Too Legit to Quit

The pandemic has led to what some are calling “The Great Resignation.” Here are some suggestions for property managers to promote employee retention.
Jessica Fiur, Managing Editor
Jessica Fiur, Managing Editor

The pandemic has wrought a surprising consequence: Employees across all industries are quitting their jobs in droves.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in June the national quit rate reached 2.7 percent. For the previous 10 years, the average monthly quit rate stayed between 1.3 percent and 2.4 percent. In fact, experts are calling this time “The Great Resignation.” Whether its essential workers worried about their safety working at a public-facing job, people wanting to maintain the freedom of working from home that they had during quarantine, or people looking for a better work-life balance, many are rethinking their current career paths.

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For employers, this news is … not great.

Beyond the fact that it costs more to replace an employee than to retain one, when someone quits, it puts an exceptional burden on the remaining staff to take on extra duties and pick up the slack, which can lead to burnout. And in multifamily, as IvyLee Rosario reports in her feature “How to Motivate Property Management Teams,” the industry has to contend with a higher-than-average turnover rate—33 percent vs. the national rate of 22 percent.

That’s during a normal year. And we all know this isn’t a normal year.

So how can property managers keep their staff?

Salary increases are always welcome to workers, but that may not be feasible. Luckily, there are other methods to encourage employee retention, and they don’t have to cost anything. Treating your employees well and making sure they’re being heard are very effective tools to keep your employees happy.

“Property management is relationship building,” Alan Kessman of Universe Holdings told Rosario. “We don’t manage property. We manage people.”

Multifamily managers need to set goals for their employees, promote from within and be willing to work with their needs, such as by offering flexible hours or the ability to work from home for non-resident-facing positions. Most important, managers need to communicate—and follow through.

“You never want your people to feel like what they are hearing from the executive team is lip service,” David Deitz of Birchstone Residential told Rosario.

Have you seen an increase in staff turnover recently? What are some of your strategies to retain your best employees? I’d love to hear your thoughts—please feel free to email me at jessica.fiur@cpe-mhn.com.