Tag: Hiring & Staffing
During your association management career, you’ll inevitably lose employees, which can be a nightmare if you’re already stretched to the limit for time or working with a tight budget that will make the hiring process difficult. And unless an employee has been vocal about dissatisfaction with her job, an exit interview is often the first time a manager will find out that something is wrong. By interviewing employees in the days before they leave, you can learn their reasons for leaving and even why they stayed as long as they did.
Although managing a condominium building or planned community well can be rewarding, it can also be difficult to do without the help of qualified and dedicated employees. Effective association management requires a varied skill set: customer service for members, financial savvy, organization, and building good relationships with outside professionals like vendors and contractors, among other talents.
Unfortunately, sexual harassment can happen in any workplace, including among members of your staff. In addition to wanting to make sure that your employees feel comfortable and not threatened at work, you also need to be concerned about sexual harassment because an employer can be held responsible if one of its supervising employees violates federal or state laws that prohibit sexual harassment—even if the employer was unaware of the violation.
Last month, the Insider showed you the importance of using a workplace involvement program to engage employees in both their work and the association. However, regardless of the steps that you take to create a pleasant work environment and motivate your employees, eventually, you’ll have to deal with an employee who doesn’t perform well and must be let go.
When you hire independent contractors to perform work at your community, you risk being sued if any of the contractors' workers are injured on the job. Any good community association manager will want to ensure that work is being done correctly, on time, and without risks to the community or its members. So, it's good to keep a keen eye on contractors' employees as they work on projects for which you've hired them.
If your community is in a region of the country that gets snow, hiring a snow removal contractor may be inevitable. Typically, snow removal contractors provide associations with a form contract to sign. But a form contract may not always work to your benefit—for example, it may not have a payment plan that's beneficial to you or specifically spell out such things as when the company should start plowing after a snowfall.
If you draft your own snow removal contract, ask your attorney about including the following seven key protections.
The Fair Housing Act's ban on retaliation applies not only to prospective members who claim to be victims of housing discrimination, but also to anyone who helps or encourages alleged discrimination victims to pursue their rights under fair housing law. Those provisions protect employees from adverse employment actions—such as being fired, demoted, or harassed—for opposing discriminatory practices or advising aggrieved residents to contact fair housing agencies.
Federal laws require employers including community associations and management companies to post signs explaining legal information to their employees. Failure to post the signs can cost as much as $10,000 per violation. Fortunately, compliance is easy. The signs are available free of charge from the government agencies that oversee the sign-posting laws.
When you hire a bad apple to work in your community, you run some serious risks. The individual may perpetrate some sort of crime due to easy access to your members. If news of the crime gets out, your community's reputation may plummet and you may fall into a costly legal trap called “negligent hiring.” The association or your management office may be liable because you exposed members or visitors to dangerous employees through poor hiring practices.