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Is Your Property Management Employee Handbook Up to Par?

By Joseph Slonimsky

Is_Your_Property_Management_Employee_Handbook_Up_to_Par.jpgSuccessful executives recognize the critical role people play in the ongoing growth and profitability of an organization. Managing people requires structure, and human resources is the department typically tasked with laying this framework. One of the most important jobs this group is tasked with is developing the employee handbook, a set of rules and expectations designed to create a peaceful and productive working environment. Is your property management company’s handbook up to par? To follow are some of the fundamentals that absolutely must be included.

Nature of Employment 

First and foremost, you want your employee handbook to clearly iterate the terms of any employee/employer relationship up front. Typically this is “at will,” which means that either party has the right to sever the relationship. To protect your property management firm, the handbook should indicate that the company has the right to terminate employment at any time, with or without cause and with or without notice.

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Harassment

Another important area, particularly from a legal standpoint, is that of employees’ rights to work in an environment where they feel safe, comfortable and accepted by both their peers as well as management. Your handbook should clearly state your policy on harassment. Specifically, it should contain verbiage that communicates how any type of harassment, whether it’s based on race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or anything else, simply will not be tolerated.

Discipline 

To protect your organization from any potential labor disputes, your employee handbook should spell out in writing your documented disciplinary approach. For most businesses, this is usually progressive in nature, meaning there are specific steps that must be taken in the event of employee discipline, such as written warnings and probationary periods.

Attendance/Punctuality

Another important area that should be documented is the expectations of employee attendance and punctuality. It should also be noted exactly what disciplinary actions will be taken should these policies not be adhered to.

Benefits/Time Off 

Spell out how much vacation time, sick time and any other allowed time off (paid or unpaid) employees will receive. If your property management company offers incremental increases over time, like most organizations do, this should also be noted. Likewise, the handbook should address the available benefits as well as eligibility and any other pertinent details.

Social Media 

One area where many companies are finding themselves in hot water is with social media. These online networks are becoming increasingly popular and as such, employers must take measures to safeguard the confidential information of themselves as well as their employees. A formal social media policy that defines proper use and spells out the potential consequences for failure to comply is recommended.

One of the most critical forms of documentation your property management organization can have is a well-written employee handbook. Not only does this document help protect your company's best interests, but it also provides your employees with the important information they need to know about working for your firm. If your employee handbook doesn’t contain the essential elements listed above, perhaps it’s time for an update.

What did we miss? What components does your property management company include in your employee handbook that might be helpful to others in the industry? Please share in the comments below.
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Get the full scoop on how to build an extraordinary Property Management Team. Download our free resource guide.


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