Innovations in the Workplace
- May 27, 2016
2015 IREM® REME Award Winner: Work Place Environment
MEB Management Services, AMO®
MEB Management Services, AMO®, a multifamily property management firm located in Arizona, won IREM’s REME award last year for Work Place Environment due to its ambitious decision to elevate its corporate culture by integrating community outreach at a higher level with a deeper commitment into the workplace. In a strategic planning session focused on extensive company growth—expansion to an additional 10,000 units over the next few years—the principals of MEB considered that with the company’s growth came more opportunities for community outreach. MEB’s business practice has always included being a good neighbor and giving back to the community, but it wanted to expand its community service efforts to a broader audience while focusing on one particular aspect of need: homelessness.
MEB recognized it needed to unify its team members to work toward one community outreach goal—and that it would have a far greater impact than the individual efforts done in the past. “We recognized that our goal needed to encompass MEB core values, engage all team members and partners, and tie into what MEB already does – which is to provide housing,” explained principal Libby Ekre, CPM®. With these auspicious goals in mind, MEB developed the Big Audacious Miracle (BAM) initiative to end homelessness.
MEB knew the goal of ending homeless was so ambitious, it would require more than community service; it would require a shift in the company culture. The MEB BAM initiative is focused on taking social responsibility to a higher level by engaging all team members across the organization. “We believe that whenever a firm encourages its employees to reach out to the community, it improves not only the strength of its corporate culture but also benefits society as a whole,” said Ekre. This is reflected in MEB’s community outreach motto: “Loving our community inside and out.”
Building Stronger Relationships from Within
When company leaders cultivate a deeper sense of meaning, team members are engaged in a whole new way. The BAM initiative has empowered MEB team members to do more community outreach knowing they are supported by the founders of the company, the owners of the properties and their fellow team members. The BAM initiative has also formed a stronger bond between team members at the properties and across the company. Through the initiative, team members at MEB are getting to know each other in a new way that is more open and vulnerable, and MEB has seen a stronger work place because of it.
Since the BAM initiative was implemented, there is more communication across the organization, friendships are building, more collaboration is taking place among property teams for outreach events and team members are more focused on exceptional customer service for residents and prospective residents by reaching outside their communities to make it a better place for everyone. Since the initiation of the MEB BAM, and all that team members are doing collaboratively to end homelessness, MEB has seen an added advantage of attracting more residents and employees who want to be associated with a company that incorporates community service at such a high level in its business model. MEB’s purpose is to enrich the lives of its clients, residents and team members by creating value. The BAM initiative is in alignment with MEB’s purpose and is an innovative and outstanding achievement in developing corporate culture while demonstrating a deep dedication to corporate responsibility by fighting homelessness.
A video about the MEB BAM initiative is available from irem at www.irem.org/remewinners.
The IREM® REME Awards recognize real estate management companies and individual practitioners for innovative, leading-edge business practices and initiatives. Submissions for the 2016 IREM® REME Awards are due on June 1. For more information, visit www.irem.org/REME.