Diversity and well-being in rental: the ERA Sustainability Committee workshop

By ERA12 September 2023

On 8 June, during the ERA Convention, the Sustainability Committee held a workshop on diversity, safety and well-being in the rental industry.

ERA Convention workshop session in Maastricht. One of the working group meetings underway during the 2023 ERA Convention. (Photo: ERA and Maurice Vinken - www.kleurstof.eu)

The workshop addressed two questions: how can rental industry capitalize on sustainability to attract talent?‎ And what are the most important challenges in the area of diversity, safety and well-being in the ‎rental ‎industry and how to overcome them?‎

Capitalize on sustainability to attract talent
The attendees agreed that the rental sector should focus on a better explanation of the contribution of rental to the circular economy and shouldn’t be shy in competing for people with other industries and sectors. They indicated the importance of having a clear safety-first culture in the company and that rental companies should show how they contribute to ‘goods’ such as healthcare, new ‎homes, utilities and services, transport etc.

Attendees also mentioned that company leadership needs to underpin core messages and ethos. It must lead by ‎giving the example by doing. ‎

Most important challenges
The participants discussed the importance of referrals in building a diverse and committed workforce (‘refer a friend’) and of widening the employment pool. ‎

Rental companies need to make an effort to understand expectations regarding work-life balance and to better sell the rental sector and its contribution to the economy and society. Sharing good practices is very helpful, particularly on social media.

The group also addressed the topic of safety: attitude and tolerance of risk will vary with age etc., so business safety ‎policies need to be rigorous, and the message must be adapted to diverse populations.

‎Because health & safety is an important business element in the rental industry - and one ‎of the core areas within the next strategic period of ERA to support the vision ‎of increasing the attractiveness of rental as an employer - the ERA Board decided to create a new Working Group dedicated to OSH (Occupational Health & Safety). This group of rental experts met for the first time on 11 September in Brussels for their kick-off meeting.

If you are a rental company or a rental association and would like to be represented in the ERA Sustainability Committee or in the OSH Working Group, please contact the ERA team at era@erarental.org.

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