid Workplace Podcast

20 July - 2021

Why it is vital to plan your approach to hybrid working now

We recently held our webinar looking at hybrid working in social housing. One of the key takeaways from the webinar was the importance of planning for the hybrid workplace. In our latest article Ian Robertson looks at planning for the hybrid model and share a few things to consider.

20 August - 2021

Do you need different types of leader after the pandemic?

To help you create leaders that can drive your organisation forward through recent and future change, Anne Elliott has identified six qualities they must develop. In this article Anne discusses how by adopting these qualities your entire organisation will thrive – even in times of adversity.

30 March - 2021

Summary of Employment Changes

25 February - 2021

ema consultancy says fond farewell to longest serving employee

The team at ema consultancy are bidding a fond farewell to Nina Barrier, consultancy manager, as she is set to retire this week. After some 14 years plus with the team, Nina is looking forward to following her passions of watching motorbike racing, walking and spending more time with her grandchildren.

24 February - 2021

Making agile working an opportunity, not a challenge

5 February - 2020

Working from Home – How your Personality is affecting your Performance

ema Executive Director, Pauline Drissell’s last article about how the MBTI type preferences Extroversion and Introversion applied in lockdown generated considerable interest. In this article Pauline delves further into aspects of personality which impact our ability to be productive as individuals and teams, not only in lockdown but beyond.

8 January - 2020

Exec and Non-Exec Opportunities

16 December - 2020

How your 2020 reflections can shape 2021

On 1 January 2020 at 5.35am, I stood on my balcony and photographed the most incredible sunrise. Silhouettes of the Welsh mountains – embraced in a warm orange hue - fell neatly into the calm Irish on the Anglesey coast. What a fabulous start to the New Year. Full of possibilities and new experiences.

6 November - 2020

Home Working – Is it Here to Stay or a Passing Fad?

The Institute of Directors (IOD) in a recent survey of company directors indicated that 74% of companies would be keeping increased homeworking after Covid-19 ended. More than 50% indicated that they intended to reduce their long-term use of workplaces with more than 20% reporting their usage would be significantly lower.

18 September - 2020

The difference between an Executive and a Non-Executive (and why it impacts your CV)

21 August - 2020

How ema achieved 22 high-level recruitments during lockdown

Whilst some organisations have delayed recruitment for leadership posts, hoping the global situation will become easier, ema has developed an effective system to carry on, despite the disruption.

7 August - 2020

How Should Your Business Change Post-Covid-19? - by Anne Elliott

In a matter of months, everything’s changed. Nobody could have predicted such a monumental shift. Some businesses have experienced substantial damage due to Covid-19, whilst others have escaped with less challenges and some have flourished – for now.

6 August - 2020

Preparing for Recovery by Ian Robertson

As some sectors slowly come out of lockdown, what have we learned in the last four months and what will the rapidly evolving employment landscape look like? At ema Consultancy, we have been fortunate enough to be busy during this period supporting our clients with their recruitment, HR and governance requirements.

31 July - 2020

Is it time to review your pay strategy?

Covid-19 has brought about a mind shift in how staff engage with their employers and as we have seen the progression towards home and office-based working which at ema we call “blended working”. We have also seen reduction in salaries and bonuses being put on hold, predominately within the private sector.

11 June - 2020

The Office is Open - Business as Usual!

Like many of our clients, at ema consultancy we packed up our desks at the end of March and have been home-working ever since in order to continue supporting our clients. We’re now discussing the pros and cos of working at home and when might be the right time to return to the office, and indeed, who will return.

21 May - 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week Pauline Drissell Explores - How to reduce anxiety

Sadly, public fear and anxiety are on the rise. The pace of change over the past 2 months has been stellar and for some employees being on the front line, remote working, financial worries, furlough and family and health concerns can lead to poor mental health.

14 May - 2020

COVID-19: Supporting clients now and in the new normal

With the immediate response to Covid-19 and the Government’s restrictions now embedding, many clients are asking us about how best to support their people during this time.

6 May - 2020

Stay Safe - Lets not forget the obvious………..

As we all start to move towards a new normal we will be very much focussed on keeping staff safe and well. Whilst we will be very much focussed on the environment, social distancing and getting that right we should not lose sight of those things we have started to take for granted – our eyes!.

5 May - 2020

COVID-19 – The Next Steps in a Return to Work

The UK Government is expected to announce on 10 May a relaxation in the lockdown rules with a slow return to normality whatever this might be. There may be a limit to how detailed any government guidance could be, as all health and safety measures needed be tailored to the business or the office's needs. Businesses need to plan now for what is likely to be a staged return to work over what could be a prolonged period of time.

1 May - 2020

Ready to Return

The Government may not yet have revealed its lockdown release date, but many organisations are already in recovery mode and thinking through whether they need an office at all, which staff will return if any, when, where and how.

24 April - 2020

Rest, Relax and Wellbeing

At ema consultancy, our focus is always on people and never more so of late, meeting the challenges of COVID-19, and hearing the sad news of the illness and loss of family, friends and colleagues. At a time like this it can be difficult to remain resilient, but we thought it might be helpful to share some small ways you can nonetheless support your wellbeing.

24 April - 2020

What can you do to reduce employee anxiety around COVID-19

Sadly, public fear and anxiety are on the rise. With fast changes comes many advantages, but for some employees being on the front line, remote working, financial worries, furlough, family and health concerns can lead to poor mental health. We can’t control everything for all employees, but there are a number of practices which can help reassure and reduce tension:

24 April - 2020

Working from Home – How your Personality is affecting your Performance

Over the past month many of us have been delivering “business as usual” from a home rather than an office base.

21 April - 2020

10 Top Tips for Working from Home

1. Agree ways of working. Make sure every team member is clear about how you will work together remotely, how you keep each other updated, and how frequently.

17 April - 2020

Adapt, trust and thrive - The Big Reset

At ema consultancy, we know it’s not been an easy time for you and your teams. Many clients have been handling sad news around family, friends and clients, combined with an immediate and sharp change in how and where we operate. I want to take the opportunity to say a personal thank you to those clients who have supported us during this time, and I hope you’ve found us a source of support too.

7 April - 2020

COVID-19/HR Issues

27 March - 2020

Keep Calm and Carry on Recruiting

ema increasingly uses a range of on line tools for screening interviews and assessments as part of a recruitment process, however as the coronavirus takes hold and forces everyone to seek alternative ways of conducting their business – recruitment is no exception.  With current day technical solutions recruitment activity can still be facilitated through a wide range of on line products for example Zoom and Microsoft Teams amongst others and these are great tools - HR teams will be embracing technology to meet your recruitment requirements now and going forward - so here are the….

20 March - 2020

Interviewing Online

ema increasingly use Zoom or MS Teams for screening interviews and assessments as part of a recruitment process, however as the coronavirus takes hold and forces everyone to seek alternative ways of conducting their business – recruitment is no exception.  With current day technical solutions, recruitment activity can be facilitated through Zoom or Teams– so here are the….

12 March - 2020

Budget 2020

The government have yet to provide detail on when this will be implemented but in summary: Statutory sick pay will be paid to all those who choose to self-isolate, even if they don’t have symptoms. This is to support the government’s containment phase of the virus to dissuade employees from coming into work despite being ill. Sick notes will soon be obtainable by contacting 111, instead of attending a doctor’s appointment. Firms with fewer than 250 staff will be refunded for sick pay payments for two weeks for employee unwell with the Coronavirus. Contributory employment Support Allowance benefit claimants will be able to claim sick pay on day one, not after a week.  The aim of this incentive is support those on zero hours contracts or part of the ‘gig’ economy in getting access to benefits quicker if they are unwell.

18 March - 2020

Covid-19 – Working from Home

ema continues to monitor closely the situation and is following all relevant government and WHO advice to ensure that we are ready to adapt to the latest guidance.  The ema team are now working from home as our first priority is the health and wellbeing of all our employees, their families, clients and stakeholders.

13 February - 2020

New statutory rates that will apply from April 2020 - what you need to know

National Minimum Wage (NMW) Rises: NMW rates will increase on 1st April 2020 as follows: The national living wage hourly rate for workers aged 25 and over, will increase from £8.21 to £8.72.

5 February - 2020

Calling for HR big data – 2020

Housing HR professionals have the opportunity to take part in the sector’s largest benchmarking exercise on pay and reward. ema consultancy, which provides HR, governance and pay guidance to more than 200 providers each year, has run The Total Reward survey since 2014. It captures comprehensive trends in benefits, flexible working, pensions and anticipated pay increases. Last year more than 100 providers took part.

22 December - 2019

20 Thoughts for 2020

18 December - 2019

Trainee Board Members - All Locations

30 October - 2019

Ten case studies to capture board experiences

A new report has launched today, aimed at improving board diversity within the housing and not-for-profit sector. ema consultancy, one of the sector’s longest-standing HR and recruitment specialists, has captured the stories of ten female board members, with a view to encouraging candidates from a variety of backgrounds to apply for governance roles.

15 November - 2019

Housing sector pay predictions for 2020/21

Pay in the housing sector is predicted to rise by an average of 2.5% in 2020/21, according to a survey of almost 60 housing organisations. ema consultancy, one of the sector’s longest-standing recruitment, HR and governance specialists, has asked providers for their pay reward information each year, for the last three years. To recognise this anniversary, it is launching a pay and reward benefits club to help providers compare performance and insight.

23 August - 2019

Merger staffing issues – What could possibly go wrong? And how to make sure that it doesn’t!

Anne Elliott, Managing Director at ema consultancy Limited… It is widely acknowledged that mergers often fail because of the people and cultural issues. But are employers giving this enough thought soon enough? A deeper analysis of the picture suggests that it is not generally the regulation, technical or financial issues that go wrong, it is the ‘people’ aspects. This can lead to poor staff morale and significantly affect working relationships. Not getting the ‘people’ aspect right means that staff may not buy in to the change, possibly leading to the merger failing or the newly merged organisation having to battle in its early years against a background of residual staffing issues.

26 June - 2019

A Guide to Increasing Diversity in Housing

ema consultancy is delighted to launch our latest report today, looking into practical actions those working in and for the housing sector should take to improve board diversity. Research by our team last year into housing board diversity showed that only 37% of board roles were held by women and only 32% had female chairs.

24 August - 2019

Why are men over represented as board chairs

Why are men over represented as housing association board Chairs? EMA examined the boards of 80 randomly selected housing associations and found women make up 37% of Board Members and only 32% of board Chairs are women, and this drops to a measly 20% of Chairs of the audit committee. (This is one of the most important board roles, as this committee oversees the organisation’s financial reporting and controls.)

20 June - 2019

Can succession planning address the gender pay gap?

The CIPD recently reported that 52% of companies who filed their 2nd year gender pay data indicated that the pay gap has increased in favour of men, compared with 40% who have seen an increase in favour of women and the 8% who saw no change. Within housing the gender pay gap is circa 8% in favour of men, however very few organisations have filed for 2018/19 and it is too early to see if this has changed significantly, but at ema consultancy Limited we suspect not.

19 June - 2019

Feeling the benefit: survey shows how housing providers are attempting to win war on talent

Average pay in the housing sector rose by 2.3% in the period 2018/19 and health-benefit packages are on the rise, according to a new survey on pay and benefits. The 2019 Total Reward Survey – carried out by ema consultancy Limited, a company that provides recruitment, training and governance services to more than 200 housing providers each year - aims to give an accurate picture of the benefits and pay packages on offer.

18 April - 2019

Employer branding in the housing sector

Employer branding is a major topic for many organisations these days, including housing providers. With many sectors facing talent shortages, and often equivalent pay and benefits packages on offer, it’s more important than ever that employers can differentiate their brand to attract the best quality candidates. HR expert Anne Elliott of ema consultancy Limited answers some frequently asked questions on how to build and maintain a strong employer brand.

5 April - 2019

Appraising your Board

We all know that the expectations placed on Boards has escalated hugely over the last decade. The Boards of today are almost unrecognisable from the Boards we knew then. Often now purely skills based, mostly paid, and – supporting this professionalism - robustly appraised…. or are they?

13 March - 2019

Call for housing sector HR to help benchmark benefits

Housing HR professionals are urged to take part in a sector-wide survey, designed to compare how providers are attracting and retaining talent. The Total Reward survey - run by ema consultancy Limited, a company that provides recruitment, training and governance services to more than 200 housing providers each year - aims to give an accurate picture of the benefits and pay packages on offer.

7 March - 2019

Why attracting talent is a thorny issue

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, according to Romeo at least. But it seems a name or brand change does heavily impact on how candidates view potential employers. Specialist recruiter and governance expert Anne Elliott of ema consultancy Limited has noted a significant shift in what attracts or repels someone from a role.

3 January - 2019

New Year, New Role, New You

As 2018 draws to a close many of us will personally be reflecting on the last year and considering what we achieved and what we could do better or more of in 2019. For many, this will include setting ourselves objectives to progress our career or stretch ourselves further.

3 January - 2019

Board New Year Health Check

As we enter 2019, we are presented with an opportunity to reflect on the past and plan for the future. After what is likely to have been a short break from their Non-Executive responsibilities, no doubt your Board will be returning to their duties with a refreshed energy and a desire to contribute effectively in 2019.