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Multifamily Workplaces that Work

3 Tips to Connect Team Members to Your Culture


For leaders who are pulling out all the stops to ensure your valued team members stick with you (that’s ALL multifamily leaders right now), here are some thought-provoking new metrics on employee engagement from a study by Gartner.  

  • More than 75% of surveyed employees said that culture is very or extremely important to being effective at their jobs
  • But only 25% felt connected to their organization’s culture

That’s a MASSIVE disconnect! How can multifamily leaders bridge that gap? Connecting team members to the culture can be especially challenging when employees don’t work side-by-side (such as remote workers or multifamily teams spread out across a region or country).

Here are three tips:

  • First, ensure the work itself is meaningful. Don’t lean on superficialities such as a pleasant office experience or gourmet snacks to create an attachment to the job. The work itself has to matter to your associates.
    • Here’s one way to do this: when you lead your weekly staff meetings, always spend time connecting the team’s efforts with exactly how they add value to the customer and the organization. For example: “The service team delivered 6 perfect move-in ready apartments last week…that means 6 delighted new families in residence, and our occupancy jumped from 94% to 97%. Amazing!”

  • Second, deliberately create emotional connections. Recognize employees for the work they do and highlight the impact it has on others.
    • Here’s an example: On your brag board in the back office (you do have one of those, right?), post a public thank you note to your Service Director for volunteering to teach a class at the local apartment association. Specify exactly what they taught and how many students benefitted. Point out that their efforts reflected well on the community and company. Bonus points for student reviews and photos of the instruction in action. The brag board is a great place to hang up favorable reviews and thank you notes/emails from residents and company leaders, too.

  • Third, make sure personal interactions count, whether they are in person or virtual. About 65% of respondents said cultural connection came from their team, and 60% said it was driven by their direct manager.
    • Here’s how to do this: Remember that we may be managing property, but we are in a people business! Create opportunities for connection, which builds camaraderie. If your team is spread out all over the place, you can STILL do this. Try scheduling a regular, recurring, totally optional “virtual lunch bunch” over Zoom. Anyone who is looking for companionship during their lunch break can jump on camera and chat with their coworkers. Boom – team bonding, just like that.

Building a strong and rewarding workplace culture isn’t one top-down initiative. It comes naturally when leaders do many small but impactful things like the suggestions outlined here.

I’d love to hear what ideas you have and what's worked well for you. Please chime in in the comments!

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Virtual lunch bunch would be amazing! These are great ideas Kara!

  Lilah Poltz
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Small but impactful things! Yes...very intentional on leading the team. Thanks for the simple outline.

  Kiki Clarke
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Thanks, Kiki!

  Kara Rice
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Great piece, Kara!

Meaningful work is everything to me, as I am sure it is for so many others.

  Adrian C Danila
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Appreciate you weighing in, Adrian!

  Kara Rice

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