Over the last few months, the economy has truly broken away from the COVID-induced hardships with many sectors hitting record numbers. Despite the unprecedented growth, if there’s one challenge that seems to be affecting businesses across industries & geographies, it is the acute talent shortage.
According to data by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a staggering 57 million people quit their jobs between Jan 2021 and Feb 2022 – many in search of a higher pay, others to give their careers a fresh direction and countless of them seeking a better quality of life – and the road ahead continues to look equally tough.
In context of the Multifamily industry itself, annual employee turnover rates have always ranged between 30 to 50%. However, during this talent war, many leading owners & operators have reported attrition rates of as high as 70%. Amidst such challenging times, it has become imperative for apartment executives to understand the need of their employees, think outside the box and act swiftly in order to retain talent.
Let us explore some ways in which owners & managers can go beyond just offering higher compensations and reshape the multifamily employee experience:
One of the biggest reasons behind the Great Resignation stems from the fact that during the pandemic, professionals across departments spent a major chunk of their time with their families, working from the comfort of their homes. This break from the humdrum routine work allowed them to introspect and, in many cases, realize that there was very little purpose to the work that they were involved in.
Coming out of the pandemic, companies that have been able to incorporate flexibility, empathy and a sense of oneness in their culture have experienced lower attrition rates. Business owners are not only going out of their way to add meaningfulness to job roles, but are also actively encouraging transparent communication and community-building exercises amongst their employees – all to make their people feel that they are a part of something bigger than themselves.
On the whole, Multifamily as an industry has been pretty open when it comes to integrating the use of technologies like AI and Machine Learning to ease the burden off their teams. However, many times, owners & managers end up investing in tools solely because they are industry-standard or are ones that they believe in. This can either affect the morale of their teams or give birth to a top-bottom ‘enforcing’ culture, which can be a major reason for an employee to move to a different organization.
Therefore, it is highly recommended to invest in technologies keeping in mind your teams as at the end of the day, it is them who will be spending the most time working on them. “Technology has come to be an integral part of what we do – and I feel that’s true for all of us now. When it comes to implementing something that’s new, we try to let our team members lead us into a decision, rather than going the other way round. They play an active role in shortlisting & selection of these tools, take trials to get a hang of things and once everything is good, then we start the decision-making process.”, said a finance leader from a leading apartment company, when asked about their technology implementation process.
While Multifamily is fast-moving and dynamic in its nature, it is also mechanical in many ways. People are often expected to continue performing repetitive tasks with very little scope of growth. In times when the job market is no longer driven by location and remote work is a globally accepted norm, it is natural that qualified professionals would want to move away from such roles & organizations to explore better opportunities.
In order to navigate these challenges, apartment owners & managers will have to move from a talent hunting to a talent farming approach. To start with, companies will have to rework laborious roles and leverage technology to automate the repetitive bits. “The student intake season is particularly busy for us. Recently we partnered with a third-party service provider to take care of all the inbound student inquiries during that particular period. This allowed our property managers to devote their time to critical tasks, while ensuring that we got 24/7 coverage during the busy intake season – so it was truly a win-win for us.”, a senior executive from a reputed student housing company was quoted as saying.
Next, providing your employees the flexibility & platform to upskill & grow in their roles can also go a long way in retaining them. Many forward-thinking businesses are in fact going a step ahead and designing training modules for employees that keep them up-to-speed with industry & intracompany developments, helping them realize the impact of their work.
When the Great Resignation first hit, it was the frontline staff in Multifamily that started exploring options within the industry and outside. The next phase of this phenomenon saw senior leaders stepping away, mostly due to burnouts resulting from the extreme business environment. According to industry experts, the middle management has been reeling under pressure from both the top management as well as on-ground challenges and they could very well be next to follow suit.
Regardless, it has become critical for apartment owners to future-proof themselves by building a staffing model that is robust and is capable of growing with the business in the long run. Many business leaders are now looking at Shared Services and Global Business Centers (GBS) as a one-stop solution to safeguard themselves from potential talent shortages, centralize back-office operations and add infinite scalability to their business.
QX Global Group is a global Business Process Management (BPM), Technology and Consulting company specializing in setting up Shared Services and GBS centers for commercial real estate businesses across sectors like Multifamily, Student Housing, Affordable Housing, Senior Living and Property Management, amongst others.
Leveraging our end-to-end solutions, businesses are able to set up highly efficient offshore teams for routine tasks and implement latest technology – thereby, improving employee satisfaction and controlling attrition. We have a global talent pool of qualified professionals that can help optimize critical back-office functions like accounting, IT & HR. Our solutions are highly scalable in nature and can be tailored to meet your specific organizational needs. Get in touch to enable back-office transformation for your business today!
Cover Image credits: Ciphr
Originally published Sep 09, 2022 08:09:59, updated Sep 26 2022