Managing Morale in the Age of Licensing
Since licensing was introduced in Ontario, there has been an increased demand for qualified Condominium Managers. This has resulted in Managers moving between organizations, and it has become a game of musical chairs as the industry adjusts to the licensing requirements. Many managers have left the industry altogether, some have chosen early retirement. Others have been promoted from supporting roles into the Manager position. With all these changes along with natural attrition in the overall workforce, baby boomers retiring, as well as historically low unemployment figures, it has become much clearer that morale needs to be considered a high priority to attract and retain employees.
Here are five essential tools for building morale.
Laying out a clear career path with achievable milestones motivates employees to accomplish more. Coaching and mentoring by experienced team members will help employees move forward to the next level in their career. Promoting from within lets employees see that their efforts today can reap rewards tomorrow. Educational opportunities will also ensure that qualified candidates are ready to take on new roles within the organization as the business requires.
Need to be appropriate. The market has seen a steady salary increase since licensing came into effect, however it isn’t just about money. There are other factors to consider in the overall compensation package that are a big part of an employee’s experience. These include:
- Flexible work hours
- Benefit packages
- RRSP employer contributions
- Vacation entitlement
- Continued education
- Reward programs for high achievers
The work load can be perceived as too much. Not only do Managers work the standard 9 to 5, they also have to attend evening meetings with clients and those meetings usually result in more work for the manager. Managing employee work load improves morale significantly. The use of resource management tools helps ensure the manager is not overburdened. Items to consider include unit count, the number of communities assigned to manage, number of board meetings attended per month, upcoming projects, as well as the number and type of amenities each community has. Developing tools and techniques for working smarter, as well as utilizing the latest technologies, makes all the difference in managing these workloads.
Regular Performance Reviews
The once a year annual review is a thing of the past. Regular and frequent performance reviews are essential to everyone’s development; it is where expectations are aligned between the employee and the employer, insight gained, issues raised, and solutions developed.
Strong teams achieve more, while building a strong team takes time and effort, the results are worth it. Building teams can be done by creating positive day to day interactions, hosting company social events, involving employees in corporate responsibility initiatives, having employees attend industry conferences, as well as providing access to learning opportunities both inside and outside the office. Encouraging managers to talk to each other about challenges they are facing, sharing ideas, and recounting stories builds bonds within the team and reinforces team spirit. Leadership of the organization needs to participate in this type of dialogue, and creating an open-door policy helps facilitate an environment where managers feel comfortable sharing their experiences and seeking assistance with resolving concerns, they may not have faced in their career yet.
Craig McMillan, RCM, ACCI, CMCA, CAPM is Vice President of Operations at Maple Ridge Community Management.