You may have heard the term ‘digital transformation’ and thought 'Why would my company need to transform digitally?' Terms like 'compliant’, ‘data breach’, and ‘GDPR' may have made you reluctant to move your data online. This year, as COVID-19 has swept the globe, organisations have had no choice. And the homelessness sector has been one of the areas most affected.
How organisations have adapted to the life under Covid
It is vital for organisations in the homelessness sector to have up to date customer information, so that staff can reach people in need.
"One of the biggest challenges for many homelessness charities is making sure we can have access to our customers’ information... using In-Form meant we had access to real-time data." - Gary Clarke, Trident Reach
For many of our customers, this has been their first time working from home. In addition to their concerns over the loneliness of their clients, managers have also worried about staff feeling isolated, and the possible effects of the pandemic on their teams’ mental health.
Our customers made good use of In-Form’s online chat function to keep in contact, to stay up to date, and to support each other.
“Support from peers was very important.... In-Form made this a lot easier.” - Jo Green, Spurgeons Children's Charity.
In-Form helping organisations
With the huge change in work practices, organisations have depended on technology to function. Within our sector, many people were worried about having access to data about their clients. In-Form gives employees access to all the information they need – up to date, at their fingertips, and without fear of data breach.
"With the use of In-Form, we were able to stay open throughout the lockdown and still give our support to the community... Being able to update the systems in real time made it easier for everyone to work collaboratively, as if being in the office." - Gary Clarke, Trident Reach.
Our In-Form app has allowed customers to record COVID-19 issues - including testing, symptoms, vulnerabilities, and shielding - and to keep their information up to date.
"We couldn't have continued to run all services during COVID-19, if we didn't have In-Form," - Richard Erdelyi, Turning-Tides.
Our customers have adapted their ways of working. Lengthy face to face meetings with clients have been replaced with shorter but more frequent phone and video calls. For some lonely clients in particular, it has been comforting to know that they will receive a call every week, and it’s a practice some organisations will continue even after the pandemic is over.
Even with all the disruption, reports for funding have still had to be completed for local authorities. In-Form has helped our customers to secure vital resources by harnessing real data to show - clearly and accessibly - how their work affects people’s lives.
Training and supporting materials
When face to face training was cancelled overnight, we knew we needed to keep our customers together as a community, and to offer training for temporary staff. We introduced TechTuesday, a range of learning modules delivered by experts over Zoom.
These webinars have helped our customers more than we could have imagined. They have allowed them to learn from each other as well as from outside experts, to find out what other organisations are doing, to share problems, and to develop their skills.
"In-form webinars... exceeded expectations. They focused on running training programmes and responding to queries from staff... to make sure they felt included and valued." – Jo Green, Spurgeons Children's Charity.
Our customers have used these webinars to train staff, which will help them to function in the event of another lockdown. If an employee who would normally be in the field has to work from home, for example, it is easier for their organisation to provide cover with staff trained on how to use In-Form.
Digital transformation the right way
There is no one right way to handle your digital transformation, but In-Form can help your organisation, your staff, and your clients. You know your organisation's culture better than anyone, but we can help you find ways to communicate with staff, and make your workplace more efficient.
We've been in the homelessness sector since 1999. We are always working on new features to help our customers support people. We are proud of the In-Form community we have built over the years, and we are proud of the way our customers have adapted during this time. The endurance and resilience of the homelessness sector is remarkable, and it makes us proud to know that our system has made a difference to organisations.
The world is still facing uncertainty, but it’s a comfort to know that the new customers who have joined us during this crisis are now better equipped to support their clients, and that they feel confident that in a second lockdown, they will continue to provide excellent support to their clients.
If you'd like to find out more about how In-Form can transform your organisation get in touch today.
To keep up to date with the latest product updates, news, training and events. Sign up to our mailing list below.