Employees Thrive With Thoughtful, Strategic Training Schedules
Well-balanced training keeps apartment employees sharp and ready to advance their careers.
Successful apartment operators find that managing employee training can be as important as managing their assets. Over-training employees is ruining company culture and driving up turnover and recruiting costs. Fortunately, we can combat overtraining by acknowledging how employees thrive and using strategy and simple tactics to schedule training.
A few minor changes in your training program can save your company thousands annually in reduced turnover and improved onsite operations. Assigning training courses haphazardly in terms of topic, method, and regularity leads to employee stress, inefficient use of time, loss of money on learning resources, and decreased engagement.
Property teams’ building size, type, staffing, and workload should be considered when creating course assignments to avoid overwhelming them, which can lead to burnout or turnover. Even for the most ambitious employees, overloading them with training and the pressure of test-taking is no way to raise their performance. For them, the primary “takeaway” becomes “learner fatigue.” Some companies that do this also insist that their employees maintain the same efficiency level while performing their day-to-day duties. Without a strategic training assignment method that balances compliance, skill development, and employee needs, a company can inadvertently send the wrong message to employees, potentially damaging organizational culture.
Grace Hill Courses Fit Your Schedule
Research shows that short training sessions spaced out over time lead to better knowledge retention.
With spaced repetition, people can remember about 80% of what has been learned after 60 days — a significant improvement. To help combat the forgetting curve, Grace Hill uses a short-course format (each training session is between 10 and 20 minutes) and offers quick boosters (between 5 and 10 minutes) on critical topics that can be assigned over time.
Pete Wagner has worked for the past 12 years at WPM Real Estate Management and has taken multiple Grace Hill maintenance classes during that time.
“These courses have helped me further my career as a service manager and my skill set as a leader,” Wagner said. “I try to schedule technicians to take Grace Hill courses quarterly to improve their skills and prepare for certifications like the Certificate for Apartment Maintenance (CAMT) from National Apartment Association.”
With the rapid advancement in property management and the steady flow of new regulations, today’s employees require the latest information to succeed at their positions – whether in the leasing office while performing a maintenance work order or supervising the entire onsite operations team.
Therefore, it is crucial that companies have a well-planned training program in place. That plan must include clear expectations and a path forward to achieve them. Actions by supervisors that employees perceive as raising the bar too high and fast trigger a red flag.
Managers must also be clear that the assigned training was not necessarily done simply to enable the associate to wear more hats. Instead, it must be part of a career path that has been presented and agreed upon in advance.
Training Too Much Leads to Low Learning
No employee wants to be assigned multiple courses simultaneously just so the company, supervisor, or employee can hit a quota.
The same goes for new employees. While many companies are strapped for hiring today, a turbo-charged learning approach will do nothing more than make your new hires’ heads spin. And you can be assured they’ll let their peers know about this troubling experience.
How To Avoid Over-Training
We know that 65% of companies with strategic, holistic wellbeing and training programs saw improvements in their company cultures. Following are best practices for assigning training that can help your company get there:
- Understand and work within employees’ demands and workloads.
- Understand that when workload or staffing changes, training programs should be flexible.
- Perform assessments to identify the skills where employees are already well-versed.
- Apply the 80/20 rule by focusing on 20% of the things professionals encounter 80% of the time and then provide resources and additional training for the remainder.
- When assigning training, consider where the due dates will land and if any conflicts are present like unit inspections, company events, etc.
- Integrate training exercises and materials learned into everyday work environments.
- Create on-the-job assignments that help employees retain and contextualize their learning.
- Space out onboarding to allow for on-the-job exercises to support knowledge transfer.
- Encourage self-paced, online learning and microlearning.
- Vary learning materials’ formats (videos, handouts, live training, etc.).
- Encourage supervisor involvement to provide employee feedback as a way to measure training effectiveness through a reflection of skills learned.
- Identify a method where employees can communicate any frustrations they experience in their training program to create support opportunities.
Finally, keep in mind that employees learn best when they are ready to learn. They will thank you for it, and your company will thrive and continue to improve its operations, retaining a satisfied staff working in an ideal company culture of learning.
For multifamily and rental housing management teams that need help elevating their property performance, Grace Hill’s Vision learning management system (LMS) provides a premium training platform and exclusive, industry-focused courseware. With nearly 25 years of industry expertise, Vision’s custom-developed LMS and engaging content (alongside our personalized consultation and support) help multifamily teams maintain compliance, mitigate risk, reduce turnover, and increase revenue.