Service Request

Ensure Success by Investing in your Employees

Submitted by B. Duchano
Investing in employees is key to ensuring their success and the success of the organization.  Especially in a down economy, investing in your employees through learning programs and mentoring shows them you are committed to their success.  The irony in the apartment industry is that the focus on training is centered on leasing consultants, managers and assistant managers, but not the technicians who make repairs and ensure that the systems of the building are in working order.  Submitting maintenance staff to a formal classroom program is the best investment an apartment community can make, as it reduces resident turnover, maintenance employee turnover and various maintenance expenses like contractor reliance.  As well residents like to see the same faces, and come in contact with their maintenance staff.  Technicians have an enormous effect on resident retention.  Properly trained technicians can lead to real dollars and cents saved in the bottom line.

The benefits to investing in your employees by providing formal instruction include:

·         Highly engaged employees

·         Employees have a sense of accomplishment and confidence

·         Improved teamwork

·         Employees are motivated to go above and beyond to meet goals

·         Expeditious decision making and diagnostics

·         Employees have lower tendencies to leave

Too often training budgets are cut, Community Managers think they can’t afford to lose precious technicians.  Often companies are reluctant because they don’t see the return in the expense and feel that “they will leave anyway”.  You can institute a policy under which the technician agrees to stay for a minimum of one year after receiving training or a certification.  Get past the inconvenience of their absence for a few hours or days of classroom instruction.  The benefits can transform your community.  Besides, relying on supervisors to train your staff is not necessarily the best strategy.  Often a technician has learned the wrong information, often outdated information and then convey it to every employee that he or she has worked with.

All maintenance staff should be included in continued training.  There is value in a new program for everyone, whether they have 4 years or 14 years on the job.  Classroom opportunities are offered to maintenance personnel in a range of options, local chapters of trade organizations, technical high schools, and colleges through continuing education programs.

Evaluate your current training programs to be sure they are meeting your needs and look at how to increase efficiencies and reduce cost.  In the eye of the resident a successful property is not always measured by its aesthetics and amenities but how it is managed.  A trained, knowledgeable staff is essential to a successful community.  Be creative, the investment in your employees will pay off!

Never quit learning!

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