Are you working to live or living to work? Well, now you can find out. Take a look at these 17 things to appreciate about your workplace and see where yours fits in.
Are you enjoying all 17? You’re doing great!
10-12? Not too bad.
Less than 10? Perhaps you should look for a happier workplace home.
- Job satisfaction
Higher employee engagement, lower turnover, increased productivity – these are just a few of the fortunate side effects of creating a culture of satisfied employees. It’s also a point of pride for the property management industry, since this ranked #1 in current employee perceptions. An important observation: Property management industry employees do get a unique sense of satisfaction, and it’s from working in an industry that addresses one of our basic needs; shelter. A happy employee in property management is one who enjoys helping others and impacting their lives in a positive way.
- Competitive wages
All multifamily employees, whether on-site, regional or corporate-based, rank compensation in the top 5 factors of what is most important to them in their workplace. Company leaders who conduct regular performance reviews with employees, as well as compensation analyses within their markets, can enjoy the ongoing trust of their employees. These employees, as we saw in “Job Satisfaction” above, are every corporation’s ideal; happy, committed, and productive.
- Benefits match personal needs
When it comes to benefits, one size does not fit all. Each employee has their own unique circumstances and needs, which means that only a customizable benefits package can keep workers happy. Fortunately, the property management industry consistently achieves high marks in providing affordable and impactful benefits packages for their full-time employees. #NeedsMet
- New ideas are encouraged
While there are many things that are common to property management, there are many things that are unique and different from community to community. The team members who know the idiosyncrasies of their particular community have an unrivaled ability to solve problems and present win-win solutions. Data can tell you what the problems are, but it takes people to fix them. Leaders who encourage that ownership and creativity not only benefit from happier residents and employees, but a higher performing portfolio, as well.
- Leadership is trustworthy
Senior management is often accused of staying both out of sight and out of touch with front-line employees. That lack of visibility can easily lead to a lack of trust. The best leaders engage workers at all levels of the organization, share their knowledge, and “walk the walk.” Top managers continue to focus on developing certain qualities in themselves promote leadership growth in themselves. These managers are ones who are visible, accessible, and who do what they say they will do; they are the ones who enjoy a more highly committed and engaged workforce.
- Opportunities to learn and grow
Whether looking for the next step on a career path or honing new skills to do an even better job in a current role, engaged employers know that there is no better way to keep employees happy than through talent building. Education and development – from subscription training services to corporate development programs, from on the job to online – are key to professional growth and relatively easy to offer. As an employer, remember; employees who are given opportunities to grow tend to love their jobs, and those who love their jobs tend to stay where they are.
- Purpose beyond paycheck
Now more than ever, workers want more than just a paycheck. They want to know that what they’re doing makes a difference. Based on a recent Robert Half survey, however, only 47% of workers are able to make the connection between their day-to-day duties and their company’s goals. Conversely, engaged employees understand how their personal responsibilities and actions help the company achieve its goals. The lesson here? Happy employees are those who see the link between their daily activities and the bigger picture.
- Environmental responsibility
A lot of attention has been placed on green initiatives. In fact, 90% of consumers expect organizations to operate in a way that protects and benefits the environment. Property management companies are taking this to heart, and 2018 saw a rise in recycling, water conservation, and composting programs available to residents and employees. Companies are learning that if they want to retain high-level talent and reduce employee turnover, they need to appeal to a new generation of worker… one who truly wants to make the world a better place.
The number one complaint about leadership is lack of communication and transparency, so when decisions are made or initiatives rolled out, the best leaders share the “why,” as well as the “what.” While sharing some of the “whys” behind decisions may invite criticism, asking for feedback reinforces the understanding that company decisions are not made in a vacuum. Sharing and asking for feedback also supports a very important component of the happy workplace – that everyone is important to the organization, no matter their role.
When it comes to what employees love most about their workplace, “Colleagues” have the #1 spot. Yes, there are many things to love, but peers rank higher than prestige and promotions. Whether through team projects, appreciation luncheons, mentorship programs, or internal social media platforms, connection and camaraderie are the foundation of a great company culture. Employees spend an awful lot of time together. It’s nice knowing that time is spent with people we enjoy.
- Support and resources
Happy employees have what they need to be able to do their best work, and we’re not just talking about having a computer, a phone, a budget for clubhouse supplies, and quality pens at the front desk. Yes, that kind of support is essential. In addition to physical resources, however, it’s also good for employees to know that they have the support of their leadership. Employees are at their happiest (no surprise here) when they feel that management believes in them, and trusts that they will perform as expected.
- Personalized recognition
Legend has it that Clarence Darrow, after solving a woman’s legal problem, was asked, “How can I ever thank you?” “My dear woman,” Darrow replied, “ever since the Phoenicians invented money, there has been only one answer to that question.” Now, nearly 100 years later, we know that money isn’t the only form of “thanks.” We love it when we are rewarded according to our preferences! Ellie enjoys the cash bonus. Tara prefers the extra day off, and for Sam, it’s the personal thank you note from his boss. There are as many ways to show one’s appreciation as there are unique individuals in your organization. Make use of them…and often.
- Ongoing performance feedback
How am I doing? NYC mayor Ed Koch is famous for having asked the question. Not because he was really and truly curious but because he already knew, in his mind, the answer. That answer was, of course, “great.” What can we learn from Mayor Koch? In a well-run organization, this question is a rhetorical one. You already know the answer. And that’s because you’ve been getting the continual, ongoing performance feedback that you need to do your job right, and to be happy doing it.
- Personal and career development is encouraged
Often companies talk about developing talent but, in reality, are unwilling to accept the responsibility. Development is about learning, and learning is about what? Making mistakes. They happen. A happy workplace is one where associates are encouraged to take risks, make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes. If learning – and the missteps that often come with it – are discouraged, there can be no growth, personal or corporate.
- Company culture grounded in appreciation
Compensation and benefits are among the top reasons property management professionals may be looking for a new employment opportunity, but there’s a basic need company leadership may be overlooking – a sense of appreciation. Turning to good ol’ Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the 4th level entitled “Esteem,” that need for recognition and appreciation is what propels a team member from a worker who is simply seeking a paycheck to one who is achieving and thriving through “Self-Actualization” (Level 5).
- Life balance is valued
It certainly seems simple enough; the right work-life balance (WLB) means a healthier, more productive workforce. But what does that balance look like? Well, because everyone’s idea of the ideal WLB is different, successful companies are working hard to stay in touch with what workers want, from compensation and a comfortable work environment to job-sharing, flexible hours, and more. In short, the happy workplace is one where the need for WLB is recognized and respected.
- Clear company vision
You would never set out on a road trip without a destination and a way to get there, right? Similarly, a smart organization clearly articulates to everyone whose “along for the ride,” as it were, that there is a destination in mind, as well as a clear path to arriving there. In short, the organization has a vision. Why is this important? Try getting in the car and just driving, without a vision for where you want to go or how you’ll get there. See how far you get.
 2018 Swift Bunny Employee Engagement Study. (OFFER THIS as a download for this article? Will be published after data is updated. 2019 will be the title. White paper.)
 2018 Swift Bunny Employee Engagement Study.
 2018 Swift Bunny Employee Engagement Study.
 2017 Cone Communication CSR Study
 2018 Multifamily CSR Benchmark Study, www.ManagInc.com (has been published and is on the MI website- can be moved into SB Library)
 2018 Swift Bunny Employee Engagement Study.