Any good property manager knows that the multifamily industry is, above all else, a customer service industry. While granite countertops and amenities attract a new resident, it is the staff that keeps them renewing. From knowledgeable and friendly maintenance staff to welcoming front office staff, each employee has a role in resident satisfaction. So, when one of those employees is underperforming, it’s not only frustrating from a managerial standpoint, it can be costly too. Today we are discussing dealing with employees’ lack of performance.
There are many methods of dealing with employees’ lack of performance constructively and without conflict. If you are a property manager, you should really add the word “coach” to your title because essentially, when it comes to staff morale and behavior, that’s what you are. Even the best staff members need guidance and leadership. And, underperforming employees need support and a plan of action.
Tips for dealing with employees’ lack of performance:
Remember why you hired him or her.
When dealing with employees’ lack of performance, before becoming reactive, reflect on what skills made you first hire them. Everyone goes through peaks and valleys of motivation at work, so keeping your eyes fixed on the positive traits of your employees will help set a more positive tone when addressing their underperformance.
Open the lines of communication.
If you have noticed a change in behavior, it’s important that your employees feel comfortable enough to come to you with concerns.
- Hold weekly staff meetings, keep staff aware of any company news, and include them in any upcoming plans will help them feel more connected.
- Promote a work environment where staff know they can ask questions or share concerns about their job or company. This will allow you as a property manager to know if something is amiss.
- Relationship building is important for staff morale as well. It can be difficult as a manager to balance professional and personal, and you may be concerned with staff viewing you as a friend rather than an employer.
- Small gestures like an occasional staff luncheon, afternoon coffee or even a happy hour will help employees feel comfortable communicating.
If you build a relationship with your staff, it may be easier to ascertain the cause when dealing with employees’ lack of performance. Is it because of dissatisfaction with their job? Or if there is something going on in their personal lives, which will help you plan accordingly?
One of the most effective ways to provide clear communication and set expectations that get everyone on the same page is by using Leonardo247 to provide real-time guidance to your community managers and service managers so that they know everything they are supposed to be doing, every day of the year. Getting your best practices out of a procedure manual and into a real-time feedback system like Leonardo247 will eliminate finger-pointing and help everyone focus on the key goals.
Address concerns and give feedback.
Once staff members do feel comfortable enough to come to you with concerns, truly listen. Nine times out of ten in customer service, when there is a problem, customers are just looking for someone to listen to their issue. The same holds true for your staff. Employees will appreciate a manager who listens, offers clear feedback, and follows up. If an employee has expressed concerns that are not addressed, it can lead to further demotivation.
If you’re using Leonardo247 to provide your teams with goals and objectives, then you’ll be able to see exactly where balls are being dropped, indicating that priorities may not be aligned, there’s not enough time for your teams to really accomplish all you’ve set out for them, or perhaps somebody just needs more training.
Ascertain what motivates them.
Before problems even arise, it’s imperative to know what motivates your employees. Motivation is not a one-size-fits-all model. Some employees are intrinsically motivated, and dangling a carrot in front of them may not spark any inspiration. Other staff may be extrinsically motivated and will feel empowered by an attainable reward.
Finding out what drives your staff members individually may help avoid underperformance issues. For example, you could use Leonardo247’s dashboard to set completion goals, and offer rewards for those meeting your standards.
Set SMART goals.
Goal setting is a huge part of helping employees avoid a rut. If staff members know what they are working toward and have a personalized goal, it will help them stay the course. Making SMART goals (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based) will give each staff member a clearly defined target and increase personal accountability. This will help you spend less time dealing with employees’ lack of performance.
Having clearly set goals is the inherent value of having a system like Leonardo247 in place. Without “lording over” your employees, you give the guidance they need to be successful, and the real-time metrics to see where your teams might need help.
Acknowledge and reward improvement.
One part of the coaching process that many property managers neglect is acknowledging and rewarding improvement when employees do begin to grow. It’s human nature to be reactive and notice the negative, and once things improve, we tend to think everything is fine. However, with employee motivation, staff members need to hear positive affirmations of a job well done.
Clear and consistent communication when employees are meeting or exceeding expectations will increase the chances of that behavior continuing. Creating the appropriate incentive system can be aided by measured metrics offered by Leonardo247.
Implementation is easy. Did your team complete the requisite number of tasks? Or perhaps you want to just see how the maintenance crew performed. Now you can set measurable goals in order to provide real praise and rewards.
Address continued lack of performance.
Despite all your best efforts, dealing with your employees’ lack of performance will be common. If you as a property manager have addressed the lack of performance, made a plan, tracked and followed up on the plan’s progress and the employee is still not meeting your expectations, it may be time for your staff member to move in a new direction. As long as you have given a fair opportunity for improvement and coached him or her along the way, you can rest easy knowing you did everything you could to help them improve.
In these instances, Leonardo247 gives you the historical record you need to hold frank performance reviews based on fact, not perception. You will be able to clearly outline everything the employee achieved – or didn’t – during their time on the job.
If you have tips for dealing with employees’ lack of performance we would love to hear them! Share your thoughts in the comments below!
And, of course, if you’d like to see how Leonardo247 can do everything we just discussed, we would love to share a fully interactive demo. Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.