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Employee Engagement

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Four Guidelines for Leading your Property Management Team through the Pandemic

With so much information, advice, news, resource links, and speculation swirling around the COVID-19 pandemic, employees are looking to company leadership for answers and instruction. Because the crisis continues to unfold rapidly, company leaders must be willing and able to be nimble in their distilling of information, making decisions, and getting those decisions out to the field.

Here are four guidelines to consider when making decisions in response to COVID-19:

1. Provide daily updates

The local, national, and global picture is changing constantly, and often seems to be picking up speed. As a result, weekly updates aren’t always providing the critical information to the employees who need it. Whether through a living document that all employees can access or a daily email with a state of the company, provide a trusted source of information and guidance that your employees can rely on for the latest and greatest.

2. Form a leadership cabinet

Because there is so much information to sift through, a small, trusted circle of leaders is needed to make swift, critically thought-through decisions. Too many voices can slow the flow and speed of information, but too few perspectives can leave room for imbalance and knee-jerk reactions. Identify a strong, well-balanced few, and allow them to make rapid, tactical decisions in response to real-time issues.

3. Address critical areas of concern

Employee Resources – Health and well-being is top of mind for employees, so access to information regarding customer interactions, health insurance, sanitizing equipment and supplies, and more is in high demand. Provide links, FAQ’s, emails, and phone numbers to make resources available quickly and easily.

Policy Updates – In addition to noting how policies and procedures have changed, provide the “why” and “how” that will provide the context for those having to implement any changes. Having that insight and understanding will help employees feel competent when questioned by team members, residents, or suppliers.

Remote Work – Provide guidance and resources to ensure that responsibilities are being supported properly and employees understand the expectations. As leasing turns to virtual tours, for example, ensure training and tools are provided to enable success.

Supply Chain – Address bottlenecks, shortages, alternative sourcing, or other concerns that impact day-to-day community operations. Call upon your team to see if they have insights or contacts who can close the gaps on some projected scarcity.

Revenue Targets – Projections and goals are going to be on a roller coaster ride but providing direction on reporting needs and expectations will help leadership gain a clear picture of the big picture impact this pandemic will have.

Community Support - Define how the organization can give back to the communities in which they do business. This is the time to live your Vision and Mission and show what your organization is all about. It can also reduce employees’ feeling of helplessness if they know how they can participate in supporting a common cause.

4. Ask for and use employee feedback

This is new to every single person, so we don’t know what we don’t know. On-site employees are being faced with utterly unique situations. It’s critical to foster and encourage ongoing employee feedback so that leadership can quickly learn of and respond to emerging needs and share best practices as they are developed or discovered by different teams.

Being decisive, nimble, and communicating in a clear and consistent manner will enable your employees to approach each day with a sense of support and competence that is critical during this very challenging time. 

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Good points. The more communication from leadership the better. Thanks for sharing.

  JOHN KING

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