TOPIC: Questions about employee satisfaction and surveying? Swift Bunny Chief Learning Officer Jen Piccotti joined Apartment Academy to explain how you can be more aware of employee opinion — and deal with issues before they become problems. Click to hear our new episode!
Jen has some compelling insights into employee satisfaction and retention, which leads to resident retention.
Prioritizing Employee Satisfaction for Better Resident Experiences
First, property management companies tend to focus primarily on the resident experience. They set really high standards for how employees are to interact, respond, and serve their residents in their community. We want to make sure the customer’s happy, but we don’t focus as much attention on the employee experience. And if the employees don’t have the tools, resources, and support they need to do their job well, it’s really difficult for them to be able, or even want, to provide an amazing resident and customer experience.
Most owners and employers know the people they hire are competent. They have the skills and information, and the focus is really on holding onto customers. But when employees are interested and excited and feel supported in their work, the return on investment is exponential.
The Cost of Turnover
Also, many don’t understand the true cost of employee turnover. Employee turnover in our industry is about 33, 34 percent. And in some cases, like maintenance and leasing, it can be 50 to 60 percent. It’s expensive to find and recruit and new people, and it can take anywhere from 90 days to six months for someone to truly get up and running. Next, the people who are left behind on-site get exhausted. Finally, when residents don’t have that consistency, they don’t connect with the on-site team.
Every time you lose an employee, it typically costs the employee’s salary plus 10% to replace them. And the higher up in the organization you go, to onsite managers, regional managers, VPs, and the C-suite can be up to quadruple that person’s salary to replace them.
Also, reducing onsite overtime can improve ROI. The amount of overtime that it takes onsite to cover maintenance roles, for example, while someone keeps up on service requests, is significant. If you lose a leasing associate, someone has to take care of all of the traffic coming in, answering calls, making schedules, doing tours — that overtime really adds up. And the level of service inevitably goes down.
Internal Communication Difference-Makers for Employee Satisfaction
Finally, we typically see adequate internal company communication, but there are a few things that really make a huge difference. First of all, make sure that every single employee has a unique company-issued email address so that you have the ability to get information out to everyone.
Second, it’s important to be aware of what you’re asking of your people. Are there other ways to gather information, for example, that will be more effective and be less burdensome for the onsite teams?
Third, regular communication from leadership with onsite teams, at every level of the organization, really makes a difference. People love hearing from executive leadership regularly. It’s great if they have a good relationship with their manager, but there is actually a strong correlation between employees seeing and respecting their executive leadership and the impact that it has on their willingness to stay with the organization.