This category of involvement suits anyone who cannot or doesn’t wish to leave their home. There are still many people who don’t possess a smart phone or a computer, or have broadband at home, therefore Armchair is involvement at home – without the use of technology. Suggestions for this style of involvement include:
Home one-to-one Interviews
Some people are not good in a crowd, so offering the opportunity for a one-to-one discussion is a great opportunity for someone who might never otherwise give their opinion on your services.
Telephone Surveys and Telephone Interviews
For this to be successful, telephone calls should be booked in advance to ensure it is convenient for the tenant.
Send your tenants a letter.
Ask one question; keep it simple and very easy for a tenant to participate. Don’t forget to include a stamped and addressed envelope for the return of the response.
Small Group Discussions
This where neighbours congregate at each other’s homes to discuss topics of interest to them.
Ask one person to invite a couple of people they know from the school gate, the day centre or church.
Supply a list of subject headings.
Supply a method of recording their responses (it could be a tape recorder or a simple note pad).
This category of suggestions is dependent on “broadband” technology (wifi/the internet/fibre) whether accessed on a PC, tablet or phone. Different age and interest groups will be using technology in different ways – some at home, some on the move, so one solution won’t fit all. Are you aware that in 2016 95% of households in the UK had at least one mobile phone? (source)
Generally Panels focus on
service improvement. An example could be a Customer Experience Service Improvement Group.
This Group gives feedback on issues regarding complaints, compliments and suggestions made to the housing association.
A Well-Designed Website
The obvious method of broadband involvement is a well-designed website. From which you can notify your community about forthcoming events, request their help and provide opportunities to give feedback.
An Online Forum
There are some fabulous and relatively inexpensive forums available; you can even use free ones. (Involving Communities has created one which you can view here)
Be clear of the purpose of the forum before it’s created.
Ask for volunteers to help moderate the forum until such time as the community has written a set of rules about what is and what isn’t acceptable. It may be necessary to continue with a moderator, but not always. You will know.
Conventional methods of Involvement
This style of involvement is all the more traditionally used ways of engaging with your tenants.
Residents can join their neighbourhood manager on regular walkabouts on their estate to check cleaning and maintenance is up to scratch and raise any issues.
A more formal gathering of people. There might be a Question and Answer session at the end, but generally they are for information dissemination.
An informal discussion about specific subjects. They are generally small and represent the community, acknowledging demographic diversity.
These are informal groups for residents who want to get together and discuss issues about their estate, or form a social group, without having to set up and administer a residents association.