Employee turnover within the HOA management industry has been one of the most talked about topics for many years. “Research by the National Apartment Association estimates the pre-pandemic turnover rate was an astronomical 32.7%, multiple times higher than other industries.” In addition, the average employee turnover rate for all industries is projected to hit an ultimate high of 10.87% for 2022 — a +20% increase from the annual pre-pandemic turnover rate! As we continue into 2023, HOA management companies should continue to use this information as a learning tool to bring positive change and engagement to employees within the industry.
Technology in the HOA world has significantly changed within the last five years. New forms of software and applications have taken HOAs to a whole new level — not to mention the increase in profit. In addition, technology has also brought workers a sense of work-life balance and engagement. If Covid-19 taught us one thing, technology was an asset to our daily lives and still is. We rely on technology in order to communicate and create efficiencies in our day-to-day responsibilities.
One significant way technology has affected employee turnover is by allowing employees to work remotely from home. In fact, “(64%) of those who are now working from home at least some of the time but rarely or never did before the pandemic say it’s easier now for them to balance work with their personal life.” Although this is only one of many examples, we can easily recognize technology's impact on the American worker.
Thanks to new developments in HOA software, management companies are now utilizing these tools to minimize turnover and offer services to their HOA communities. For example, TownSq is a single all-in-one digital platform that offers HOAs a comprehensive suite of solutions for all HOA community members, boards, vendors, and their management teams. Software such as this also works as a digital solution for those needing to transition from a full-time office environment to fully remote. In addition, they offer HOA management companies the ability to streamline operations through multiple digital platforms and applications.
Employees who stop learning and growing are twice as likely to become bored or anxious. “According to a report from Gallup, 87% of millennials shared that opportunities for growth and development are one of the most important factors for career satisfaction. Roughly 70% of professionals in other generations echoed the sentiment.”
Because of this, we can now recognize the impact millennials may have on HOA management turnover. For example, community association managers' average age ranges from 37-55 years old. As of 2022, the oldest millennial age will be around 41 years — which sits right at the average age bracket of a community association manager. As millennials begin to age, we can only assume that this generation's growth will be highly expected.
An effective way to help create growth is by offering employees career development opportunities such as mentorship programs, cross-training, extended education, job shadowing, and employee workshops. The modern worker desires to move up and provide input where it matters most. Offer yearly goals and incentives to create more opportunities for employees to grow within the company, including the ability to apply for more senior executive roles.
Another cause of high employee turnover is due to inefficient management. As we all know, “employees don’t leave companies; they leave managers.” “According to an employee retention report from TINYpulse, employees who rate supervisor performance as subpar are four times more likely to look for a new job.” Aggressive or demanding management can create a large amount of stress and unhappiness for the employees they manage. Managers that do not allow employers to seek new opportunities or engage in new projects can provoke someone to seek employment elsewhere.
Provide training and support systems to help increase stronger managerial skills. Quarterly reviews between managers and their teams also work as a way to understand better where employees stand mentally in their roles. In addition, managers and management companies must hold themselves accountable for executing any areas of improvement — this will increase communication, engagement, and bring a stronger sense of support within the company.
More often than not, many employees are overlooked for their accomplishments and hard work. In fact, it was stated by Dru Armstrong, CEO of multifamily talent performance solutions company, that “almost sixty percent of property management employees we surveyed told us that employee recognition was a key tool to improving retention.” A large factor in this may be caused by the lack of time to recognize accomplishments and the potential to portray favoritism to specific staff members.
Recognition is fundamental to maintaining employee retention. It allows employees to feel engaged and appreciated for their efforts. Up to “68% of organizations who have implemented employee recognition programs report a positive effect on employee engagement.” To implement recognition into your company, consider offering employees recognition programs, hosting award ceremonies, allowing extra time off, or offering health and wellness incentives. Bonuses are also great for recognizing employees who show significant company growth or have consistently increased company profit.
“A study from Paychex revealed that 70% of respondents would leave a job because of low pay.” As inflation continues to rise, compensation will continue to affect management companies. According to payscale.com, the average salary of a community association manager can range anywhere from $42K-$96K, with property managers averaging $43K-$84K. With the rise of HOAs increasing almost every year, employees are now becoming more aware of market demand. As a result, companies are becoming more competitive with one another.
In order to help maintain adequate compensation, we suggest conducting reviews to ensure pay and benefits maintain consistency within the market. Allowing employees the opportunity to receive raises and bonuses is also another way to help solve compensation issues. If in the situation, a company is unable to offer raises, consider offering other incentives, such as ancillary incentives. In addition, transparency also plays a significant role in communicating raises. There’s nothing worse than being given the runaround when it comes to getting a raise. If an employee requests a pay raise but is declined, be honest with the company's reasoning and any expectations that may prevent the employee from continuing with the company.