At Fife Housing Group we’ve been on quite a journey over the past couple of years, aiming for significant improvements in services to tenants and other customers, to be achieved through a range of measures including: organisational review, culture change, value for money assessment and performance management.
We’ve already seen evidence of how we’ve progressed in developing a culture which is underpinned by our values of being ‘accountable’, ‘firm but fair’, ‘open and honest’ and ‘versatile’, for example:
- Over the past two years we have introduced a range of ways to enable tenants and other customers to get involved and work with us to help improve how we work. This has clearly been welcomed and our recent customer survey saw an increase of 16.2% when asked about ‘satisfaction with opportunities to participate in Fife Housing Group’s decision making’;
- We have rebranded the organisation to make it clearer for customers where services are being provided from and was developed with tenants, colleagues and other stakeholders to reflect where we needed to be as a business to embed our vision of ‘getting back to basics’;
- In April 2016 we implemented our new colleague structure which was designed to put resources very much to the front-line and improve our housing, engagement, maintenance and customer services approach; and
- We have introduced mobile working for housing officers which, when coupled with improved patch sizes, enables colleagues to spend more time out with customers in their homes and neighbourhoods.
Like most organisations we keep our performance under review, we are a member of the ‘G8’ group of housing associations in Scotland who benchmark and share good practice and we’ve really benefited from this membership, but we wanted to take our approach to performance management further.
With this in mind we have joined HouseMark, a leading provider of social housing data and insight which is jointly owned by the Chartered Institute of Housing and the National Housing Federation – two not-for-profit organisations that reinvest their surpluses into the affordable housing sector.
More than 950 housing organisations across the UK are HouseMark members, including 45 in Scotland where membership is growing, and at Fife Housing Group we are looking forward to the opportunities which our participation will bring; giving us an opportunity for greater access to data, information-sharing, best practice and business insight in key areas such as welfare reform, customer excellence, complaints, repairs and maintenance and assessing value for money that will be vital to help us to continue on our improvement journey.
We know where we and our customers want Fife Housing Group to get to on that journey and our joining HouseMark will be an extra guide on this exciting route.