Out to Put a Dent in the Multifamily Universe

A Little Bit of Play Keeps The Madness Away

Sure, most of the time it’s about the residents and the hopefully-soon-to-be residents, but sometimes it needs to be about us (you know, us…the ones who work hard daily to keep the residents happy and the property running smoothly).

Sometimes it’s important to focus on the team. Whether it be personal bonding, a special event, or special recognition, taking a little time out for play during a tough month, week or even day, is a necessity. Over the past couple of months, I’ve heard stories or witnessed events or pictures of events that describe what I’m referring to:

  • Recently, one of our properties accomplished a great task, and instead of just a pat on the back, congratulatory e-mail or extra bonus, they got a unique gift: Dunk the Owners Day. The owners and President of Mills Properties designated a day, came out dressed in goofy swimwear and each took their turn being dunked by the team members . It was a unique, special, once-in-a-lifetime day for the whole team, and just what they needed after months of hard work.
  • Another story I heard doesn’t have to do with taking the time out to recognize an accomplishment, rather, just taking the time out. One of our office teams designated the newly popular song Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen as dance party time.  Every time the song comes on in the office, they stop what they are doing and have a quick dance party. A quick couple of minutes to let loose, smile and re-energize. Great for bonding and taking some time out to focus on the team.
  • Still another example is a property who extravagantly celebrates their teams’ birthdays (extravagant for what you would typically see in a business office at least). There are balloons, confetti, flowers, gifts, and pictures. Pictures that go up on the property’s Facebook page that then give the associate extra recognition from other property’s team members and residents. And we all love getting a little acknowledgement on our birthday so it becomes an extra special birthday for them. It almost makes you want to come to work on your birthday.

I love their ideas and creativity and I think these types of events and celebrations are a necessity in every business. I was recently given the task of assisting with budgets. My responsibility is the Marketing/Advertising section. You know – the Outreach Marketing, Newspaper & Internet Advertising, Resident Events/Promotions lines. I haven’t examined the entire budget line by line, but I haven’t noticed a line item for Employee Events/Recognition anywhere yet. Maybe it’s because it’s called something else. Or maybe because it’s not there…but I think it should be.

Not all of the events cost something (like the sporadic dance parties), but sometimes they do, and I don’t think it should be the responsibility of the team members to provide special employee recognition/”play time” every now and then. I think if there were a budget for it, we would see more of it, and in my opinion, it would lead to more team bonding, more motivation, more employee satisfaction, less turnover and a more smoothly run property.

Do you agree?

About JHerzog

Jessica doesn’t know how to cook and survives pretty much on macaroni and cheese and pizza, so naturally, loves to eat out at restaurants. However, one day when she is married and has a family to cook for, she would love to take cooking classes and learn awesome skills like the chefs on Iron Chef America.

  • http://www.thetrainingfactor.com/ Jonathan Saar

    Awesome post Jessica and one of the many reasons why I love your company so much. Great corporate culture which is such the glue that is needed to make business work!

    • http://www.millsapartments.net/neighborhoods Jessica

      Thanks Jonathan! We certainly try. Judging from your training videos and those I have interacted with from your team, your company seems to have a good grasp on balancing out the work with play and it’s inspiring for others. Thanks for the reply.