Most people go about their days paying little attention to the labor performed by those who make their lives easier. From transit workers to service employees to government officials, how often does one stop to thank the people making everything run along smoothly? Staffs of condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowners’ associations are no exception. Sure, they are compensated for their services, but a regular paycheck is truly the least one can offer.
So how can an association better show its staff the support that it merits? Bonuses? Amenities? Parties? Hugs? Possibly! There are many ways to go above and beyond in order to ensure that your staff enjoys coming to work. And while goodwill is, well, good—from a pragmatic point of view, a happy employee is one who is both more productive and less likely to leave, thereby saving your board or management the difficulty of screening a replacement.
According to management pros, bolstering one’s employees over the course of the year shouldn’t be viewed as a burden, or an afterthought; noticeably content employees radiate that good vibe outward, brightening the days of residents and visitors alike.
“A positive customer service experience can reflect a professional image and good first impression of the entire building, which can be a true differentiator in selecting a place to live,” says Steven Hirsch, executive managing director of FirstService Residential in New York. “For this reason, our organization offers customer service training built around a proven hospitality program free of charge for each of our managed properties. The program has been created primarily for front-of-house staff, but we encourage all staff members to receive the training, because each of them engages with residents and guests in some manner at any given time.”
Another way buildings and associations can accommodate their staff is by allowing a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to working hours. A rigid 9-to-5 (or to be more realistic, 9-to-6) workday makes sense for some positions, but for others – those where there is no practical reason that the job cannot be performed thoroughly during different hours – a little flexibility can go a long way toward a more engaged, productive and positive employer/employee dynamic.