Employee retention is without a doubt one of the most intense challenges facing most hiring managers in apartment communities across the board. There is nothing more frustrating than taking the time to find that perfect candidate, train them, then lose them and have to start from scratch.
While it is impossible to wipe completely out this part of doing business, aside from creating leasing consultant robots, there are ways to take preventative measures to ensure your employee turnover is as low as possible.
1. Keep Your Employees Busy
Many managers are satisfied when employees complete their tasks efficiently and on time and do not ask more of their staff when things are running smoothly. While this may seem like a benefit to the employees, this can actually backfire.
People need to feel productive in their work. If the job itself does not occupy all their time on the clock, the downtime can leave employees feeling useless and not challenged.
Make it a point to have side projects going on and involve your staff so they always have something to contribute to. You can reward activities such as working in a resident garden, writing articles for a resident newsletter, and logging time in the property gym. All of these on-the-clock activities can contribute to your staff’s mental and physical well-being. A happy employee does not usually leave their job!
2. Prepare Your Employees for the Rhythms of the Year
Any seasoned apartment industry professional knows that there are certain times of the year that are busier than others. When bringing on a new team member, it is important to prepare them for that upfront.
People can get through most anything if they have a deadline to look forward to. Deadlines will prevent new-hires from getting overwhelmed and feeling like they are not doing a good job, which is a major motivator to quit.
This also applies to your current employees. Make sure they are taken care of during the busiest of times by checking in with them often and offering praise. Let them know that you know this is a stressful time and that they are doing a great job.
On the flip-side, make sure there are things to occupy their time during the slow season, such as the things mentioned above. Don’t let boredom cause your employees sights to start straying to new opportunities.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Fire Employees That Are a Bad Fit
Many managers put off firing employees that they know are not a good fit for the company. There are many reasons for this, including trying to control turnover.
This can be very harmful to your property’s culture and make good employees decide they don’t want to put up with an incompetent co-worker. By not letting one bad apple go, you risk losing the whole tree. Make sure the environment your staff works in is free of stress from bad hires.
4. Offer Flexibility
Flexibility is high priority with Millennials, which comprise the largest sector of today’s workforce. In some cases, employees would sacrifice a pay raise to have the opportunity to work remotely for a couple days of the week. Think about what jobs can be done from home within your apartment community. Maybe you can offer longer shifts if the employee would like only to work four days a week. You can find many ways to get creative with scheduling and save yourself time and money when it comes to employee happiness and reducing employee turnover.
5. Get Hiring Help
In rare circumstances, an apartment community has a dedicated HR manager who’s only job is to hire and maintain an apartment community’s staff.
In most cases, however, the hiring manager is wearing multiple hats and can find it overwhelming to do their core job and while sifting through hundreds of job applicants. By the time they get to interviews, they are desperate to fill the open position and can look over red flags they might not have if they had more time to focus on hiring that perfect employee.
In these cases, it is hugely beneficial to work with a staffing company that specializes in the apartment industry. It’s their business to place their candidates in a position that they are going to thrive. They want your return business after all!
If the new hire does not work out, the staffing company will work to replace them and make it right. The investment can be well worth it to not only find your perfect new team member but have the insurance that you won’t be starting from scratch if they don’t work out.
Reducing employee turnover does not have to be rocket science, it’s an achievable goal that will result in both your’s and your staff’s happiness in the workplace.