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Multifamily Workplaces that Work

Exploring the issues that matter most to multifamily associates, including workplace satisfaction, performance, and employee engagement.

This Leadership Question Gets to the Heart of Employee Turnover

This Leadership Question Gets to the Heart of Employee Turnover

The work-related puzzle that fascinates me most is how multifamily leaders and supervisors can make their workplaces work well for the teams they lead. What does it take to turn work from drudgery to satisfying? How can managers create a workplace culture where property management teams want to stick around and build a career?

Employee engagement influencer Jill Christensen has a stunningly simple technique for helping leaders understand what it’s like to work on their team. Do you want to know what your workplace culture is like? You won’t find the answer in your catchy corporate values statements or website marketing copy. The genuine, real-deal answer can be found in the response to this question:

“How do we do things around here?”

It’s a surprisingly straightforward question that gets to the heart of it all. For example: 

  • When a new team member is hired, how do you welcome them? Is there fanfare and celebration and a well-thought-out onboarding program? Or are they thrown into the fire without so much as a tour of the property? 


  • How frequently do your leasing associates get one-on-one time with their manager? Are there regularly scheduled meetings where they can talk about their goals, challenges, and plans for the future? Or are they lucky if the boss even makes eye contact on any given day? 


  • What happens when your maintenance technician has a crisis, like his car breaks down or his mom dies? Is he treated with compassion and support—or fearful that he’ll lose his job if he takes time off? 


“How you do things around here” is your workplace culture in a nutshell. It’s the difference-maker for employee retention. Property management professionals want to work in an environment where they are supported, respected, and given the tools they need to succeed. They want to work where leaders have their backs.

If you’re struggling with employee retention, ask yourself: “How do we do things around here?” If the answer indicates that yours is not a culture where employees’ needs are met, you know what you need to do. Change how you do things around here.

Recommended resource: If Not You, Who? How To Crack the Code of Employee Disengagement, Jill Christensen

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I love this! Such an important topic that often is overlooked!

  Janet Cornett
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thanks for chiming in, Janet! I'm glad it resonated.

  Kara Rice
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

A non welcoming, toxic culture is the number one reason for employee turnover. The best solutions are often simple, but still end up being overlooked. The secret for getting good retention rates really comes down to basic understanding of human nature: treat people well and they will reciprocate. Great article, Kara!

  Adrian C Danila

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