Creating an Inclusive Work Environment

In the wave of global protests around the world calling for an end to systemic racism, progressive organizations are issuing statements as well as examining internal practices to ensure their operations are fair, equitable and inclusive. Property management companies are no exception.

Now, more than ever, any property/real estate firm that wants to realize the full potential of its employees should be actively working towards creating a safe and inclusive workplace where all employees, regardless of age, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, can achieve their full potential. We’ve compiled a few strategies that property leaders and managers can use:

Emphasize the Business Case

A strong diversity and inclusion strategy can help your organization attract top talent and drive innovative results. Studies show that companies that launch diversity and inclusion initiatives deliver more business value. As research from McKinsey outlines, greater diversity in the workforce results in greater profitability and value creation. McKinsey found that companies with the most ethnically diverse executive teams—not only with respect to absolute representation but also of variety or mix of ethnicities —are 33 percent more likely to outperform their peers on profitability.

Understand How You’ll Better Serve Your Markets

When your workplace is diverse and inclusive, your property firm can more effectively serve and market to all types of tenants. The Center for Talent Innovation reports that inherently diverse workforce (inclusive of women, people of color, LGBT individuals) provides a competitive edge in terms of selling products or services to diverse end users—what’s known as “matching the market.” The study goes on to say that diverse companies are better attuned to the unmet needs of consumers like themselves. This insight is critical to identifying and addressing new market opportunities. The report shows that when teams have one or more members who represent the gender, ethnicity, culture, generation, or sexual orientation of the team’s customer, the entire team is far more likely (as much as 158% more likely) to understand that target, increasing their likelihood of innovating effectively for their end user.

Remove Any Leasing Bias

Property managers don’t just have to find the right tenants, they also have to do so in a manner that is fair and unbiased. To ensure that your company abides with all human rights laws, an online application form allows you to remove the bias or discrimination during the application process as you ask the same, consistent questions to everyone who applies. As well, using an automated tenant screening tool not only removes the human bias, but it also helps stays compliant with fair housing rules and regulations.

Make Inclusive Leadership a Habit

Property professionals must create a safe team environment where all employees can speak up, be heard and feel acknowledged and respected. Fostering a sense of collaboration and teamwork among diverse staff is vital to an environment of inclusivity. This means not only welcoming the input of employees whose backgrounds or expertise may differ from their own, but recognizing that there may be unconscious bias-- where a person favours people who, for instance, look like them or share the same values and ideals.

Reinforce Anti-Discriminatory Policies

Does your organization have clear policies against discrimination? Putting these in place and reinforcing the policies can lower employee turnover rates. However, policy also needs to be put into practice, and enforced by managers and employees. Any signs of inappropriate or discriminatory behaviour must be addressed.

Offer Flexible Work Schedules + WFH Solutions

When employees have more flexible hours it allows them to respect religious holidays and cultural observations without feeling bad about being away from the office. Property management software allows employees to collaborate and work as a team, even if they are working from the home office. Flexible work hours also improve employee retention and job satisfaction. If you are looking to empower your people to work from anywhere and share real-time information, check out our pricing and get a demo.