The world is different today than it was a few months ago. COVID-19 has changed everything – how we live our lives and how we work. Yet, despite this disruption in our homes and workplaces, a new report by Hays Salary Guide found that 49% of employees are seriously considering leaving their current role, which represents a nine-point jump over last year.
The report cites a myriad of reasons for this potential exodus, including reduced social interaction, increased workloads, and a lack of well-being and mental health support.“
Canadian employers are navigating difficult headwinds but the growing number of employees who want to leave their role, even in the face of a tentative job market, is a big problem,” said Travis O’Rourke, President, Hays Canada, in a statement. “COVID-19 has left everyone exhausted, and while many businesses are improving, staff are waving a white flag.”
In the property management business, where possible, many employees are working from home. Once the novelty of the 15-second commute from the coffee pot to the home office wears off, the working arrangement can feel isolating and lose its appeal over time, resulting in disengaged employees. And, employees who are not engaged in their work become demotivated, and their productivity and company loyalty can suffer. In fact, a Gallup poll finds, “Perceived workplace isolation can lead to as much as a 21% drop in performance.”
It's up to property management firms to make sure that doesn't happen within their ranks. Retention and engagement are directly correlated. These five steps can help keep employees engaged while they work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1.) Make Daily Communication a Priority
Remote workers can feel out of the loop. Working from home, team members may feel cut off from familiar information flow that naturally happens in an office. Many property professionals are implementing daily huddles (also known as a daily stand-up or daily scrum), quick 15-minute Zoom meetings where employees list their priorities and status of their projects. These short powerful meetings not only stave off any feelings of being alone, they keep teams aligned, and can actually save you time as any issues or bottlenecks are addressed immediately. Managers can also schedule bi-monthly check-ins with team members to check in on their emotional wellbeing and connect with them in a meaningful way.
2.) Drive Collaboration
To be truly engaged with their work, your people need to collaborate and share information and ideas. This means leveraging your cloud-based property management solution that removes silos and supports remote workers in working together. Throughout the day leaders and team members can use their property management communication portals to cascade information seamlessly and securely to one another, to owners, to tenants and to vendors. Property management software gives employees the tools to work efficiently and collaboratively, and creates a connected property management business.
3.) Recognize a Job Well Done
Actively make more space for feedback and recognition during this time. Recognition has an immense impact on employee morale and happiness, which is crucial to thwarting turnover and retaining employees. How property leaders acknowledge employee performance during the pandemic will directly influence employee engagement. Research shows that more frequent recognition for a job well done boosts employee motivation with 40% of survey respondents saying if they were recognized more frequently, they’d put more energy into their jobs.
4.) Be Flexible
The word “flexibility” has come into prominence during the pandemic. But what it means can vary from employee to employee. Managers need to be having conversations around flexibility with their team members to identify what types of flexibility are most important to them based on their unique circumstances. Many parents find juggling a work/life balance to be difficult, and often want flexible hours. Ultimately managing outcomes rather than inputs is a best-practices approach, both during and after COVID. That said, there needs to be clear boundaries and guidelines around flexibility so everyone is on the same page.
5.) Connect Your People to a Bigger Purpose
Research from McKinsey shows that a sense of purpose can help employees “navigate high levels of uncertainty and change and ensure that their efforts are aligned with the highest-value activities.” When property professionals are connected to a larger purpose and clearly see how their actions contributes are four times more engaged in their work and have five times higher well-being. Employees across the organization should have a clear understanding how their role plays into the greater success of the company.
Again, technology that drives workflow automation can remove tedious manual work, and “raises the water level” so that everyone can focus on higher-value work.
How Property Vista Helps
Property Vista gives you everything you need to work remotely, foster greater collaboration and run your property business more effectively. See pricing and arrange a demo.