The goal of any business leader is to keep his or her team as happy, engaged and focused as possible. Unfortunately, there are inevitably going to be times in which one or more employees strays down the path of dissatisfaction and unhappiness. If you’ve got a couple bad apples currently working in your property management company, here are some expert tips for dealing with the situation in a positive, productive way.
Do some digging
First, it’s important not to assume you know why a certain employee is upset. Doing so may lead you to address the situation from a completely incorrect angle. Instead, make a point to step back, assess each scenario individually and get to the root of the problem. Sit down with said employee and ask them to share their feelings and concerns. In many cases, you’ll be able to resolve the issue right away, before it festers and worsens.
The property management industry is hectic and chances are you’ve got a hundred items piling up on your to-do list. The last thing you feel like doing is putting out fires amongst your team members. Unfortunately, this is part of being a good leader. Don’t put off addressing morale issues, otherwise things will only get worse. As soon as you recognize there’s a problem, face it head on.
Keep your own emotions in check
Understand that there’s a good chance the reason your employee is unhappy is due to something you’ve said or done. As such, you have to be prepared to approach the situation objectively. Resist the temptation to become defensive or combative. Remain calm and open-minded. Take the time to truly listen and hear the person out, and then work together to develop a solution.
It’s natural to want to “fix” things that are going wrong with your property management personnel right away, but this simply isn’t always possible – especially when there’s a longstanding issue or a problem has been allowed to go on longer than it should have. It’s important to recognize that some things will take time and ongoing effort to resolve. The main point is to develop a real solution and action plan, even if that strategy is going to have to play out over time.
Being discrete when addressing an employee morale issue is critical. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, you should always provide your team members with adequate privacy and confidentiality when discussing their feelings. Rather than calling out an employee for his or her bad attitude in front of the team, schedule some time to meet in private where you can candidly discuss why he or she is feeling so disgruntled.
Keep careful records
Lastly, when dealing with an unhappy employee, whether it’s through an email, phone conversation or physical meeting, make sure you’re documenting everything. This is critical from a human resources standpoint, because in the unlikely event that the situation spirals out of control and becomes unmanageable, you’ll want to have detailed documentation to protect your property management company from any potential legal hassles down the road.
Like it or not, situations may arise which can lead to otherwise engaged employees feeling unheard and unhappy. Part of your job as a leader is to get to the bottom of those negative feelings, address them in as positive a way as possible and hopefully correct situation once and for all.
What’s the most effective way you’ve dealt with unhappy employees in your property management company? We’d love to hear your thoughts!