Management guidance/ processes

  • Procedure; distinguishing whose choice it is? 

    The services available at each scheme should always be determined, as much as possible, by the people living at that scheme.   

    The guide ‘Helping residents to live the life they choose” (available on the intranet) sets out the services and where any decision about those services should be made. In summary, decisions are usually made under one of the following three headings: 

    • Landlord decision: these are decisions that Housing 21 must make, usually for reasons of compliance or health and safety 
    • Individual decision: these are decisions that can be made by each individual resident, the outcome of which does not impact on their neighbours’ enjoyment of their home. It is a choice that can be offered fairly across the rest of the scheme. Sometimes the individual may require the permission of Housing 21 as there may be certain conditions applied to the individual’s choice. 
    • Scheme decision: these are not decisions that have to be made by Housing 21 nor can they be offered to individual residents. An outcome may be more difficult to reach because it is unlikely that all residents at a scheme will always agree with a decision. The purpose of the approach outlined within this procedure is to reach a decision with which most residents are reasonably happy. 
  • Reaching a consensus 

    Where services are subject to a local decision there are a variety of ways in which this decision may be reached. 

    Using a formal ballot with a majority outcome should be the method of last resort (unless a ballot is formally required for contractual, statutory or regulatory reasons). It is more preferable to reach a consensus decision amongst as many residents as possible. See Appendix one for issues to consider when holding a ballot. 

    It is useful if any ideas and options are openly discussed as these will make discussions much easier and are likely to be what is used to reach consensus. 

    It is important that all residents are invited to take part in consensus discussions and it is important that the Local Housing Manager/ Housing and Care Manager keep a record of this, along with: 

    • a record of which method was used to obtain consensus 
    • the number of residents attending meetings  
    • the number of residents taking part 

    Some of the methods that can be used with groups of residents include (more methods are explained as part of the training module): 

    • Silent mind mapping: asking residents to effectively suggest ideas and write them down but not share initially with the wider group. The facilitator then collects and groups these ideas for wider open discussion. 
    • Alternate vote: asking residents to make a strong choice of preference and then also a weaker (but still acceptable) one. The idea is that people may not get exactly what they want but the alternative is still acceptable. 
    • Pros and pros: rather than looking at the pros and cons of different options, it may be less dismissive to look only at the pros for each option considered. 
    • Rate and eliminate: asking residents to rate the different options, which may produce a similar result to the “alternate vote” method. Again, it may produce an option that is acceptable to everyone albeit not actually anyone’s favourite. 
  • Training and development 

    The approach of providing choice and consensus is at the heart of good customer service. As such, it forms part of the Local Housing Manager/ Housing and Care Manager induction modules on customer service and every new manager is required to complete this module. 

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