Scottish Charity awarded Employer of the Year

Gail Burden (CEO of Capella)

CAPELLA, the non-profit that operates the charitable services Sleep Scotland and Teens+, has been named Employer of the Year at the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

This award recognises the positive impact of the work done by Capella to become the most employee- focused organisation in the social care and education sectors, which has enabled the charity to attract and retain talented and motivated staff who are passionate about improving the lives of others through lifelong learning.

Amid a national social care recruitment crisis, Capella is achieving their ambition of becoming an employer of choice and earning the reputation as the most employee-focused organisation in their field.

“We are delighted to have been named Employer of the Year at the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Business Awards,” said Gail Burden, CEO of Capella. “We aim to be a supportive, inclusive, and fun workplace because we owe it to our staff. If it wasn’t for our incredible, hard-working and dedicated team, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do – create lasting change in the lives of those who turn to us for support.”

In 2022, Capella rebuilt their employee experience from the ground up, introducing a new organisational strategy and values developed in direct collaboration with staff. “We embed our shared values in everything we do,” continues Gail Burden. “Last year, we shifted our recruitment and onboarding process to focus on our values instead of recruiting solely for skills and experience. As a result, our culture is strongly evident in our team, and we have greater workforce diversity, where 98% of our staff are proud to work at Capella.”

The Employer of the Year award also recognises the tremendous impact Capella’s new Wellbeing Strategy has had on happiness, engagement, and recruitment. “Wellbeing has become embedded in everything we do and championed at all levels at Capella,” adds Zuzana Beak, Head of HR at Capella. “We recognise that our employees have different backgrounds, experience, identities, and needs, so our Wellbeing Strategy was designed to support our staff by embracing and valuing this diversity.” Capella has recently been celebrated for its free daily breakfasts and lunches scheme supporting its 125 staff during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. The initiative was devised as part of the charity’s Wellbeing Strategy, and follows on from a £500 cost- of-living bonus paid at the beginning of 2023, and the organisation’s recent Living Wage Employer accreditation.

Capella has experienced great success as a result of these initiatives, reducing turnover by 52% while continuing to grow as an organisation. In December, the Capella service Teens+ celebrated the opening of the charity’s third centre. Capella’s charitable services are regularly overwhelmed by high-quality applicants, having recruited 61 new staff, allowing them to operate at 100%, as compared with similar providers struggling to attain 50%. Capella’s recruitment continues as the charity continues to grow from strength to strength.

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