Great Resignation

Retaining Property Managers During The Great Resignation

“The Great Resignation”, “The Big Quit”, we hear all about this nationwide challenge of people leaving their jobs, but how is it affecting the property management industry? Across every industry, there is a major concern with the number of people resigning from their roles. Unfortunately, the property management industry in particular remains one of the most challenged and hardest hit industries by “The Great Resignation”.

So what are property managers in leadership roles supposed to do? How do we learn from this trend and take the necessary steps to combat it? Read more to learn about the great resignation, what you can do to keep your current employees happy, and ideas to continually attract new ones.

What is “The Great Resignation”? Why Are So Many Property Managers Changing Jobs?

“The Great Resignation” is an unofficial term coined by the media to describe the 33 million Americans who quit their job since the spring of 2021. While “The Great Resignation” began in the spring of 2021, the movement has maintained moment. A recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows that the number of Americans who quit their jobs hit a record high of 4.5 million in November 2021.

But why did this all start in the first place? Experts cite a variety of reasons, but it ultimately comes down to the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified what truly matters to people. As a result, employees in all industries, including property managers, are much more likely to resign from a job when they are feeling burnt out, underpaid or poorly compensated, and have concerns about returning to work during a global pandemic.

The trend is most common among entry and mid-level workers. According to the Harvard Business Review, resignation rates have increased the most among 30 to 45 year old workers followed by 20 to 29 year old workers. Consequently, the most likely employees to resign are property managers and assistant property managers.

Understanding Employee Needs

The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed many property managers to take a pause and discover what truly matters to them personally and professionally. In turn, the needs of employees at all types of property management companies have shifted. One of the best ways to retain property managers during “The Great Resignation” is understanding how their needs have changed.

One of the largest themes shown across all industries is that employees are burnt out. They are constantly feeling not only the stress of the pandemic but the uncertainty of a new normal in regards to things like their work-life balance and childcare. As a result, property managers returning to work continue to shift away from the pre-pandemic status quo.

For example, Indeed conducted a survey that showed that 58% of workers are looking for more flexibility with their work schedule. While many employers are rushing to return to their pre-pandemic normal, most workers reject that idea, shifting from wanting to be in the office full time to a more hybrid or remote schedule.

Employers need to recognize that employee needs are changing or risk losing employees as “The Great Resignation” shows no signs of slowing down. Additionally, employers need to communicate with employees to understand their changing needs and develop ways to meet them. These types of communications can include one on one conversations, quarterly reviews, and anonymous surveys.

Addressing Employee Needs

While listening to employees and recognizing their changing needs is important, property management companies also need to meet the evolving needs of property managers. Building a great place to work is a key step in ensuring that current and new property managers will be happy. As workplaces continue to compete for retention and new hires, they need to recognize what they can do to support employees’ needs. Here are a few ideas property management companies can consider to support hiring and retention efforts.

Allow For Flexibility: Many experts state that allowing for work flexibility is no longer optional. Provide employees with alternative methods of work such as hybrid schedules. Helping employees meet the demands of both their professional and personal lives will boost morale, reduce stress and increase productivity.

Upgrade Your Office: Employees are used to working from home. When they are in the office, they want it to be enjoyable. Making a coffee or snack and taking a break for a breath of fresh air outside when needed are things people value. Consider offering perks such as free coffee, snacks available, and a green space either indoors or outside where employees can relax between tasks.

Expand Professional Development Offerings: Professional development helps employees improve their skills while showcasing that you care about their professional growth. This can range from online training programs to sponsoring employees for property management certification programs. In the long run both employees and employers win from investing in professional development.

Fair and Reasonable Pay: While not the only thing you should focus on, salaries ultimately play a large factor in why an employee chooses or stays in a job. If you notice that your salary ranges do not line up with industry standards, consider an implementation plan to get employees there within a reasonable time. An employee who is less concerned with staying financially afloat is more likely to produce high-quality work. Property management companies should also make sure they offer competitive annual bonuses.

Retaining Property Managers During The Great Resignation

Using these tips, senior leaders and human resources professionals can develop strategies to retain property managers during “The Great Resignation”. While these strategies are a useful starting point, they are the tip of the iceberg. Property management companies looking for more information on employee retention should explore the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) website. It is great resource for all things human resources and offers in-depth strategies and training on employee hiring and retention.

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