How to fix your communication problems (before they drive your team members to quit)

Estimated read time 3 min read

Recenty I had the pleasure of presenting a seminar to a group property management professionals. It was an important topic: How to reduce employee turnover. We discussed the different drivers of frustration in the workplace and why apartment industries have such high quit rates. One topic in particular really struck a chord with the group. It was how frustrated associates on-site are with their company leaders’ sharing of information, or should I say failure to share information.

Many multifamily teams struggle with communication. This is a topic I have blogged about before but it’s worthwhile revisiting as the problem doesn’t seem to be improving. Here are some of my complaints:

  • The management doesn’t inform maintenance about anything.
  • The corporate office team is unaware of what’s happening on site.
  • “Region B’s communities never talk to Region A’s communities. It’s as if we’re two completely different companies.”
  • I can’t get anyone to answer my calls or emails at the office.

It is a very bad thing because data show that poor communication can have a huge impact on employee satisfaction. Communication issues are a major concern for multifamily team members of Swift Bunny. Here are some (scary!) statistics:

  • Around 1/3 of employees on-site are unhappy with the level of communication from the company, with managers the least satisfied.
  • Around 1/3 of employees on site say that issues raised with coworkers and supervisors do not receive a prompt response. Managers are most affected by this issue, with 39% stating that they cannot get a response.

Here are three ways to improve communication in your workplace if you’re a leader or a member of onsite teams:

  • Team meetings work. Consider increasing the frequency of your team meetings so that you can share more information. Who has the time? Remember that meetings do not have to last long. Daily staff meetings can be done in as little as 10 minutes.
  • Use different delivery methods. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your message has been received just because you sent it via email. Send a text message, include a blurb on the next newsletter or print out the email to tape up near the clock.
  • Treat your employees as customers. Are you prompt in returning resident phone calls and emails? You bet. Do the same for your coworkers and employees. Failure to respond makes people feel disrespected. If they are waiting for important input from you it could also prevent them from completing their work.

I understand that your schedule is extremely busy, and you may not have the time to change your communication style. Your busy schedule does not need more vacant positions. You need to improve your communication skills before you lose more team members.

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