Tight rental markets and the resultant smaller budgets have caused many property managers to become creative when it comes to office staffing issues. And while the rental market has grown stronger in recent months, those same managers are finding more creative ways to assign work duties to existing staff members. The benefits are two-fold; you’ll end up with more efficient, better trained employees, while your employees will gain more experience, and become more multi-faceted individuals. There are several ways to do this that will ensure a smooth operation both during and after training. This includes:
- Take some time and really assess your current employees. Every person has their own strengths and weaknesses, and learning and utilizing their strengths while minimizing their weaknesses will result in a well-run, productive, happy office staff.
- If work is piling up and you feel the need to start looking for additional employees, take a moment and talk to staff members first. Your bookkeeper may be more than willing to take on some leasing duties. So, do you really have to hire a new employee?
- Be realistic when cross-training your employees. While it’s entirely possible that your bookkeeper may possess amazing customer service skills that can easily be utilized today, and may eventually become a stellar leasing agent or assistant manager, not all job skills are found so easily. Maintenance staff typically has a very specialized skill set that sets them apart in many ways. One way around this is to begin to limit the number of contractors you bring while letting your staff take on more responsibility. Let your maintenance person try their hand at lawn design and gardening. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results!
- Be open to assistance and suggestions from your staff. Before you start looking around for a computer repair person, a graphic artist to design flyers, or a caterer to provide food for your pool party, talk to your employees. You may be pleasantly surprised, and they’ll be thrilled that you asked.
While nothing will replace the need for outside contractors, in many situations, the skills you are looking for may be right in your office. Allowing your staff to take on more responsibility or handle some tasks not in their job description can easily create a more dynamic workplace with happy employees, while saving you a significant amount of money; a win-win for all.