Working with contractors

The majority of energy efficiency work is completed by contractors. So, if you want to offer a good resident experience, strong communication with your contractors is a big part of this.

Resident liaison – who leads?

Many contractors offer resident liaison services and it’s up to you to decide if you want to do this in-house or contract it out.

In-house advantages

  • You can manage the relationship with residents directly.
  • You will have someone on site to deal with issues quickly and monitor the performance of the contractors.
  • You can make sure you offer a consistent friendly face.

Contractor advantages

  • Contractors may have lots of experience of managing resident relationships on similar projects.
  • It can be logistically easier – especially if you have lots of work on site at the same time.

Customer service standards for contractors

Everyone wants people working in their home to be respectful. How contractors behave can have a big impact on the resident’s experience.

Simple things like contractors not asking permission to use the toilet in someone’s home, leaving gates open, or parking in the wrong place, are common sources of complaints and dissatisfaction.

Our research suggests adding resident service standards to contracts, as well as having members of your in-house team onsite regularly to monitor how things are going and to resolve any issues quickly.

Some suggested resident service standards include:

  • Be polite and courteous.
  • Do not smoke in or next to residents’ homes.
  • Provide adequate floor and furniture protection.
  • Leave work areas clean and tidy.
  • Park vehicles with respect for the resident and their neighbours.
  • Ask the resident permission to use any facilities, such as toilets, in their home. If they decline, alternative arrangements must be made.

Introduce the contractors to residents

It can be helpful to share logos and offer a contact name and number. This will reassure residents that the company contacting them via letter or calling at their home is legitimate.

Involve residents in procurement

Do you want to make sure you select a people-focused contractor? And that you set customer service standards that meet the needs of residents? A good way to make this happen is to involve resident champions in the procurement process.

Contractors and diversity 

If this work is going out to tender it’s helpful to include equality requirements in the contract conditions. At tender stage, you should provide bidders with contract conditions and details of policies they must comply with. Legal obligations relating to equality and diversity which apply to the housing providers also apply to their contractors – make sure your contractors are aware of this.

Include information in the contract about how they will need to work you to meet these obligations. For example, by taking part in mandatory equality and diversity training, agreeing to participate in equality audits and taking steps to ensure your Code of Conduct is adhered to. Bidders who refuse to accept these conditions could be disqualified.

Doing an equality audit can help to get insight into the practices of those working for you. This may include asking questions about how diverse their workforce is, their internal equality and diversity policy and procedures, any areas where requirements are not met, and details of staff experience and training. Gathering this information can help to identify any possible issues and allow you to put in place the right kind of support.

© Copyright - Heart Warming Homes 2023