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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.

One Size Does Not Fit All When It Comes to Employee Turnover

Pay increases. Referral incentives. Expanded benefits. Apprentice programs. Signing bonuses. Our managers and human resources teams have been working so hard to find, entice, and secure applicants and new hires. The labor shortage is being felt in every market, and short-staffed teams are doing their best to carry on.

While it’s important to continue to be creative and support the hiring process, it’s equally important to be mindful of your current team and all that they are doing to manage your business. According to the Q2 2021 Swift Bunny Turnover Report, the average overall employee turnover was 47%, with some maintenance and leasing positions exceeding 50%. While all employee categories represented by the Swift Bunny Index agreed they would like to see improvement in compensation, incentives, and advancement opportunities, there were some differences in what mattered most to Maintenance Team Members and Leasing Team Members.

Maintenance: What Matters Most

Service team members shared that they generally enjoy good relationships with their co-workers and feel like they know who to reach out to when and if they need assistance. However, a consistent source of frustration is a sense that their contributions are taken for granted and are not recognized or appreciated. This lack of perceived value is reinforced when they are left out of internal company communication or when they have to wait days or weeks for a response to a question or request.

What you can do:

Say thank you. Acknowledge the critical contribution the maintenance team provides in their service request resolution, their ability to catch small problems before they become bigger ones, and for the personal touch they provide in their greetings and conversations with residents. Ensure they are invited to town hall meetings or receive written communications. Place an internal priority on responding to on-site team members within 24 hours. A delay in responding to a team member can result in significant challenges with a resident, creating an unnecessary strain on an already maxed-out team.

Leasing: What Matters Most

The leasing team employees really appreciate the working relationships they share with other departments, like Marketing and Training, and they also appreciate having access to training. However, they are looking for more clear direction and understanding in how to develop their career, whether that means expanding their existing marketable skill set, or being promoted into a new role. Additionally, they often feel out of the loop and wish they had more access to company communication.

What you can do:

Provide clear direction for gaining new skills or how to make it known that they are interested in a new role. Employees often assume a supervisor will approach them with opportunities for advancement, when in actuality, a promotion most often goes to the ones who ask for it. Schedule company town hall meetings that include all employees, not just corporate-based ones, and deliver company communication through a variety of channels to ensure accessibility. If a leasing team member must rely on a supervisor for news, policy changes, or career development opportunities, there’s a chance the message won’t always be consistently provided.

While these insights are based on several thousands of responses from multifamily employees, each team is unique in what matters most to them, and what they are looking for in an employer. The best way to be proactive in holding on to existing employees is to ask them how things are going Find out what they appreciate most about the company and about their job. Ask what is most frustrating. By having regular check-ins, employees feel they are valued and are more likely to hang in there, even when the job is tough. 

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