1. Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at Salix Homes
We believe that being inclusive is everyone’s responsibility at Salix Homes and we have reaffirmed our commitment to this through the development and launch of our new values and competencies framework.
‘We are Inclusive’ is our new value through which colleagues are encouraged to advocate for others whilst embracing and promoting inclusion. Our new values were formally launched in October alongside our Corporate Plan. We are now embedding these to reinforce our expectations through several approaches, which includes celebrating exceptional efforts of our colleagues through a new reward and recognition scheme.
Our Board and our Governance and Remuneration Committee in particular play a crucial role in providing guidance, feedback and oversight of our collective activities relating to equality, diversity, and inclusion.
In September 2021 our Board approved our Inclusion Strategy 21/24 which clearly sets out our ambitions and intentions to improve our approach to equality, diversity, and inclusion. This strategy supports us to continue to promote respect, acceptance and understanding through valuing difference and improving experiences for all.
To achieve our ambitions, this strategy focussed on the delivery of the following key strategic themes that in turn support the delivery of our Corporate Plan:
• Advance our culture of inclusion and innovation.
• Enhance business results and reputation.
• Supporting people and places achieve their potential.
• Using our position to find housing solutions.
In this report we will share our progress in how we are achieving our ambitions within each of these themes.
We continue to build on the achievements of 2022. Our Inclusion Group remains active, and we host a Menopause Support group on a regular basis. We also continue engagement with the Boost Leadership Programme which is a reciprocal mentoring scheme which encourages people from ethically diverse backgrounds to work with leaders in housing organisations to share their experiences to improve organisational approaches to inclusion, whilst receiving support to personally progress in their careers. We have committed to this programme for 3 years and will play an active role in shaping its development.
Continual improvement of our recruitment and selection practices to reduce and remove any potential barriers to entry remains a key focus for us. This year we have been exploring new approaches which we hope will attract more ethnically diverse candidates and have worked with Unlimited Potential, a local social enterprise, to understand how we can better encourage young adults into employment.
A key commitment for delivery in 2023/24 was to confirm our approach to agile working by March 24. We have achieved this earlier than anticipated with the launch of our Hybrid Working Policy in July 23 following a comprehensive engagement process with all colleagues through which their views were considered and influenced the outcome. We now believe we have an approach that continues to support our commitment to achieving a work life balance without compromising the quality of service provided.
We have also achieved, ahead of target, accreditation to the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter, which is a voluntary membership and assessment scheme that aims to raise employment standards across Greater Manchester. This standard aligns to our values, and we are proud to be part of this movement which positively addresses socio-economic discrimination in areas such as secure and flexible work and pay.
It is important that our inclusion activities remain responsive to the environment we are operating within. This year colleagues have highlighted the challenge of supporting customers who have been adversely affected by the economic crisis. To address this and continue our focus on positive mental health provision for colleagues, we have delivered resilience and wellbeing sessions, introduced new coping skills enabling colleagues to continue to deliver high levels of customer service.
We are active members of a number of housing equality, diversity and inclusion groups within Greater Manchester and on a regular basis meet to benchmark, share best practice and learn from each other.
Our customers are at the heart of everything we do at Salix Homes. We’re passionate about ensuring their voices are heard and providing opportunities for our customers to help shape and improve our services.
One way in which we use customer information to shape services is through equality impact assessments. In undertaking these this year we have identified that we need to improve the information we hold about our customers so that we can better understand how to improve access to services and learn more about the diverse range and needs of the people living in our neighbourhoods.
Therefore, we launched our ‘Getting To Know You’ campaign in July 23, which commenced with customer being invited to update and share information with us about their personal characteristics, circumstances, and preferences through a range of different communication channels. This initial phase is now complete, and we have had over 1,000 responses, which are already providing new insights to inform future plans and priorities. Through partners we will continue to collect the remaining information through to March 24 and continual maintenance of this information will be achieved through regular tenancy audits.
Other activity which supports us to better understand our customers wants and needs has been in the establishment of three new customer panels, an Apartment Living Forum, Complaints Oversight Group and a Procurement Panel, which provide scrutiny and guidance to a wide range of strategic decisions.
In April 23, Tenancy Satisfaction Measures were introduced which require housing organisations to collect and provide information to support effective scrutiny of performance. In quarter 2 of 23/24 89% of customers asked, stated that our colleagues treated them fairly and with respect, which is very encouraging.
We continue to review how we communicate with our customers in our conversations and our letters to ensure our communications are as effective as possible.
1. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Salix Homes
We believe that being inclusive is everyone’s responsibility at Salix Homes and we have reaffirmed our commitment to this.Read more
2. Supporting people and places to achieve their potential
At Salix Homes we care about our customers, and we take pride in our mission to provide safe, inclusive places to live and to build happy communities.Read more