by Deborah Kelly
Regional Housing Director
Remember the days of picking sports teams at school and how good you felt when you were the first one chosen? You felt valued, needed and able to play with confidence to give your very best performance.
Even if sport isn't our thing, we all need experiences of when our value is recognised, commented upon and used.
Being an inclusive employer is about being open to the difference that we all bring, whether it is because we have a different heritage, life experience, belief system, commitments or simply a different world view.
As a housing association, Accent must challenge itself on inclusion and the Equality and Diversity (E&D) agenda, all the time. National Inclusion week is a great spur to that challenge.
Housing associations have legal, regulatory and moral obligations as a landlord, employer, and voice in the sector to further the inclusion agenda. Inclusion and diversity are a key element of business success. If we attract, engage, and speak with people through the channels they use and about the themes that matter to them, we will develop successful business models and work in organisations where people feel heard, valued, and strive to give their best all the time. In giving our best we serve our customers better and include them in shaping our future. Positioning ourselves as an employer and service provider that is switched on to and engaged with others who promote the inclusion agenda will provide internal and external business benefits for Accent.
To become the “Best Housing Association in the Country”, Accent needs to be the “Go to” provider for current and future generations. Millennials are increasingly operating virtually through social media sharing information, events and news. Our digital shift, increased focus on customer service and work on segmentation, provide the perfect platform for us to promote the inclusion agenda. We are engaging with an increasingly diverse society and widening our customer base. This will accelerate the quality of our customer service and drive our positive inclusive culture.
The opportunities to link technology, human resources and customers to promote inclusion and influence are exciting. To paraphrase Aneurin Bevan, he said that “leaders should speak with the authentic accents of those who support them if they are to be leaders at all’.
He also said “That is my truth, now tell me yours”. Accent is listening.