Outstanding Tenant Engagement
First Choice Homes
First Choice Homes joined the Housing e-Academy in 2010 as Access Tenant Plus members.
Please provide an overview of how you engage with tenants to encourage them to study online
At FCHO we use a number of different techniques to encourage e-learning. The link is available from our Website, and there has been regular marketing and communication via our quarterly customer newsletter. We have provided incentives by offering prizes of shopping vouchers for someone completing the modules, selected at random. We have launched these competitions at different customer events including our Annual customer conference where we had an “internet café / learning zone” where customers could find out more info, register and get a feel for the different modules.
We have also encouraged customers to register for the e-learning packages by incorporating it as a route to completing our Key 2… pre-tenancy training. The e-learning modules made up an alternative route to completion from the workshops and one to one coaching we offer. The modules, although completed by the learners themselves, were done at our IT suite with a member of staff available to guide them through it.
How have you solved problems and/or overcome hurdles with introducing tenants to e-learning?
The main problem we have encountered has been with take-up. Until customers can register, play around and get a feel for what the modules are, and how enjoyable and easy they are to complete, it is difficult to get them engaged and convince them to log on and learn.
We orchestrated situations where customers could experience e-learning first hand and hands on and see it in action. By taking the internet to them at conferences, customer involvement and engagement events and even jobs fairs, we got people interested.
We also ran competitions and offered incentives.
Also, by including it as part of a blended learning solution for pre-tenancy skills, we were able to introduce it to some customers who were often in chaotic situations, without stable accommodation and ready access to the internet and gave them a supportive space in which to learn.
Please explain how your organisation has demonstrated excellent team working or exceptional communication skills which has led to tenants engaging with e-learning
The role of encouraging customers to take up learning opportunities is technically the role of one person. However, the push to promote e-learning has been a team effort whenever e-learning has been taken out to customers. The Learning and Development Team, Customer Involvement Officers, and even non-customer facing staff from Human Resources have worked and pulled together to showcase e-learning at customer events and job fairs.
Communicating with customers face to face, building rapport and getting them interested in e-learning led to a number of customers signing up and going on to complete the modules later in their own time.
What have the benefits of this been for the tenants and/or the organisation?
For the customers, the benefits have been, predominantly, the skills to manage a tenancy. Budgeting, healthy living, preparing for work.
As the packages have been used as a route through our Key 2…. Pre-tenancy training, they can be accounted for in the success of this scheme, which evaluation shows has lead to a 100% increase in the number of tenancies being sustained. Sustained tenancies are better for our customers, they are financially more secure, with a secure home, more engaged and involved with their communities. Their neighbours and communities also benefit as a result.
From an organisational perspective, the turn around of empty properties is reduced and the cost of repairing them is reduced, more rent income is collected and there is more money to spend on improving our homes and communities.