Little in life is more nerve-wracking than that first day on a new job: ‘Are you prepared to do this?’ ‘Are you even qualified to do this?’ ‘Is your shirt buttoned correctly?’ ‘It is, right?’ ‘Why does it look wrong?’ ‘Should you change your shirt?’
All of these questions and more – along with all the actual job-related stuff–are likely running through the brand-new employee’s mind, and can make for a whole lot of anxiety. But it doesn’t have to be this way. An employer – including a board or property manager – can do a lot to mitigate an employee’s jitters and set him or her up for success. Whether this means providing new hires a thorough-but-concise employee manual, a probationary period, a mentor, or a veteran employee that the new staffer can shadow varies from job to job, employer to employer, and even employee to employee (everyone learns differently!). Regardless, it's in the best interest of everyone involved for employees to feel capable and supported as they keep your building or association running smoothly.
This is especially important in a community association setting where a staffer is likely to be confronted by a parade of unfamiliar faces, many of whom the employee may be accountable to in some capacity. The faster and more effective a manager or a board can introduce the employee to the people and challenges that he or she will encounter, the better for everybody involved.
New England Condominium spoke with several management professionals with very different perspectives to get their wisdom on how best to orient the new person on the job; how to deal with staff that management itself inherits when taking on a new client community; and what to do when there is no formal staff to speak of. Here’s what they had to say:
Joe Urbanczyk, a property manager with Fairwood Management in East Amherst, New York: