- AIIP Gold Award - Investors in People Gold
- UK Complaint Handling Awards 2017 - Overall winners of UK Complaint Handling Awards
- Placed 4th in the Top Social Landlords awards
- CIH South West Awards – CE Jen Barfoot was winner of the Exceptional Contribution to Housing Award
- UK Women in Housing Awards 2017 – CE Jen Barfoot was winner of Exemplary Housing Professional Award
- Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For – 10th place
In 2016 Homes in Sedgemoor, which manages the District Council’s 4,200 tenanted and leasehold homes set on a journey to put their “Customer First!” Energize Learning and Development (Energize) were invited, following a competitive tender exercise, to develop and deliver a training campaign to support and help facilitate this ambition. By developing customer centric attitudes and behaviours, the Energize “Customer First” development programme has bought tangible benefits and has helped Homes in Sedgemoor achieve its objectives, leading to the awards listed above.
Energize itself, is an award-winning training company dedicated to developing customer focused mind sets, attitudes and behaviours with anyone who has a role to play in delivering a service to members of the public. They help organisations identify the operational barriers to delivering great service and support the changes needed in a concrete, practical way. They have a proven track record in motivating staff to deliver great service consistently.
Energize Learning has worked with clients both across the public and private sector. In housing, they had successfully developed and implemented a programme for the Curo Group with some substantial improvement in service metrics. In retail they have worked with and won awards with Marks & Spencer and Selfridges, and in healthcare they have worked with and won awards with Great Ormond Street and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
This case study outlines what Energize did and the impact it had on Homes in Sedgemoor.
What did Energize do?
“Energize got under the skin of our operation to understand not only the challenges that our colleagues face in their day-to-day roles but also the context in which they’re working,” said CEO Jen Barfoot. “This was really useful as it meant they could support concepts in the programme with relevant examples from our organisation.”
Energize delivered two separate modules for all of Homes in Sedgemore colleagues. The first was run for mixed cohorts of colleagues, which brought people together from different parts of the organisation. The session examined the essence of great customer service and highlighted the importance of attitude, listening skills, questioning, and taking ownership. In addition, colleagues were asked to consider personal changes that they could make in their work practices, to bring “Customer First” to life.
The second module was delivered for colleagues in their teams and focused on resolving difficult customer situations and how teams could work together more productively to meet the needs of internal and external customers. Each team made their own commitments about how they could work more collaboratively to benefit their customers.
Energize then ran separate sessions for managers, outlining their responsibility as role models and how they can use coaching to encourage and reinforce the right service behaviours. A ‘train the trainer’ session was also delivered, to enable Homes in Sedgemore to run the programme itself for new colleagues as they join. To help sustain the learning, individual colleagues were asked to volunteer to become internal champions of the approach. Energize then ran a session on how these champions could promote good practice internally and ensure that individuals and teams lived the commitments they had made to improve customer service across the organisation.
Jen Barfoot the Chief Executive said:
“It’s been an excellent programme and all aspects of it were focused on our needs, highly engaging and expertly facilitated. We can definitely see tangible benefits throughout the organisation. People are more motivated, they’re more focused on meeting the needs of customers, they are choosing their attitude, encouraging others to be positive and using the concepts and terminology from the programme. It’s had a significant impact, and has resulted in us improving our services and achieving our objectives. This has led to us gaining awards and accreditations as noted above. I am very proud of the team and the organization for this transformation.”