Having to manage a difficult employee is never fun and can be the most challenging part of your responsibilities as a property management professional. While never easy, this article will address a step-by-step way to consistently and confidently handle the most challenging employee situations. In addition, how you handle a difficult employee will send a strong and powerful message to those who still work for your property management company.
Addressing the problem: When you first realize you are having a problem with one of the members of your property management team, bring this individual behind closed doors and discuss your specific concerns. The conversation should be brief and to the point, making certain your employee understands the concerns you have and the improvements you expect. Be specific with your comments and only address the business concerns you have, setting aside any personal issues. Of course, always look to support this member of your team in any way possible with the intention of a positive outcome.
Tip From The Coach: As this is the first meeting you are having with your employee to discuss your concerns, take notes during this meeting, record the date on your notes, and place them into this person’s employee file. This will serve as a reminder of the problems you expressed during this meeting and will document the first time you asked this employee to specifically improve their performance. This first meeting is also the perfect time to review together this person’s written job description as another way to clarify your expectations.
Continuing problems: If similar problems persist with this same employee, bring this individual again behind closed doors and present a written memo recapping your concerns. In this memo, list the day/date of your first meeting when you discussed your initial problems with this individual’s performance and list the specific areas of improvement, which must happen. Remember, when you are requesting improved performance, the improvements must be measurable and must have a time frame or date when these improvements will be measured and reviewed again.
Tip From The Coach: After you present your written memo outlining your concerns, have your employee sign and date this document which validates the points discussed during this meeting. In your memo, be certain to include the words, “failure to improve your performance, may lead to termination.” This makes your intentions perfectly clear. Of course, always consult with your immediate supervisor, your human resource department and your legal counsel, prior to presenting your memo, so everyone is in the loop.
Terminating this employee: If necessary, termination of this employee may be required. If so, make the termination, swiftly. This person’s attitude can be detrimental to the morale of your property management team and their attitude might be affecting those around them. A termination meeting should be done at the end of the day so this person’s departure will not disrupt others. Lastly, make certain this termination meeting is brief, state exactly why this person is being terminated and have all final paperwork ready for signature.
Tip From The Coach: Sadly, the termination of an employee is not a pleasant part of being in property management. On a positive note, take the time to analyze what went wrong and look for possible solutions. Ask yourself, “was this person the perfect fit for the position, did we give this person proper training, could I have done anything to change the course of this situation?” In asking these questions, sometimes very positive improvements can be made. Employee terminations and the investment to hire a new person, is expensive and should not be taken lightly.
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Ernest F. Oriente, a business coach since 1995 [29,900 hours], a property management industry professional since 1988--the author of SmartMatch Alliances--and the founder of PowerHour...[www.powerhourseo.com and www.pirmg.com ], has a passion for coaching his clients on executive leadership, hiring and motivating property management SuperStars, traditional and Internet SEO/SEM marketing, competitive sales strategies, and high leverage alliances for property management teams and their leaders. He provides private and group coaching for property management companies around North America, executive recruiting, investment banking, national utility bill auditing national real estate and apartment building insurance, SEO/SEM web strategies, national WiFi solutions, powerful tools for hiring property management SuperStars and building dynamic teams, employee policy manuals and social media strategic solutions. Ernest worked for Motorola, Primedia and is certified in the Xerox sales methodologies. Recent interviews and articles have appeared more than 7000 times in business and trade publications and in a wide variety of leading magazines and newspapers, including Smart Money, Inc., Business 2.0, The New York Times, Fast Company, The LA Times, Fortune, Business Week, Self Employed America and The Financial Times. Since 1995, Ernest has written 200+ articles for the property management industry and created 350+ property management forms, business and marketing checklists, sales letters and presentation tools. To subscribe to his free property management newsletter go to: www.powerhour.com. PowerHour® is based in Olympic-town…Park City, Utah, at 435-615-8486, by E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website: www.powerhour.com