Why Culture is an important word at Tai Calon


My name is Elle Elliott, and I have been working at Tai Calon since July 2020. I joined at a unique time, where many businesses were still coming to terms with the pandemic, and nearly a year on, the impact continues to be felt and lives have been changed forever.

My role at Tai Calon is to support the people who work with us; I am the Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development, and my job is to help create a fun, happy and professional work place, with an engaged and motivated workforce.
I’m excited to be part of Tai Calon, as we have an inspiring Vision and an ambitious Mission both of which are the foundations of our Corporate Plan for the next five years. But what do they really mean, and what does that look like for the people who work at Tai Calon Community Housing Association?

Our Vision is about why we exist as a business and the Mission is about the things we want to achieve, or our goals. Both put our tenants and customers at the very heart of our everyday working lives.

To achieve both, we need to develop the right Culture and Values, so that we can encourage the people that work here to promote the kind of organisation that we want to be. The people who work at Tai Calon are one of most important elements in making Tai Calon a successful community housing association.

What is Culture?

This is quite a difficult question to answer! Culture is about having shared goals, ideas and beliefs, ways of working and expectations within an organisation – in essence, it’s ‘how we do things’.
It is important because if the people who work for us aren’t sure or confident in our goals, how we work and what is expected of them, the ability to feel engaged and motivated in work is difficult, which in turn can impact on our customer expectations and delivery.

So creating the right Culture for our business is crucial to achieving our Vision and our Mission.

How do we create Culture?

Creating the right Culture can take several years, and a good starting point is to develop a set of Values – these underpin the vision and mission and are the guiding words of the business. The Values guide how we treat each other, what we strive for and how we want to feel when we work for Tai Calon. The importance of organisational values is seen in a number of different ways:

  • They help guide behaviours, collaboration and decision making.
  • They inform you about what the business stands for, and what you can expect as a customer.
  • They show people who are interested in working for us what is important to us.

Our Values: CALON
C –
Creativity A – Authenticity L – Learning O – Ownership N – Not On Your Own

We will encourage Creativity, so we can think differently, and this helps us to make improvements and take appropriate risks.
We will enable collaboration, teamwork, and consideration through Authenticity.
We will try new things, update our skills, growing professionally and personally through Learning
We take Ownership and accountability for our actions and how we work together
And we can count on each other through challenging times because we are Not on your own.

Everyone at Tai Calon needs to understand the Values, and we are currently undertaking a programme of learning across the business, known as our ‘Summer of Engagement’. This started in May, with several workshops for our employees, and is being delivered by our Organisational Development Team.
Our values act as a golden thread upon which every part of our organisation can engage, perform and succeed, and are the building blocks to everything we do. Having clear values helps us to ensure that we are all working towards the same goals and that we know what is expected of us. Values help you to understand how we want to do things; they support our vision, our mission and help shape our culture.
That’s why every single business outcome, action and decision will be aligned with these values, to help us raise satisfaction and achieve that 90% by 2025.

Elle Elliott, Culture Geek at Tai Calon.