Our 2016 Benchmark Survey Report is Here!

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5 Key Takeaways from Grace Hill’s Annual Benchmark Survey

Grace Hill client partners are extremely passionate for the property management industry, build lifelong careers, and constantly seek to improve their organizations and themselves.

In 2016 we, again, asked clients to help us determine the biggest needs and overarching concerns in training the property management industry. Over 210 of our client partners provided candid feedback that we’re keen to share with you here.

Learning Management Systems (LMS) are the essential tool to program administrators, who are generally happy with their current LMS’ ease of use and straightforward administrative features (on boarding and dashboard, and sign on process). However, Trainers are seeking improvement on more complex program administrative aspects such as standardized reporting, data feeds, key indicators of program success, and employee engagement features.

When it comes to the Training needs of their employees, companies reported the top three needs as: 1) Fast, easy, effective on-boarding training 2) Content specifically tailored to employees’ needs and 3) Engaging, compelling and relevant content. In an industry with turnover rates are as high as 19% (for Leasing Professionals), and most believe a good Training Program can improve Turnover, and a good onboarding process is the best place to begin.

Five Key Takeaways

A few key highlights for the Multifamily Training industry which we, at Grace Hill, take very seriously and build our product offerings to address:

ONE: Your Training Program Needs to Improve Employee Performance


Facts: 47% of Training Professionals state that the main goal of their training program is to improve the performance of their employees by giving them the training they need to thrive.

Challenges: Frequently, employee performance data isn’t collected (21%), and even if it is, it isn’t connected into training today (43%)


– Employers must define and standardize what “good performance” means for their employees
– Companies must tighten the link between training and performance management, in order to personalize each employee’s training and measure performance gains
– Companies should leverage their LMS to facilitate performance management

TWO: Trainers are Seeking Ways to Increase Training Participation

Facts: 37% of Training Professionals are looking to create a culture of training and to increase the participation in their training programs


– 57% of Trainers report limited employee time for training and 22% report training isn’t engaging enough
– Mobile remains a significant unmet need, with only 9% of companies currently offering mobile training today, but 69% want to in the future. Significant barriers still exist: risk of overtime (53%) and lack of devices (49%)
– 21% of Trainers don’t have the right incentive programs to get people to finish their training programs, and the majority of Training Admins (69%) don’t have decision-making power over incentive programs.


Improve and increase amount of Content, that is…
? faster/shorter bursts / shorter duration
? more engaging
? incentives employees to finish the program
– Provide mobile training that addresses need of employees
– Training for employees with limited time, on-the-go
– More engaging platform, with potential to give skills at right time, for right need (Mobile training, with gamification, and skills-videos)

THREE: A Great Training Program with Good On-boarding Can Reduce Turnover

Facts: Today, the turnover rate of maintenance technicians and leasing professionals is greater than 20%. Most (80%) Training Professionals believe training can impact turnover of employees and create and maintain a stable and high-performing workforce; while 72% believe a good onboarding experience is the biggest opportunity to improve turnover


– Only 53% of Training Programs have visibility into turnover today
– Besides onboarding, the other top way to address turnover is employee recognition programs (75%), yet only 31% of Trainers have ownership over this.


– Fast, easy, effective onboarding training for leasing professionals, property managers and maintenance technicians
– Recognition and rewards around training tied into your LMS and your training program so you can directly use it to influence behavior.

FOUR: A Learning Management Systems (LMSs) that Fast-Tracks Administration

Facts: 34% of Training Professionals state the main goal of their training program is to have an easy, streamlined and quickly implemented program


1) Multifamily Housing companies have limited time/resources to manage their training programs, and it’s only going to get harder as companies are growing

? 44% of Training Admins report they have a “small team to manage a big training program”
? 25% of Training Admins report training is just one hat they wear and they don’t have enough bandwidth, while 17% report “Not enough hours in the day to do what I need to do”
? Budgets are expected to increase based on increasing # of units/expansion of property – this means more employees, more compliance needs, more content needs

2) Training Admins and Company Leaders need the right information, data, visibility to effectively manage their training programs and provide their executive leadership the most useful information in a timely manner

? Data feeds and standardized reporting are some of your key areas of frustrations (~15% would not recommend their LMS’s current data/reporting features)


– Learning Management System providers need to facilitate improved reporting, including gathering, visualizing and distributing the right information in a quick, easy fashion

– Improved dashboards for Training Administrators, and other stakeholders to measure success and identify risks

– Ability to easily customize the LMS out of the box features and automate as much or as little of the Training program as needed

FIVE: Compliance Training is used to Reduce Risk


1) 34% of Training Professionals state the main goal of their training program is to reduce the compliance, legal and operational risk in their business (34%), while 66% use compliance with Fair Housing and other legal training as the primary measurement of success for your training program today.

2) Specifically, Compliance Training programs:

? 74% train all employees on an annual basis
? 61% of programs ensure all employees follow the law by giving them opportunities to practice
? But, only 49% are ready to handle scenarios that they are most likely to encounter

Challenges: Linking compliance training to Company policies and procedures seems tenuous at best:

– Only 21% of trainers are responsible for training on policies & procedures;
– Only 11% are responsible for providing ongoing training on them.


– Training Programs to include regular opportunities to practice with scenario based training, specific to their role

Companies to incorporate company’s policies and procedures into onboarding and link training to new employees

June 20 2017

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