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How to Deal with Associates Whose Performance Is Not Cutting It

The multifamily industry is a complex and demanding business. Companies need high-functioning associates to keep their communities running smoothly and to deliver satisfactory returns to investors.

When even one team member's work is not meeting expectations, it can significantly hamper a multifamily company's operations. Therefore, underperforming associates must be addressed promptly and effectively. 

Below are some tips for handling an employee whose work is not up to par:

Avoid avoidance
Let's face it: confronting someone about his or her poor job performance can be an uncomfortable task. And it's easy to put off uncomfortable tasks. But a company is doing no one any favors when it delays having these tough conversations. So don't wait – address problems as quickly as possible.

Be direct and be specific
When discussing performance problems with an employee, you don't have to be unpleasant, but you should get straight to the point. Clearly state what the issues are and cite specific examples.

Have a real conversation
Don't let a meeting with a struggling associate become a monologue by HR. Give the employee a real chance to explain his or her performance and really listen to their feedback.

Perhaps they are struggling with stress-management or other personal problems. Maybe they feel like they need more training in a certain area, or perhaps there are issues with fellow co-workers or supervisors that need to be examined. If any of these problems or similar ones are plaguing the employee, consider the ways your company can help.

Give them a mentor
Providing a struggling employee with an experienced, successful mentor can give a powerful boost to the former's performance. It can be tremendously beneficial for an underperforming team member to know that there's someone other than a supervisor to reach out to for guidance and expertise. 

Develop a detailed plan
Whatever the reasons behind the unsatisfactory job performance, the bottom line is that performance will have to improve, and fairly quickly.

At ROSS, we typically devise 30- to 60-day performance plans for underperforming associates. The plan details exactly how the team member's work has to improve over that timeframe and outlines the steps the employee has to take to make that improvement happen. We normally assign a mentor to work with the employee during this phase.

If the employee's performance has not improved satisfactorily by the end of the plan, termination could be a possibility at that point.

The multifamily industry is populated with bright, creative and hard-working people. But it's inevitable that your company will have to deal with associates whose work, for one reason or another, doesn't meet your needs and expectations. But don't give up on them too soon. By taking the steps outlined above, your company can help a struggling employee prosper. 

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Property Management as a career or profession, is different than many jobs. Our industry is performance driven, showing up with a good attitude doesn't get results. That's a difficult concept for some new employees to understand..but critical to explain during the hire process and orientation

  Lori Hammond
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Yes. The sooner the better is so important. It affects the other staff in different ways, some of whom will tell you but most won't.

  phil

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