The evolving needs of tenants require social housing providers to continuously improve and adapt their engagement programmes and initiatives to foster meaningful participation. Here are ten things to consider that can improve your tenant engagement efforts over time.
Regular evaluation and feedback Regularly evaluate existing tenant engagement structures, activities and opportunities to assess their effectiveness. Are they still fit for purpose? Carry out a review of the engaged demographics. Are there gaps, where are they, and what measures can you implement to address them?
Diverse engagement methods Recognise that different tenants may have different preferences and comfort levels when it comes to engagement. Offer a range of engagement methods such as surveys, focus groups, one-on-one meetings, online platforms, or community events. This allows for diverse participation and accommodates different communication styles. Also, remember that not everyone wants to get involved – and that’s all right!
Tailored communication Ensure that communication with tenants is tailored to their needs and preferences. Do you know their needs and preferences? Consider language accessibility, digital literacy, and cultural sensitivities. Use plain language, visual aids, and multi-language options to ensure information is easily understood and accessible.
Clear goals and objectives Clearly define the goals and objectives of your tenant engagement initiatives. Providing clarity at the outset allows for more focused and purposeful engagement efforts and helps guide better decisions and improved service delivery.
Meaningful involvement Genuine and meaningful engagement should be the golden thread that runs through your organisation. Involve tenants in decision-making processes early rather than seeking input after decisions are made. Actively listen to tenant perspectives and demonstrate how their input is valued and incorporated into decision-making.
Build trust and relationships Foster trust by building strong relationships with tenants. This involves being honest, responsive, transparent, and accountable. Honour commitments and communicate outcomes of tenant input to demonstrate that their participation has a meaningful impact.
Capacity building for tenants Provide resources and support to help tenants enhance their skills, knowledge, and confidence to engage effectively. This may include offering training and mentoring.
Collaboration with tenant or resident groups Partner with tenant associations to encourage and promote meaningful tenant involvement and consultation. Collaborate on designing and implementing engagement programs to strengthen tenant participation and address specific concerns.
Regular information sharing Keep tenants informed about updates, changes, and outcomes from engagement initiatives. Provide feedback on how tenant input has influenced decisions, demonstrating the impact of their engagement. Highlighting this through your communication channels is another opportunity to encourage others to get involved.
Continuous learning and adaptation Embrace a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Regularly review engagement strategies, learn from experiences, and adapt approaches based on feedback and emerging best practices.
By adopting these strategies, social housing providers can enhance their tenant engagement programs to be more inclusive, responsive, and effective, benefiting both the tenants and the housing provider. Our TP Standards and Accreditation will help you examine your current engagement activities objectively. We provide an independent and robust examination of all your work and practical steps to raise your standard of engagement.