Housing authorities often function on limited resources including staff, funds and time. Desk aides are one of the simplest tools department managers can implement to ensure resources are spent efficiently. Quadel Associate, Christian D’Emilia, discusses the importance of desk aides and their positive difference in everyday operations.
Desk Aides Cover the FAQs
Desk aides should be unique to each housing authority’s standard operating procedures. By providing staff members with clear, concise instructions, these documents establish a standardized workflow that is easy for all staff members to reference.
“Desk aides (should be) helpful, quick reference guides provided to frontline staff to assist with essential processing functions and workflows such as issuing vouchers, reviewing applications, creating HAP contracts, and software tasks,” D’Emilia said. “Typically, they provide step-by-step instructions to help troubleshoot frequently asked questions and process roadblocks. Desk aides are training tools that help staff feel confident that the work they complete is accurate and efficient.”
Desk Aides Save Staff Time
New staff members often face a steep learning curve when learning standard operating procedures. Desk aides can be used as invaluable training tools for managers and supervisors. D’Emilia noted that these documents should be seen as ongoing training mechanisms to ensure new staff conduct the same tasks accurately and consistently.
“While more detailed training manuals and guides are essential to the management and structure of a successful program, desk aides are an additional tool assisting staff to perform at their best. Desk aides allow frequently asked questions to be answered without staff feeling a burden to request assistance from peers and managers,” D’Emilia said. “While managers and peers are great resources to provide feedback and ongoing training, desk aides provide a consistent reference guide, and prevent duplicating efforts or conflicting messaging.”
Desk Aides Facilitate Continuous Improvement
Desk aides should be updated to match evolving regulations, policies, and best practices. This practice ensures staff members are always equipped with the most relevant and accurate information. In addition, desk aides can be changed quickly to meet the needs of staff and any new HUD regulations.
Desk aides are an additional tool to help staff perform at their best,” D’Emilia said. “When performance weaknesses and trends are discovered, editing, re-wording, or refining desk aides can be a quick way to make corrections and determine areas where more in-depth training is required.”
Quadel implements desk aides for clients as part of program optimization best practices. If your organization is interested in learning more about desk aides that may be helpful to your staff, request a quote.