Top 5 Tips for Empowering Repairs & Maintenance Trades Colleagues

Social housing providers in the UK are currently facing a challenging situation due to the backlog and increased numbers of repair jobs resulting from the government’s recent ‘Make Things Right’ campaign. This initiative has encouraged more tenants to proactively report repairs and maintenance issues, particularly those involving damp and mould. Additionally, the enactment of Awaab’s Law has placed stricter regulations on social housing landlords, mandating quicker response times and ensuring clear communication with tenants regarding repair processes.

In light of these developments, empowering trades colleagues, including plumbers, joiners, carpenters, gas engineers becomes crucial. These professionals play a vital role in efficiently managing repair jobs, ensuring the quality and sustainability of fixes while effectively addressing tenants’ concerns. Here are the top five tips for empowering trades colleagues to meet the evolving demands of social housing repairs:

Communication is Key

Effective communication is essential for ensuring that trades colleagues feel involved and valued in the repair process. Providing detailed explanations of project management strategies and discussing the rationale behind decisions can foster a sense of ownership and commitment among team members. By engaging trades colleagues in meaningful conversations, housing providers can leverage their expertise to identify innovative solutions and improve overall service delivery. It’s also imperative to anticipate resistance and prepare accordingly. The trick is to implement change progressively and consider what might be holding people back from accepting change. By ensuring the positives are articulated clearly and the outcomes can be measured and demonstrated by providing real-life scenarios that showcase the enhancements that change is making to the organisation.

Create a Feedback Loop

Encouraging trades colleagues to share their opinions and feedback on repair projects is critical for continuous improvement. Establishing open channels of communication through regular one-to-one meetings and team discussions allows for constructive dialogue and the identification of potential challenges or areas for enhancement. Moreover, acknowledging and acting upon trades colleagues’ feedback demonstrates a commitment to their professional development and fosters a culture of collaboration and accountability.

Share Successes

While it’s essential to address areas needing improvement, it’s equally important to celebrate successes and recognise outstanding performance among trades colleagues. Highlighting achievements not only boosts morale but also reinforces positive behaviours and encourages team members to strive for excellence. By creating a culture of appreciation and recognition, housing providers can motivate trades colleagues to consistently deliver high-quality repair services.

Implement Change Management

Approaching repair projects as business transformation initiatives requires careful planning and consideration of organisational dynamics. Identifying the scope of change, anticipating potential resistance, and building a coalition of supporters are essential steps in facilitating smooth transitions. By aligning strategic goals with repair projects and providing visible leadership throughout the process, housing providers can ensure that trades colleagues are fully engaged and committed to achieving desired outcomes.

Leverage Technology

Investing in advanced technology solutions like Mobysoft’s RepairSense platform can streamline repair management processes and empower trades colleagues with actionable insights. By leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, RepairSense enables housing providers to analyse repair data, identify trends, and prioritise tasks effectively. As well as helping managers drive change, RepairSense’s intuitive dashboards equip operatives with the information they need, at the right time, so they can focus on resolving issues and preventing the problem from re-surfacing. The platform helps to provide a consistent service to tenants, as it ensures providers focus on quality and sustainability of the fix, moving away from the historical regulatory focus of response and completion times.

The Bottom Line

Empowering trades colleagues is essential for social housing providers to meet the increasing demands of repair and maintenance services effectively. By fostering open communication, soliciting feedback, and celebrating successes, housing providers can cultivate a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement, something which ultimately helps social landlords satisfy regulatory requirements, such as Tennant Satisfaction Measures and the newly implemented Consumer Standards.

Additionally, implementing robust change management strategies and leveraging innovative technology solutions like RepairSense can enhance the efficiency and sustainability of repair operations. Through these concerted efforts, social housing providers can ensure that repairs are completed promptly, accurately, and to the satisfaction of tenants, benefiting everyone involved from landlords and their trades colleague, to the people who reside in the properties they provide and maintain.

To find out more about our innovative RepairSense platform, visit our dedicated RepairSense microsite. For further information about Mobysoft’s AI-powered Damp & Mould Module, check out our dedicated damp and mould pages.

Zoe LaBrow