How to Keep Your Employees Happy Over the Holidays (And Beyond)

Take care of your staff. They are, after all, your most important resource.

jfiur thumbnailDecember is a busy month. There are office parties. End-of-year sales. Holidays. (Plus don’t forget December birthdays! Although everyone always does anyway. Sigh. I’m going to pour one out for my homies, my fellow forgotten Sagittariuses.) And, of course, all of the tips and presents.

So much tipping and presents.

Does your community encourage residents to tip their doormen, maintenance workers, concierges, etc. this time of year?

Personally, I’m not a huge proponent of that. If someone wants to reward someone for an excellent job, then by all means, tip. But to expect it? Or pretty much require it? Not cool, in my book. For example, at my daughters’ day care, right on the front desk, there is currently a binder listing all the teachers and where they like to shop and eat, and what their favorite scents are. Sure, it’s helpful to know what they like. And I love all the teachers—I would get them something anyway. But now, my hand is forced to get them all something from the binder.

People should not be forced to tip. And they should not fear retribution if they don’t. Especially in a multifamily community, where residents have to see these people every day.

Now, employers on the other hand…

You might have the biggest gym, the nicest screening room, or the most luxurious pool. But without someone to fix a resident’s toilet, it’s all for naught.

Your employees are your most important resource.

presentsMultifamily employees work very hard all year to make sure their residents have the best experiences. They should be rewarded for their efforts. A little token can lift spirits and boost morale. An employee who likes his job is more likely to stay in the company and take a positive attitude when interacting with residents. So employers should reward employees during the holidays, whether it be with a bonus, time off, gift cards, dinner or a party. Even baked goods! It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. But even if celebrating all your employees costs you a bit, remember, it costs a hell of a lot more to hire a new employee (plus the time to find the right candidate, and train her), than to give your current one a Starbucks gift card as thanks for a job well done.

Now, there are certain guidelines to follow when you’re giving your multifamily employees gifts. Remember back in elementary school, when you gave out Valentine cards saying you choo-choo-choose someone, you had to give to the entire class so no one would feel left out? Same principle here. And don’t think they won’t compare what you gave them. When I was first starting in the workforce (let’s say it was two years ago, and then we can all have a good laugh), my manager gave half the team, me included, a card. Which I thought was very nice. Until I saw that the other half of the team—her favorites employees, by the way—all received a bottle of wine. I won’t say I started looking for a new job then, but I certainly didn’t go out of my way for her after that. And I’m clearly still bitter, all these [two] years later.

Be fair. Be generous. You don’t have to put yourself in the poorhouse getting everyone gifts. Do what you can to make your employees feel appreciated.

And your community, in turn, will be a much nicer place.

Happy holidays, everyone.

What do you think? How do you reward your employees during the holidays? Post your comments on our Facebook page or send a tweet to @MHNOnline or @jfiur.

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