Talking ‘bout those TSMs - Blog by Dr Dave Mckenna

Monday 24th of July 2023

Tenant Satisfaction Measures are a big part of the day job for resident engagement officers working for local government and ALMOs. So, what better topic for our latest meetup? We had the usual networking and lively conversations, of course, and we were excited to be joined by Alex O’Callaghan, from Housemark, who shared some of her experiences and insights in a fishbowl interview. 

Read on to find out more and grab some top takeaways.


Tenant Satisfaction Measures

As you probably know, ““Registered providers must collect and provide information to support effective scrutiny by tenants of their landlord’s performance in managing their homes and neighbourhoods.” So, you don’t need to take my word for it, that’s the government talking. But, of course, it’s not entirely straightforward. There are many challenges and opportunities, many things to consider to ensure that the process works well for residents. 


Talking points

At the meeting, everyone had the chance to talk about things they were pleased about and things they might want to improve. Here are some of the talking points:

  • Most of us are at the same point and we're all in the same boat!
  • The level of understanding of TSMs 
  • There is different methodology used to gather the TSM data, interesting to see the different options and response rates. So many different methods used!
  • Complaints handling was a focus area to improve on.
  • Different departments or officers lead on TSM
  • Interesting to see how others are using customer feedback to create improvement frameworks.
  • The idea of incentives for better response rate
  • The process of carrying out the survey for perception TSMs
  • How we use results to make Service Improvements between TSM Surveys.
  • Whether TSMs are linked to corporate performance or a Resident Engagement responsibility
  • Residents like the fact that their issue has been heard and we are doing something about it. service improvements have already been identified.


Talking with Alex O’Callaghan

At the meetup we held a fishbowl interview with Alex O’Callaghan from Housemark to hear about her experiences and ideas. She fielded questions from the meetup host (yours truly) and from meetup attendees and dealt with them all brilliantly.

We talked about:

  • Alex’s role at Housemark and the work they do - particularly as it relates to resident engagement?
  • The costs and challenges of resident engagement
  • Co-regulation – what it might mean in practice for resident involvement
  • Making the best use of data including live, open dashboards and open text responses
  • Getting the messaging right about the introduction of the new methods for satisfaction mesures
  • When it comes to tenant engagement and TSMs, what helps to make a difference do you think? Do you have any examples that you like?
  • Alex’s advice for resident engagement officers


You can watch the full interview here.


Talking ‘bout those TSMs – some takeaways

From their conversations, and after listening to Alex, meetup attendees shared their takeaways from the meetup that they thought might be helpful for anyone who couldn’t come along. Here they are:

It’s important to get buy-in from frontline teams and recognise that organisational culture is key – resident engagement should be ‘everyone’s business’

  • Do a review on what the barriers to engagement are for our tenants 
  • Make results simple, sometimes we like to over justify, maybe we don't always need to...
  • Embed resident engagement right from the start - no more 'ticking off' documents etc.
  • Engage with your peers, it provides insight into the issues that you are having and how others are dealing with these. You are not alone!
  • Using data we already have such as repairs etc to correlate with our dissatisfied residents 
  • It’s important to get tenants and members ready for the results of the satisfaction survey especially in relation to perception surveys.
  • Use learning from data to make any necessary service improvements and feedback to customers – it’s useful to review the open text responses 
  • A lot of councils are not aware of the New Burden Funding for TSMs, make sure you get that pot on money into your budget! Ours was 'lost' with the finance team
  • Reassuring to hear that we are on the right lines and doing the right things and we are listening to our residents


About this meetup

This meetup was held on the 20th July 2023 for local government and ALMO Tpas members and hosted by Dave Mckenna, a Tpas Associate. We hold four a year, each with a different theme. The meetups are interactive opportunities for tenant engagement officers to share experiences and ideas and to discuss hot topics. 


Thanks to everyone who took part, and to Alex for her time and super valuable insights.


Find out more here