Tip #1: Establish and communicate clear expectations and guidelines.
If you want to teach someone how to build a car, it's best to show them a picture of a car first. If you don't, the steering wheel may end up on the hood, and the transmission may end up in the glove compartment. In order to build a quality program, you must define and communicate what the end product will look like and exactly what needs to be done to get there.
Everything starts at the top and rolls down. If management doesn't clearly state the desired results, staff will decide what they think should be done. In the absence of clear expectations, they'll attempt a variety of approaches, trying to figure out what management really wants. Trial and error, even with the best of intentions, will very likely result in sporadic and usually unacceptable outcomes.
For best results, create measurable performance standards that clearly define the goals for production, accuracy, and customer service. Here are some examples:
- Production: Complete an average of 98% of assigned reexaminations prior to the required notice of the effective date
- Accuracy: Maintain 98% accuracy rate for quality-controlled file reviews
- Customer Service: Achieve a 4.0 rating from clients served
Next, we'll talk about choosing a caseload model to fit the needs of your agency.
While serving as executive director of a Minnesota housing authority, Nan McKay started one of the nation's first Section 8 programs. The agency was subsequently honored with a HUD award as one of 13 outstanding Section 8 programs in the country.
Founder and president of Nan McKay and Associates, she has devoted the past two years to redesigning NMA's HCV Executive Management course, as well as rewriting the HCV Executive Management Master Book with Bill Caltabiano. The tips and systems described above are thoroughly explored in both, with many forms available on a CD.