The company was embarking on an acquisition campaign that would more than quadruple the size of its portfolio, and therefore its property level staff. Limited policies and procedures were in place, many of which were not sufficient to accommodate that level of growth. Additional challenges included upper management focused on acquisitions, not operations and staffing, and no brand identity in their new markets to assist with marketing the properties and company. As the property level staff grew with each acquisition, the need for training became apparent and critical.
As challenges were identified, Cindy assessed the situation, then created and implemented a new policy to handle it. Some of the projects implemented were:
- Creation of standardized cash collection procedures
- Establishment of consistent job description among all properties; implementation of a review and sign off system to indicate employee understanding, and highlight any staff training needs
- Creation of missing sections in procedure manual (fire/life safety, construction, general PM issues, etc.)
- Improvements to budget procedures (global assumptions, timing and system for getting all approvals, etc.
In addition, Cindy recognized and created specialized subject-specific training programs to target specific shortcomings that were costing the company money and efficiency. New full time roles were created for a corporate trainer and a director of operations to support the site staff, ensuring consistency in operations, and providing bench strength for the burgeoning staff. Repeated training and emphasis was placed on improving customer service skills for all level of employees. Forms were created and standardized across properties to streamline and create operational efficiencies in area such as fitness facility license agreements, commission agreements, vendor contracts, and approval forms. Plus, a systematic marketing program was instigated to introduce the company to the brokerage community, ensuring that the company’s name was synonymous with integrity, quality, and reliability.
Operations were streamlined significantly, which not only ensured the organization was scalable, but improved efficiency created consistent practices and improved the services the company was able to offer its occupants. These policies saved the company countless dollars in improved operations, less mistakes by employees, and significantly less turnover in tenants at renewal. In addition, morale and overall job satisfaction of the staff was significantly improved, and voluntary turnover was minimal.
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