Louise McQuillan, Texthelp

Home for good: how can housing providers boost long-term staff retention?

Digital transformation is one of the biggest challenges facing housing organisations today. As well as ensuring that tenants aren’t left behind in the digital age, providers must make the workplace a welcoming environment for housing staff.

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Staff recruitment and retention is a well-recognised issue in the social housing sector. Historically, providers have been unable to match pay levels expected in many parts of the private sector. As such, housing associations and trusts rely heavily on the passion and commitment of staff to deliver a job that’s often complex and demanding.

Recognising these challenges, the Chartered Institute of Housing is encouraging employers to value professionals and to invest in talented younger people. It’s doing this through its CIH Futures initiative that promotes housing as a rewarding long-term career choice.

So what practical steps can organisations take to boost their lasting appeal to current and potential employees? A great place to start is making sure that work is a happy, inclusive place where everyone feels valued.

As technology permeates every aspect of our lives, housing providers have a duty of care to recognise the needs of an increasingly diverse workforce. Individuals with some form of disability – including dyslexia and visual impairments – represent up to 10% of the overall UK workforce. And for anyone who’s struggling with everyday tasks like writing emails and reports or researching information online, it’s easy to feel intimidated, excluded or turned off by technology. 

UK housing providers are already taking steps to make their websites more accessible to tenants with literacy issues or disabilities that make interacting with digital content tricky. So shouldn’t organisations be giving employees the same supports to ensure that everyone’s engaged and efficient, whatever their workstyle?

Technology can create a more welcoming, inclusive workplace for employees of housing associations and trusts, supporting staff members using computers or tablets for everyday reading and writing tasks. Handy for everyone who’s working digitally, it’s also great for employees who need a little extra help with their literacy, but don’t feel comfortable asking.

Are you a public housing provider? Find out how we can help improve the digital journey for tenants and staff alike.


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