Workshopping Solutions for Your Supported Housing Organisation

Workshopping for social housing organisations

Workshops are safe spaces where people can gather to share ideas with the intention of creating a more cohesive and comfortable culture. As such, they are well-suited to supported housing, where employees and residents must work together to foster a more inclusive, involved environment.

Workshops play a pivotal role in brainstorming, problem-solving, and strategizing for the future. Today, we’ll be exploring various approaches and methodologies for conducting workshops that yield practical solutions for supported housing organisations.

Understanding the Challenges

The first step in workshopping solutions is working to understand the unique challenges faced by supported housing organisations. These might include everything from funding constraints to ever-shifting regulatory changes, resident well-being, staff training, and community relations.

With the continued advancement of technology, these challenges have further evolved to include adapting to technological advancements and addressing the diverse needs of a changing resident demographic. However, with management software solutions such as ECCO underpinning a supported housing system, it could be argued that technology works in favour of both employees and residents.

How to Workshop Support Housing Solutions

Set Clear Objectives

Before diving into a workshop, it’s crucial to set clear, achievable objectives. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve from the workshop. Whether it’s developing new funding strategies, improving resident services, or enhancing staff skills, having a focused goal ensures it remains productive.

Use Inclusive Participant Selection

Effective workshops in supported housing involve a diverse range of participants. This includes staff from various departments, residents (for their invaluable and unique insights), board members, and possibly external stakeholders such as local community leaders or representatives from funding bodies. Also be sure to include representation from different age groups, cultural backgrounds, and abilities to bring a wealth of perspectives to the table.

Employ Dynamic Workshop Methodologies

Workshops are more than just about sitting around a table discussing issues. They incorporate dynamic, interactive methodologies such as design thinking, role-playing, SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats), and scenario planning. These methods encourage creative thinking and help participants see problems from different angles, leading to more innovative and practical solutions.

Integrate Technology

Technology can play a significant role in enhancing workshop experiences. For example, project management software can be used to organise and track progress. If you really wanted to push the boat out, you could also invest in third-party technology to make workshops more engaging and interactive. For example, you could create virtual reality and augmented reality simulations to literally put people inside a situation. However, this might prove a bridge too far for your budget!

Focus on Practical, Actionable Outcomes

The end goal of any workshop is to come up with practical, actionable outcomes. This means not just ideating but also creating a concrete plan of action with assigned responsibilities, timelines, and evaluation metrics. Workshops in supported housing should emphasise creating SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) to ensure that ideas are translated into tangible results.

Building a Culture of Collaboration and Innovation

Workshops are not just one-off events; they should be part of a broader culture of collaboration and innovation. Post-workshop, establish mechanisms for continuous learning and adaptation. This could involve regular follow-up meetings, sharing best practices, and staying abreast of new developments in the sector. Encourage open communication between employees and residents too and invest in ongoing staff training and resident engagement practices.

Finally, evaluating the effectiveness of workshops and sharing outcomes with all stakeholders is essential. This not only provides accountability but also helps in refining future workshops. The ECCO group support module is an ideal tool here, as it allows users to facilitate, lead and evaluate groups with reporting on key performance indicators to reflect the social value and impact of each workshop.