Retaining Talent > Finding it

Posted By: Amanda Gill AAGO Community , Cool Stuff , Education Corner , Industry ,

The job market is on fire and the economy growing, which makes it difficult to retain top talent. Do you cringe at the thought of losing your top leasing agent or a seasoned property manager with a strong track record for success? The answer most certainly should be, “Yes!”

Similar to the way businesses compete for customers, there is always a fight for top talent. If you’re not strategizing about how to retain your best and brightest team members, you might lose valuable employees and possibly years of institutional knowledge that fuel the success of your company. Perhaps this question has come across your mind in recent months but you didn’t know how to tackle this challenge head on. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we will provide a few tips to help you plan for long-term success by retaining the most talented members of your team.

The first and most important step in strategizing how to retain the talented members of your team is to listen and observe. The one size fits all approach does not apply to a successful retention strategy. Therefore, you will have to analyze your organization and think critically about what really motivates the specific members of your team. Are there certain aspects of your company (culture, benefits, compensation, vacation time, work/life balance, etc.) that are most attractive to the members of your team? What aspects of the job do they like most? What aspects do they dislike most?

Once you figure out what drives your team, you can gauge if your current practices align with their needs or if they leave much to be desired. It is easy to gleam this kind of insight about your team by simply sitting down with folks in a one-on-one setting (Face to face communication is always best!) and asking for their honest feedback. The members of your team will appreciate the opportunity to share their thoughts with you and will remember that you took the time to meet with them personally.

If you want top talent to stay put, you need to invest in their future. The highest performers in your organization are motivated to climb the ladder and achieve their professional goals (Even if they have to leave your organization to advance!). If you want to retain these high performing individuals, you need to fuel their desire for professional development.

AAGO offers a variety of affordable and targeted training programs for every professional in the industry. Not sure which classes would work best for your team? Contact Lydia via email at Lydia@AAGO.org or Desiree@AAGO.org for professional development opportunities that fit the needs of your team. Don’t forget to make it a point to budget for professional development opportunities each year. You will fuel your team’s thirst for growth and strengthen their ability to serve your organization at the same time. Now that’s maximizing your ROI!

The three C’s are critical (Culture, communication, and celebration) and should take priority in your retention strategy. You may be wondering where I am going with this one… bear with me. The culture of your organization should always be one of your top priorities. Does your mission and its leadership team create an enjoyable place to work?  Do you have a culture that you can be proud of or are there aspects of your organization’s culture that need to be improved?

Regardless of the specific reason why any employee moves on to another opportunity, you can typically trace the reason for the departure back to the company culture. Think back to some of your previous positions and why you decided to move on. Did you leave because you felt management lacked leadership, the company didn’t provide opportunities for advancement, or its leadership team did not respect the need for a work/life balance? These characteristics (and many more) are found in a company’s culture.

We know communication is key but do we actively live this out in our day-to-day business operations? All too often, employees express concerns about the lack of communication from management or the inability to share their feedback with those in charge. It is critical for the members of your team to feel like your company’s goals are clearly defined and communicated. It also helps to have an “open-door” policy when it comes to maintaining a strong line of communication with your team. All of your team members, regardless of their place on the company ladder, should feel comfortable enough to approach you with feedback or their concerns at any time.

Last but certainly not least, celebrations should be an important part of your employee retention strategy. It’s no secret that employees who feel valued and appreciated are less likely to be searching for another job opportunity. If you are not tapping into this simple strategy, now is the time to step it up!

When was the last time your team members felt appreciated? Do you go through the motions of celebrating their success at the holidays but neglect to share your praise for their excellent performance the rest of the year? Celebrating your team’s success doesn’t require a fancy party or even an expensive bonus. You can show your appreciation for their hard work in a variety of ways depending on what works best for your company. For example, think cupcakes from a local bakery, lattes for the team before an important meeting, or giving folks the opportunity to leave the office an hour early on a Friday. The options are endless... just keep in mind what type of rewards will motivate your team.