Measuring performance using Performance Indicators

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under About us - how we perform.

What are Performance Indicators?

Performance Indicators (PIs) play an important role in achieving our mission to provide excellent and efficient services working in partnership with residents and the wider local community.

Each service area within the company has specific PIs and targets that have been developed with customers. These indicators are used as a tool to maintain or improve service delivery, to meet residents’ aspirations and to provide important information on service provision.

Performance management framework

Our commitment to continuous improvement is reflected in a strong performance-management culture, where improving services is the focus for every employee.

This is used to drive continuous improvement and move us towards our goals, through encouraging individual accountability and responsibility for performance.

A clear performance-management framework helps each employee to understand and recognise their part in contributing to the aims of the company.

The framework links individuals, teams and service objectives to the overall goals set out for the organisation. The thread is:

  • The Gateshead Housing Company’s Business and Delivery Plans
  • Service-specific plans for improvement
  • Performance targets
  • Individual targets, included in appraisals.

Our performance-management framework supports the company in moving forward. The framework will:

  • Enable us to embed excellence into all services
  • Use the national housing standards as a guide to improving services delivered to customers
  • Appropriately involve all employees in service improvement and the management of performance across the company
  • Provide a record that will evidence trends over time to show how we have developed and improved as a company.

Performance management framework

The framework covers two dimensions of performance management.

Performance information is collected and reported internally every month for repairs, gas servicing, rent collection, and void (empty) property services.

Wider performance collection is made quarterly or annually for customer service, estate management, neighbourhood services, leasehold, involvement, as well as our annual survey.

This information is reported to senior management at the housing company, Service Improvement Groups (SIGs), Gateshead Council, and the Board. It can also be viewed online.

Performance – employee appraisal

The performance management framework is underpinned by the appraisal and development process and 1-2-1 progress meetings for all employees.

The appraisal process sets out individual objectives for the year, including development and training needs.

This is reviewed after six months to measure progress and re-evaluate targets and development needs. 1-2-1 progress meetings are held at least every two months (every month for managers), to measure progress on key tasks and provide support where needed to help employees achieve individual objectives.

In this way activity is prioritised, ensuring it contributes towards the company’s objectives.

Performance Indicators

A range of Performance Indicators enable us to assess performance, identify trends, compare ourselves with others and highlight areas where corrective action is needed.

National and local Performance Indicators

The Gateshead Housing Company produces key Performance Indicators that assess how the company is performing.

They include National Indicators and a number of agreed local indicators, giving an overview of customer satisfaction and areas of operational service delivery.

A number of previous ‘Best Value’ indicators were retained so some core performance areas could continue to be measured and reported.

The housing company agrees relevant future performance targets annually for the forthcoming financial year to ensure continuous improvement. Targets set are challenging and demonstrate the company’s commitment to improve service delivery.

Management Performance Indicators

In addition to key Performance Indicators (PIs), the company has developed a range of Management PIs. These indicators cover operational issues in more detail, help managers monitor trends, and assist with decision-making and service development.

All PIs and targets are developed following consultation with tenants and leaseholders.

Performance monitoring

The company’s performance is scrutinised by a number of groups to ensure that services can continue to improve, value for money is achieved and council housing stock is appropriately managed.

Each month the company’s performance is analysed by Heads of Service. Performance is then examined quarterly by the company’s Management Team and Board.

Comparison with others

Benchmarking is a process we use to see how our performance compares with other organisations so we can evaluate how well we do compared to them.

We subscribe to the services of HouseMark, which is a membership-based organisation that helps improve our services and deliver, develop and demonstrate value for money.

This allows us to develop our improvement plans to achieve top quartile performance, if we are not already achieving this, within the shortest possible time.

Our aim is to achieve top quartile performance against other housing providers. This means:

  • Achieving more rent arrears collection
  • Letting vacant properties faster
  • Reducing empty property (void) rent loss
  • Carrying out repairs on time
  • Making and keeping more repair appointments
  • Maintaining the decency of council housing stock
  • Making homes more energy efficient
  • Improving satisfaction of customers in relation to services.

As members of HouseMark we report our quarterly performance to benchmark our results against other local and national housing providers.

We regularly review forum discussions in relation to best practice and use the HouseMark knowledge base for research purposes.

This helps to ensure that we learn from the best performers, and use this learning to continue improving.

Performance clinics

Performance clinics allow us to examine in detail an area of our business that would benefit from some additional focus and support, to understand areas of good or poor performance, and share good practices and address areas of concern.

A Performance clinic is called when a process or area of work that is under- or over-achieving needs to be examined in detail to establish reasons for that performance and agree a way forward.

The action plan formulated and agreed at the clinic will be progressed by the lead officer for performance improvement. This activity is overseen and monitored by the responsible Management Team member to ensure delivery on the action plan.

Value for money in performance

The Gateshead Housing Company is committed to securing value for money through performance across all of its services. We have developed a Value for Money Strategy and Policy to help us do this.

Securing value for money means obtaining the maximum benefit from goods and services acquired and provided, within available resources. It involves economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Economy – This is the price paid (the impact on people as well as actual money spent) for providing a service at best value, taking price and quality into account
  • Efficiency – This is a measure of productivity – how much you get out in relation to what you put in. It is the efficiency of converting resources (inputs) into results (outputs)
  • Effectiveness – This measures the impact of obtaining value for money. It can be quantitative (the amount of effectiveness) or qualitative (the value of effectiveness).

We have a Value for Money and Environmental Management Service Improvement Group which meets bi-monthly and scrutinises financial and environmental aspects affecting the company.

Value for money is more important than ever and the company has been asked to make a 3% efficiency saving in 2015/16.