Why Client Engagement? Isn’t this just an obvious part of what we all do? Doesn’t every organisation providing a service ‘engage’ with its customers? Well, maybe.
‘The central question isn’t whether we engage, but ‘What does that engagement look like and how does it help shape and focus our services and outcomes to best meet the changing needs of those we work with?’.
Huggard, as a homelessness organisation, works closely alongside people with highly complex lives that can experience the most extreme and chronic levels of deep social exclusion. Our client group is considered ‘hard to reach’ by service providers and often bring their own barriers to effective engagement into their relationship with us.
By focusing on examining and enhancing the meaningfulness, accessibility and effectiveness of Huggard’s Client Engagement, we hope that not only will our services and outcomes inevitably improve but that we will be able to share these experiences to help other organisations design and shape their services to put the needs and achievements of their own clients at the heart of their work.
At Huggard, like many organisations we believe that Client Engagement is central to what we do, and to our continued success. People within Cardiff who find themselves homeless, at risk of homelessness or requiring emergency accommodation always have a right to access the full range of opportunities that are available through the Huggard to break the cycle of homelessness and to offer opportunities for personal development to our tennants residents and clients.
It is vital that everyone involved in Huggard ensures that they contribute to Client Engagement. Working collectively and making Huggard as engaging as possible to ensure that we reach out and support as many people as possible to maximise their life chances and achieve independent sustainable living. We achieve this by working collectively to identify client’s potential and offering help and support to enable them to access their potential.
An effective client engagement strategy will contribute to the strategic vision and development of Huggard as we continue to support clients across a range of challenges over years to come. We aspire to be an inclusive organisation, offering opportunities for all those needing shelter and support and as such we should seek to ensure we engage in an effective manner with our clients from the moment we first make contact with them.
Through effective engagement we can really work to change the lives of the people we seek to support and seek to break the cycle of homelessness. This is vital if as an organisation we are to retain our position as one of the leading organisations working with homeless people in Wales, and as such gain further support from our stakeholders to enable us to sustain and develop our operations.
‘It’s a way of working that all is relevant to us all, whatever our role in the organisation.’
This toolkit seeks to stimulate thoughts about how we can all work to ensure that client engagement is central to our roles. The toolkit builds on a range of workshops and facilitated discussions that took place with the majority of staff and representatives of service users throughout the winter of 2014/15. I look forward to working with you to engage clients across the organisation.
Richard Edwards, Chief Executive