Training Tip of the Week: Free or Low-Cost Training Incentives


We all know the value of training. For companies, it can reduce risk and increase the bottom line. For employees, it provides valuable job skills and opportunities for career advancement. For customers, good employee training improves their experience and overall satisfaction.


Human Nature Isn’t Always Logical

But human nature is a funny thing. Even when we know something is good for us, we don’t always make the time or effort to do it. Did you eat five servings of fruits and vegetables yesterday? Did you get the recommended amount of exercise last week? Understanding the benefits of healthy habits doesn’t make it easier to fit them into our busy lives.


The same goes for training. As with diet and exercise, some people are naturally motivated to do what’s good for them. In the training world, these are your superstars – the people you never have to beg to complete training. And then there are the rest of us, who need an external nudge to complete training on time (or maybe at all).


Incentives Can Move Training to the Top of Their List

Incentives can be an effective way to get employees to move training to the top of their priority list. When you hear “incentives,” you might see dollar signs. The reality is that most of us don’t have the budget for, or even the authority to spend money on, incentives. However, things with monetary value aren’t the only way to incentivize people. Here are some low-cost incentives that can help increase your training participation rates.


  • Create competition. Set up a simple leaderboard on the intranet, in your LMS, or even through email. You might be surprised what a little healthy competition can do.


  • Publicly acknowledge accomplishments. Send a company-wide email, write a newsletter blurb, or say a few words at a team meeting congratulating people who completed training or attained a certain score.


  • Praise effort. Don’t forget the people who completed training a day late, or failed their first attempt. Praising their effort in a handwritten note, a personal email, or swinging by to encourage them face-to-face can be just the motivation they need to keep going.


As you put together a low-cost incentive plan, here are some additional things to keep in mind. What people need to do to get on a leaderboard or be acknowledged should be attainable. Creating too many hoops to jump through may negatively impact motivation. Update leaderboards often, and don’t wait for the annual retreat to acknowledge people. Too much time between meeting the goal and getting the reward could lessen the impact of the incentive. Finally, resist the urge to try a whole bunch of new incentives at once. Rather, try one at a time, use the strategy for a while, then look at data to see if it seems to have impacted training rates. Being as systematic as possible will help you find which low-cost strategies work so you can spend your time and effort on things that really make a difference.

Did you miss the Vision webinar?

Did you miss the webinar today where we introduced to Vision’s new courseware and surveys? Our Director of Product Training Tami Criswell described Vision’s new functionality and how every aspect of the update was designed to inspire learners and increase training effectiveness. View the webinar by clicking on the screen below.

With the launch of Vision, Grace Hill has modernized the most extensive training catalog built exclusively for property management companies. We are excited for you to use it and learn from it!

Recent Discrimination Rulings That Could Put You at Risk of FHA violations

The civil penalty for a first-time FHA violation is $19,787.

Cases involving FHA violation can be costly and time-consuming. Add to that, it can be challenging to keep up with ever-changing compliance regulations and relevant court rulings, but doing so is necessary in order to avoid making costly mistakes. Fortunately, Grace Hill works closely with Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd P.A. (HSB) to monitor emerging compliance topics for multifamily property managers. Here are two recent rulings with big implications for property managers.



Gender Identity and/or Sexual Orientation Discrimination


The US District Court in Colorado recently determined that discrimination against applicants based on gender identity and/or sexual orientation constitutes discrimination under the FHA.


The Court heard a case where a family made up of two married lesbian women, one of whom is transgender, and two children was denied housing at a rental property. The family was denied as applicants for the townhouse because of their “unique relationship” and because, according to the landlord, they have “kept a low profile” and “want to continue it” that way.


The court ruled in favor of the couple, finding that denial of their application based on failure to conform to gender stereotypes constituted discrimination based on gender under the FHA. However, the court declined to specifically find that discrimination based on gender identity is sex discrimination under the FHA, mainly due to procedural reasons.


How to Protect Your Property


Make sure written policies advise employees not to treat applicants or tenants any differently based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


Train all employees, particularly leasing agents, how to avoid discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation. This includes educating them on potential scenarios in which they might discriminate unknowingly.


Prohibiting Children is Discriminating Against Families  


The FHA makes it unlawful to discriminate against families with children, including denying or limiting housing to families because they have children under the age of 18, making discriminatory statements, and imposing rules or policies that discriminate against families with children.


In a recent case, a property company in Kansas terminated a resident’s lease when she asked if her grandchild, whom she had recently obtained custody of, could be added to the lease. The property manager allegedly told the resident that the owner “doesn’t want kids on the property.”


The outcome of the case was that HUD charged the property owners, operator, and office manager with violating the FHA.


How to Protect Your Property


State in written policies that it is not possible to lawfully ensure a child-free property and that employees should not, through action or comment, convey the desire for one.


Inform all employees of the above facts and train them to avoid imposing any limitations on children in their leasing procedures as well as in any behavioral regulations they impose on tenants.


Want More?


We share the most relevant compliance updates with Platinum customers each month in The Vantage Pro and quarterly for all Vision customers in The Vantage. We also incorporate that information into our courseware regularly, so your people and teams are always being trained on the latest, emerging compliance topics. Schedule a demo to learn more.  


Important Information About Changes to the Customer Service Series that Impact Learners

We’ve been providing regular updates since the beginning of June on the next generation of courseware that Grace Hill is launching. This next-generation content features a complete update to our courses, to bring you a simplified, engaging experience, narration, live video, interactive practice scenarios and an improved quiz feature.

We’re rolling out new courses each week, with most updated courses simply replacing those that learners were assigned but have not yet begun. For our top 20 most-used courses, however, we are requiring learners who are still in progress on a course to start the new course from the beginning upon launch. A full list of these top courses with cutover dates is included at the bottom of this post.

In preparation for the updates, you can learn more about the next generation of content by watching this video:

You can also watch a recording of a recent update webinar featuring detailed information on the schedule of changes and how they will impact Admins and learners.

We’ll continue to keep you updated as the cutover dates get closer. We are looking forward to providing you with the most engaging and up-to-date content possible.


Weekly Schedule of Upcoming Course Changes:

Week of July 24

Dealing With Difficult People

Dealing With Difficult People – Spanish

Business Ethics

Maintenance For Office Staff


Week of July 31

Drug-Free Workplace

Drug-Free Workplace – Spanish

Drug-Free Workplace (Supervisor Version)

Curb Appeal

Defeating the Mold Monster

Defeating the Mold Monster – Spanish

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment – Spanish

Sexual Harassment for Supervisors

Fair Housing II


Week of August 7

Fair Housing II – Spanish

Workplace Diversity

Workplace Diversity – Spanish

Workplace Diversity (Supervisor Version)

Workplace Diversity (Supervisor Version) – Spanish

Fair Housing

Fair Housing – Spanish

Fair Housing for Maintenance

Fair Housing for Maintenance – Spanish