Our industry has been challenged over the last two years to continue working through the pandemic. While residents have increasingly been working from home, our industry showed up every day to take care of our customers. Times may have been tough, and our industry was tougher. Property management people are resilient. Our industry is filled with people that give their heart and soul in their daily jobs to serve others, as well as finding solutions to new and unusual problems.
While we’ve faced some challenges, we’ve also seen some positive things as a result of the pandemic. We have more technology to improve communication, ecommerce opportunities and administrative efficiencies. We’re also spending more time on employee experience to ensure that our team members feel supported by providing encouragement, listening to what they need and implementing more diversity and inclusion policies. Afterall, valued employees will always do more. Richard Branson said it best when he said, “Take care of your employees, and they’ll take care of your business.” Other industries are incorporating more flexible and remote working arrangements, and I challenge property management companies to do the same.
As for employees, some have been feeling the burnout and considering making a change. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that a record-breaking 4.5 million people quit their jobs in November, which grew from 4.4 million resignations in September. The highest resignations came from our sector, the Accommodation and Food Services category, with almost 7% quitting their jobs. On the bright side, “hiring remains higher than quits, suggesting that some who quit may be finding better opportunities within the sector,” according to Elise Gould, a senior economist with the Economic Policy Institute, which is something to celebrate.
Staying in a job where you don’t feel valued and appreciated is hard. Starting a new job where you don’t know the culture, procedures, or expectations is also hard. We’ve all made quick decisions to fix an immediate need, but those rash decisions can sometimes have negative consequences. Before you make an emotional decision to quit your job, I urge employees to see this as an opportunity to take control of your situation.
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It is greener where you water it.
If you are feeling burned out and thinking about changing jobs, you may want to rethink your strategy. With employment trends becoming more employee-focused, staying loyal to a good company may pay off in the long term. For clarity, no one should stay where they are feeling undervalued and unappreciated. Continue reading for tools that might help improve your satisfaction by taking back control of your situation.
One way to regain control is by being a better follower. A good leader knows when to lead and when to follow. We spend much of our time trying to improve our leadership skills that we forget that being a good follower is just as important. In fact, it may be more important since there are more followers than leaders in any team situation. Followership means getting behind a goal for the sake of the goal, regardless of your position, and delivering on what is expected of you. Being a good follower is so important that lacking this skill is one of the top three reasons for getting fired.
There are three components to Followership that will help you be a better follower. You may recognize these strategies as “managing up”.
- Be a good resource to the leader. Learn about the leader and their goals. Show them how your strengths can complement their weaknesses. Align with the purpose and the goal.
- Example – Emily provided snippets of the applicable policy to her new boss when asking questions so that her boss didn’t have to search for the policy to provide an answer to Emily. The supervisor appreciated Emily’s assistance, and Emily benefited from getting a faster answer from her supervisor.
- Help the leader be a good leader. Give feedback to the leader to let them know what you need to be a good follower. In return, take feedback from the leader and implement accordingly. Soliciting feedback is a great way to build trust. If the supervisor knows that you value their guidance, they are more likely to give constructive advice instead of unsympathetic criticism.
- Example – Ashlee told her supervisor that she wanted her to handle certain situations differently. The supervisor agreed and complied with the request. Ashlee got her desired outcome for future instances, and she built trust with the supervisor because the supervisor knows that Ashlee will come to her if she needs help.
- Build a relationship with the leader. It is your responsibility to build a relationship with the leader. Being a resource for the leader, helping the leader be a good leader, and building a relationship with the leader leads to mutual respect. Take initiative, learn and commit to the goals, and volunteer for the hard tasks. All of this will likely earn you expert status and elevate your level of influence with the situation/company. When you feel that you are more in control, it will increase your happiness quotient and satisfaction with your situation.
Followership is a different strategy than you’re used to. It’s your choice to be a good follower, and therefore, you’re in control of you. If you’re feeling burned out, consider taking a fresh look at the situation. How can you realign and reconnect with the goal? From my perspective, the grass is greener where you put the effort. I suspect that loyalty and dedication in the right company will pay off in the long run, and those who stay the course will consequently develop and grow significantly through the tenure and relationship-building. Whether you choose to water your grass where you are now or where you are going, the choice is yours. Whatever your choice may be, your success is limitless and completely up to you!