People power: properly manage your property management personnel
In an industry known for its revolving door roster of staff, it’s important to understand why this is the case and how you can combat it. But before you jump to the conclusion that today’s younger workforce are more inclined to shifting jobs, that problematic ‘revolving door’ actually has nothing to do with millennials. Rather, it occurs where there’s extreme employee dissatisfaction.
According to human resources expert Rex Conner of Mager Consortium, the most common source of workplace unhappiness “occurs in the relationship with the boss.” With the average job span of just nine months for property managers, Job satisfaction and workplace happiness are not just about competitive pay or commissions, increasingly employees are placing greater value on company culture. And more often than not, the company culture comes from the top. Nowadays we’re operating in the human era of the workplace. So, it’s important you set the right tone with your people. Infact, it’s one of the fundamentals to keeping any workplace running smoothly.
According to Conner, “the most common source of conflicts comes when the boss is in the position of making a subjective decision about someone’s performance, pay, work schedule or how they’ll be recognised.” Further, leaders who create objective processes over subjective practices are more likely to avoid unnecessary conflict. “If all work processes are objectified, people will have to search harder to find a source of unhappiness,” he adds.
As the managing director of a property management team, I’ve learned that communication must be straight-forward and accurate. Avoid subjectivity – don’t change the playing field or move the goal posts unexpectedly. Your staff need to know what’s expected of them so they can deliver on their tasks. There have been many times I’ve worried being direct would be offensive or lead to a dictatorship mentality, so I personally opted to use an indirect approach and gentle management style. This behaviour led to inconsistency and unhappiness within my team. It was when I began to unpack my management of people that I discovered employees seek a strong leader with clear direction. And you can accomplish this while still using a kind delivery to communicate these directions.
Conner suggests those managers who use “clear, objective communication” about people’s performance, pay, promotions and recognition are likely to see improved job satisfaction within their team. “The next greatest bang-for-your-buck is to objectively identify the skills they need to bring to the job as well as the skills in which they’ll be trained,” continues Conner. “Then, provide performance-based training for those skills so they’re confident that they can perform.”
If you’re looking to enhance your leadership skills, why not attend this year’s REIQ Summit? Scott Dutton, otherwise known as the ‘conflict whisperer’ is one of this year’s featured speakers. He’ll be taking property managers and principals through the steps to building healthy, dynamic and sustainable relationships. He’ll also be tackling how leaders can avoid the traps that fuel conflict, disconnect relationships and jeopardise individual and organisational wellbeing. Remember, it only takes a small self-adjustment to improve the culture of the whole team, which may just eliminate the revolving door of property managers in your business.