A recent study identified “the overwhelmed employee” as one of your greatest business challenges. Professionals report that people are multitasking more than ever, losing sleep, and finding work more difficult. Work-related stresses include the range and complexity of the things your property staff must know, the applications and the systems they must use, and the variety and intensity of problems they must solve in their day-to-day interactions.
Engagement is the term used to describe how integrated your employees feel within your company. How vested are your employees in performing the work that keeps your occupancy rate high? How committed are they to accepting the challenges and solving the problems that your success hinges upon? What strategies do you consciously employ to help your employees increase their business knowledge levels and skill sets?
How well you engage your staff may be the most important question you answer in the Property Management space. Think about it: you can hire the best people, train them well, even provide clear leadership directives, but if your people do not like their jobs they will not deliver quality. Attention to detail is quality, your property’s lifeblood.
An important problem every company must solve is how to engage busy and burdened employees without simply overwhelming them with additional programs and requirements. In short, your staff needs to feel good about their jobs and be happy in their work. In this interconnected world, unhappiness and discontent at your property will begin to show up in social media. It won’t be long before the word on the street will trump anything you might be attempting. Believe me, whatever you can do to simplify things at work will help you in the long run.
Here are 5 ways to simplify life for your property staff and keep them highly engaged:
- Take advantage of online help resources. Software with built-in online help offers a huge advantage to your staff. Train your staff to look to online resources first to learn workflows and verify correct sequences or procedures. Succinct online help resources are one of the most reliable ways for your staff to obtain trusted information and expand their knowledge of the tools and applications they use every day.
- Have a strategy to acknowledge what your employees are saying. Note any trends and have an active process that allows you to respond to your employees’ concerns and make meaningful changes when needed. Regular pulse surveys, for example, give you real-time feedback on how your staff feels about key issues and what you can do to keep them engaged on issues of greatest importance.
- Consciously build your culture so your employees enjoy their work. How can you model the attitudes and behaviors that you rely on? What can you do to relieve the pressure that your staff feels? Do their jobs include tasks or responsibilities that could be handled in a better way? Will upgrading tools or resources remove pain points or foster an improved environment of cooperation?
- Map out career path opportunities for your employees. Your staff will invest in you as a reciprocal response to feeling there is opportunity for their talent and reward for their industry. When your staff sees that there is a path open to their growth—and a reward system in place for their achievement—they are more likely to be self-motivated to keep engaged and perform at a higher level.
- Provide business solutions that reduce the complexity of their jobs. Take some time to think seriously about how you can help create better circumstances or working conditions. The likelihood is that you can find a better way to do the things that must be done, particularly the things that your staff has traditionally found to be difficult. Innovate. There are always ways to improve your processes and policies.
Keep an open mind to suggestions your staff make to simplify things at work. The more you listen the more they understand that their great ideas will be incorporated into improved working conditions. Keep them engaged!
1. Global Human Capital Trends 2014: Engaging the 21st-century workforce, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Bersin By Deloitte, Deloitte University Press, April 2014
2. The Great Human Experiment: Technology and the Brain, Wisdom 2 Conference/Larry Rosen, March 2, 2014, Larry Rosen.