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Employee Engagement

The latest multifamily research and data regarding the impact of employee engagement on resident retention, online reputation, and revenue growth.

Leadership by Transparency

        We hear you loud and clear, multifamily employees: you want your leaders to be loud and clear!

Over the past 6 weeks, more than 2,600 rental housing employees have responded to the Swift Bunny Covid-19 Employee Check-In Survey.  In that span of time, we've seen a significant increase in employees expressing that they Agree or Strongly Agree that their company is providing important and transparent information that is relevant to their job. What started out in early April as an industry average of 4.27 out of 5 has grown to 4.47 out of 5! Increasingly, we see employee comments such as these:

"I think our company has done a great job communicating policies and keeping its residents and employees safe."

"I feel that upper management has been very supported throughout all if this.  The emails have been uplifting.  We are feeling well-informed."

The topics of "transparent communication" and "leadership visibility" have been tracking incredibly closely over the course of the survey, which is a message that executives need to hear. This tells us that employees not only crave information that is relevant to their day-to-day responsibilities and the state of the company, but they crave hearing it from the top. This is a lighthouse moment that we're seeing more and more successful leaders embrace.

However, while we're seeing a positive trajectory on transparent communication and leadership visibility, we're seeing the need for a different kind of information and support at every level of the organization. Increasingly, we're seeing employee comments that convey heightened anxiety, as well as physical and mental exhaustion in phrases like, "I'm maxed out," "I don't know how long we can operate this way," and "When I get home, I just collapse. I'm so tired." With an entire industry on the brink of burnout, it's critical to continue to offer increased transparency. 

Acknowledge that there is no "business as usual" in any part of the organization. No one can operate on autopilot during any part of their day - everything is new. Whether you're a CEO, a staff accountant, a marketing director, a regional manager, a leasing professional, or a maintenance tech, how you go about your daily work requires a thought process of, "How are we doing this today that is different from yesterday?" "How and when do I schedule this?" "Who do I need to maneuver around?" "What risk assessment must I make before I proceed?" 

The companies who are the most successful in continued employee engagement are finding a variety of ways to communicate with all employees. They recognize that not everyone accesses information the same way, so information is flowing in multiple ways. We're seeing creative communication approaches through:

  • Virtual Town Hall Meetings led by Executive Leaders
  • Weekly inspirational emails from leadership that share good news about team members or company successes
  • Team meetings that share company-wide information in addition to the standard agenda
  • One-on-one touch bases between supervisors and direct reports 
  • Weekly bulletins with critical updates that can be printed and posted in maintenance shops and break rooms
  • Increased promotion of Employee Assistance resources
  • Discussions around flexibility or temporary job-sharing to help those who are struggling with dependent care. 
  • Implementation of formal employee feedback programs to stay on top of the current concerns and trends

Keep talking to your teams. Provide truthful reassurances where you can and clarity on current goals. Keep the information flowing their way (in a variety of ways), and encourage them to tell you how they're doing, too. We're moving into a new phase of business operations as cities and states begin to loosen restrictions, so keep that transparency and visibility going strong. Be your team's reliable beacon in this current economic storm. Let's continue that positive trajectory of leadership in our industry. 

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thanks for sharing Jen!

  Rommel Anacan
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Great info! Well said! Thank you!

  Gerry Hunt

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