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BLOG: Network’s new strategic objective, ‘Strengthening residents’ trust in us’ - By Francis Haydon

02 March 2020

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I'm really pleased to have been a part of creating Network's new Strategic Objective: 'Strengthening our residents' trust in us'.

Francis Haydon, Chair of the London local Panel

The process was a highly collaborative one, led by residents from the start and allowing us to put our proposals directly to the board. It was a great example of Network's genuine and ongoing commitment to delivering greater transparency, continually improving communications and to offering a wide range of opportunities for residents to get meaningfully involved in improving services.

Network’s strategic objectives inform its decision-making at the highest levels, and new projects, plans and initiatives are always considered with them in mind. So, it's fantastic that residents have been central to creating this one.

How will Network Homes achieve their objective of ‘Strengthening residents’ trust in us’?

In group discussions with residents, while drawing up the objective, it became apparent that people often felt frustrated when they were not receiving proactive updates or feedback from Network Homes regarding a situation. That when the information is provided, even if it was negative, it felt better to know what was going on behind the scenes than not to hear anything at all. We therefore agreed that providing that information by default, wherever possible, will be an important part of delivering on the objective.

Another key part of the objective is increasing awareness among residents about opportunities to get involved and to have a say in how Network operates as well as in the decisions it makes as an organisation. It’s great to see that these opportunities are now prominently advertised on the front page of Network Homes' website. It’s also great to see that a lot of work is going on within Network to continue to develop and deliver ways for everyone to get involved. This includes providing opportunities that require less time commitment than say the local or scrutiny panels, which will allow people, who can’t make it to meetings, have a direct voice.

The work on signposting residents to engagement opportunities is also part of another, larger goal within the objective, which is making the outputs of the work that takes place under it tangible. It’s an intentionally broad objective and it covers a lot of actions and areas across many separate teams within Network. It’s therefore crucial that there is a good, relevant metric we can use to track and measure how well Network Homes is doing at delivering on those actions, and the outcomes and improvements they’re intended to bring about. For the new strategic objective, Network’s ambition is to improve residents’ trust in them as an organisation by 10% year on year.

To help track they’re progress on achieving this objective, Network has recently conducted a separate exercise of reviewing its processes for collecting feedback from residents. This is to make sure they’re effective, appropriate, and capture information that can be used to concretely measure residents’ trust in them as an organisation on an ongoing basis. The feedback process exercise was another opportunity for residents to work in partnership with Network, and another one that I was glad to participate in.

I’ve had the chance to meet with many staff at Network Homes through taking part in the panel and in various other meetings, discussions and exercises. I’m constantly impressed by the sense of a common social purpose and the amount of hard work that sits behind the day-to-day operations residents typically get to see and interact with. It’s my hope that this new strategic objective will help to bridge that gap for more residents. I’m excited to continue to work with Network to achieve that and to see the results for myself.

Hands up if you want to get involved like me?

If like me you'd like to make a difference and help to improve the service you receive from Network Homes, check out the involvement opportunities in the Get Involved section on this website.