Building a Successful Team. Here's What You Should Know
The property management industry is all about people, and most often the people who get the most attention are the residents and prospects. The success of the industry, however, doesn’t start with the residents. It begins with the Team. Residents and employers have high expectations of the community team members, but how often do we evaluate what expectations team members have of their employers or each other?
The common assumption is that an employee’s primary motivator is, “More money.” However, according to the 2016 SatisFacts Associate Index, the top factors that motivate onsite team members are:
- Opportunities to learn new things
- Authority to make decisions
- Management shows faith in judgment
- Working on a team
On the flip side, the top factors that keep onsite team members from getting their job done are:
- Issues not addressed promptly
- Budgeting constraints
- Inconsistent direction
- Paperwork requirements
Notice that “money” doesn’t rank anywhere on these lists. Sure, it is a factor, just as rent increases are a factor when residents are evaluating renewing their lease. But the key factors are overwhelmingly focused on opportunity, trust, and teamwork. Research across a variety of industries show that employee satisfaction directly impacts customer satisfaction, which directly impacts revenue.
If team members don't feel they are getting the opportunity to grow, that their supervisors don’t trust them, or that they don’t feel connected to their co-workers, then they don’t feel motivated to put much effort into their work. It starts with the culture that is created by top management and cultivated down the chain of command. So, what impacts this culture?
At the top of the list is the desire to learn new things, so one of the most impactful investments a company can make is in the education of their staff. Whether it is building an in-house training department, utilizing online learning, or tapping into the programs provided by the local apartment association, there is a learning solution for every budget.
2. Trust Your Team
There’s a reason you hired your particular employees. Whether it was finding that can-do attitude or discovering someone who had the perfect mix of experience, you had a specific need and you filled it. You did your part, so now let them do theirs. Parameters and guidelines are important, but if you don’t trust your team to make decisions there are really only two choices you can make: a) Educate them on the skills they need, or b) Hire a better fit.
3. Provide the Tools Needed
Most often this comes in the form of answering questions promptly. Just as property teams are expected to respond to resident questions and concerns same day, supervisors should live by the same expectation. It’s nearly impossible to do your job well if the tools or information you need are not available. And if it’s a matter of not having the answers to the questions that are coming in, it may be time to establish some basic governing policies.
The success of any community relies directly on the property team, and it’s critical to understand what matters most to them. If you haven’t taken the time lately to ask what is most important to them in their work, don’t assume you know. Ask. You may be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to gain even more loyalty from your employees and, ultimately, your residents.
Ready to find out what matters most to your team? Ask us about our Associate Satisfaction Survey.