Sr. Executive Assistant in Vancouver, BC
Great team of people who are truly committed to the Co-op Housing SectorCOHO is made up of a fantastic team (both COHO staff as well as the staff of the Housing Central group of companies) who are deeply committed to affordable housing and the co-operative housing sector. By far one of the best workplaces I have been a part of in that regard; coworkers feel like friends and extended family, and have each others' backs.
The Board of Directors and Management team are working to create positive, sustainable changes such as upgrading the systems and business processes. There are still a number of gaps and things that need to be address (such as clarity, communication, consistency) but, overall, they have been working on it.
The Management Team are knowledgeable and committed to improvement. They are supportive of more inter-company social events, in and out of the office, to help create a cohesive team and culture. When I was there, they were actively trying to get staff feedback to improve areas that need addressing and building on their skills.
All the Team Leads are fantastic, and do a wonderful job training and supporting their staff. Unfortunately, as they need to pick up the slack, fill in the gaps, and jump in when there is an issue, they often are overworked as they also have their own client portfolios as well.
One major challenge is, given the size of the organization and fact that not all staff work out of the head office, is ensuring everything is communicated to all relevant parties and that all staff feel included and supported.
Until new software is in place, processes are still quite Excel- and paper-heavy making it hard to complete complex tasks effectively and efficiently. This translates to a fair amount of redundancy, tasks taking longer than they need to, and the creates an unnecessary large amount of work. Some workloads are heavier than others depending on the client, whether their contract aligns with their needs, and/or the position in the company. This slowly seems to be changing as business processes get streamlined and as they go through the process of selecting a system.
COHO is a Living Wage Employer, unionized, and offers a great benefits package. There is, for the most part, work/life balance with most staff working 35 hours a week and with overtime usually only for Board meetings (which are usually planned well in advance), emergencies and at times around big deadlines. The majority of COHO staff are salaried. Maintenance Techs + Field Staff are paid based on their submitted Time sheets; their hours are usually pretty consistent as well.