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Bell Buddies: A Smart Onboarding Mentoring Solution

Starting with a new company or new position within a company can be daunting.  We are thrust into a new environment with a whole host of new policies and procedures, and often, the team we join is already harried.  Not only have they been a person down while trying to find the right hire, but now they also have an additional job of training someone new!  This scenario is rife with challenges, and I think Bell Partners’ “Bell Buddies” program is a wonderful addition to help ease that transition. I was lucky to hear Cindy Clare speak at NAA’s Apartmentalize Conference a few weeks back discussing “How to Recruit and Retain Talent in Today’s Competitive Market” where she briefly touched upon their Bell Buddies program.  After the conference, she was nice enough to provide more details. The Bell Buddies program allows seasoned professionals in the same line of work guide a new hire or recently promoted associate through the onboarding process and with understanding policies and procedures.  The program lasts 90 days, and importantly, it starts within the first week of hire or promotion.  The mentor can also guide the mentee through finding company resources, as well as explaining Bell’s culture.  The Bell Buddy is weaved together with introductory courses through the LMS, providing a multi-touch onboarding process. There are several aspects I love about this mentoring concept:  (These also include my own observations, not necessarily showcased by Bell) 1)      Before becoming a Bell Buddy, individuals are trained in what it means to be a B......
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How to Best Onboard a New Multifamily Employee

How to Best Onboard a New Multifamily Employee
It's an all-too-common-scene at multifamily companies and other workplaces across the country. The new hire spends her first day on the job alone at a desk, buried under an avalanche of HR paperwork and struggling to get her computer running.  Unfortunately, this grim first day is often followed by days or even weeks of disorganization in which the company fails to give the new team member adequate support. Such a dispiriting and chaotic start greatly increases the chances that the worker's stint will be a short and unhappy one. Well-thought-out and engaging onboarding plans are critical to creating successful employees. They are especially important in the multifamily industry, which needs prepared, confident and stable teams to handle the challenging tasks of leasing and managing apartment communities. Here are some tips for building effective onboarding programs at multifamily companies: Get the paperwork out of the way early. And by "early," I mean as soon as the employee arrives on their first day, so the employee and you can then focus on team introductions and establishing a fun, productive environment for your newest team member.   Be clear about responsibilities. You no doubt will have covered this to some extent during the interview process, but the onboarding phase must clearly delineate an employee's responsibilities and how his or her work will be evaluated. What aspects of a community's or a portfolio's performance will affect the team member's compensation, for example? This step may seem obvious, but it's surprising how often it's not carried......
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