Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Keeping Your Best Employees

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Keeping Your Best Employees

Article excerpt

Although our company has hundreds of employees, more than half of our staff has been with the firm for several years; some as many as 10 to 20 years.

The secret to recruiting and keeping a top flight management team is simple. The implementation of such a program, however, requires that you remain focused on that goal, year in and year out, internally and externally, professionally and socially.

What is the secret? The secret is that attracting and retaining the best people are not two different things. They are the same thing. Both require creating and maintaining a positive reputation, internally as well as externally.

If you offer training, meaningful rewards, and adequate corporate resources to allow people to get their jobs done with pride, the best people will want to come to work for you.

And they will want to stay.

Promoting from Within

Does your company promote from within? This is one of the proven methods of employee retention. It shows that there is truly room for advancement and growth within your firm. More importantly, it shows you believe that your people are the best. You prove this every time you select one of your own people for advancement.

Promoting your current employees also saves time and money. You hire a candidate with whom you are already familiar, who already knows you, and is already a part of your corporate culture. While additional training is still required, promoting an assistant property manager to a property management position allows you to avoid training someone on the company's policies and procedures, forms, accounting systems, etc.

Another benefit of promoting from within is that as your team matures, the senior-level management group has grown into its position based on the training, vision, and goals which are held important by your firm. The singular vision shared by this group will result in an effective team focused on a common objective.

As property managers, though, we have a particular challenge when considering the promotion of a property manager. The problem is that our clients, if all is well, have learned to trust and rely upon that person.

How can we promote from within without losing client continuity? At our company, we have successfully addressed this concern with two separate programs. First, because we do want to promote from within, we anticipate these promotions in advance and work to train the person on the level below into the next position. For example, we were recently able to promote an on-site manager to a larger property and greater challenges and move the assistant manager into the property manager position. Because the client was already familiar with the assistant, the transition was smooth, especially as it was combined with our second program.

Our second program is principal involvement on every account. Regardless of size, our firm makes a commitment to clients that they will have hands-on involvement by a principal throughout the life of the assignment. Because we deliver on this promise, when we move our line people into a new position, the client retains continuity through the principal, who is either a senior vice president or regional manager.

The principal's familiarity with the project allows the client to remain comfortable with the company and provides the new manager with a knowledge base.

Looking Outside

As your firm grows and the management services industry changes, your needs will change. Ten years ago, who would have thought that property managers would need to be knowledgeable in earthquake inspection and repair considerations? Or current on all the code compliance, legal, and environmental issues?

Managers are being called upon to be knowledgeable and accountable in a wide array of new areas. Therefore, we need new skills and resources. The best way to strengthen your team today is to hire people with knowledge and expertise in areas that benefit your delivery systems. …

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