Together we can grow purple

News / 17.05.2021

Traditional perceptions of disability are being dismantled. The international symbol - the wheelchair – has achieved so much to raise awareness and understanding. But reflects only 8% of the global disability population. 80% of disabled people have hidden disabilities. For Real Estate it means that four out of five disabled employees, customers or investors will not be obvious. And maybe it doesn’t matter but minor adjustments could make a practical difference and sends out an important message about your organisation and its intent.

Covid-19 has changed the way we think and the need to demonstrate social impact is rising by the day. For employers, mental health – and the wellbeing of staff – has become the greatest challenge. Those organisations which deal positively with the issue – and wider inclusion – will thrive. Those that don’t will struggle to survive. The contract between an organisation and its employees, staff and investors is changing rapidly. The mental health taboo will be smashed. Covid-19 will leave a society who sees inclusion as fundamental and not a ‘nice to have’. Some in the Real Estate sector have engaged with Purple and Purple Tuesday. Others simply need to.

Purple Tuesday is an initiative, which is supporting organisations, of all sizes and across all sectors, to improve the disabled customer experience, whether that be business to business or a business to customer environment. At the celebratory event last November, over 4,500 organisations signed up to making at least one commitment to improve their accessibility. Unsurprisingly, there was a significant focus on digital accessibility with a realisation a lot can be done quickly at no cost, or very little cost, to improve navigation and overall experience for people engaging with your business – perhaps for the first time. Buildings, and more specifically socially distanced factors, have also been a real focus. This includes ensuring Plexiglass or Perspex glass in offices etc. have colour contrast markings to support visually impaired stakeholders. And training for staff, predominantly online, has been taken up covering general disability awareness and more specific issues such as mental health and autism. In a recent training session focussed on the autistic spectrum, over 30% of participants revealed they have close experience of the issue through family or their immediate networks – the issue has real resonance.

For individual organisations in Real Estate, a decision on priority changes to accessibility will be needed. But doing nothing is not an option.

To be inclusive requires taking your employees on the journey. Purple Tuesday 365 is a subscription service which is doing just that for so many organisations. Through monthly webinars and practical resources, it is supporting staff to better understand, and put in place those changes in customer service that will make a difference. Invest in your workforce and you invest in your organisation.

Sometimes the Inclusion Agenda looks so daunting. The mountain is so big to climb. Working with Purple, committing to Purple Tuesday, and investing in Purple Tuesday 365 might be your way of moving from basecamp. Your staff will redouble their loyalty to you. Your clients will recognise the added value you bring. And your investors will want to invest in an organisation that truly shows social impact. A win, win, win situation for all. Inclusion will also add value to the industry. Together we can grow Purple.

 

To sign up to Purple Tuesday

  1. Visit www.purpletuesday.org.uk/get-involved and complete the registration form
  2. Make a commitment to improve the disabled customer experience
  3. Upload your company logo to demonstrate your involvement
  4. Join the national celebrations on 2nd November 2021

To subscribe to Purple Tuesday 365 and access a 10% fee discount