Resident Engagement – What Would ‘Excellent’ Look Like?
How can you meet resident needs if you don’t know what they are? And how can you know whether you’re meeting those needs unless you can measure it?
Effective resident engagement has always been important in running an effective property services partnership. Under new proposals from the Social Housing Regulator it will soon be something that providers will be rated on, with the results made public.
Evaluation won’t just be about how you engage residents and keep them informed – it’s also about how they feel about what you do.
If you think about the time taken to complete a repair it illustrates why there’s an important distinction between meeting KPIs and residents being satisfied.
The proposals from the Regulator would require large social housing providers to carry out regular surveys to establish, among other things, whether residents are satisfied with the time taken to complete their most recent repair.
Do KPIs Match Residents’ Aspirations?
Your contract KPIs might specify an average number of hours. But were residents consulted about that performance measure during contract mobilisation? Or were they told that was what they should expect?
Also, averages are misleading unless you look at variance. A high proportion of simple repairs repeated ahead of target could mask a significant number of bad experiences with more complex issues. These flaws will be exposed by resident satisfaction surveys
You can make similar points about the processes you use to communicate with residents and for them to report faults. When Osborne mobilises a new property services contract we spend a lot of time consulting with residents and their representatives to map the preferred interaction processes and record their expectations.
This is an effective way to ensure that the way we measure the success of our service is in lockstep with what residents appreciate and value.