We recognize that this time of year can be a naturally quieter time for traffic. However, when we know that it is a “slow season” it becomes even more important for your leasing team to inject energy into their working week and be proactive in their activities so that their performance does not lag. Of course we set goals to achieve our business objectives. However, setting goals is sometimes the easy part.
We also need to ensure the right training is in place. This gives our employees the tools to do their jobs effectively and thus realize our business goals. A company that invests in an employee’s professional growth is really investing in its own business. Therefore it is essential to provide the leasing team with appropriate training and also to encourage the members to work on their professional development.
An important management practice is to maintain an open-door policy. Leasing people should feel comfortable communicating to their manager about job dissatisfactions. A good manager makes time to share concerns or give and take constructive feedback from their subordinates. In addition, if a manager becomes aware of an employee’s concerns, they have an opportunity to address any issues at an early stage. This can often resolve a situation before it has escalated. By taking control, the manager can also communicate the official company policy, if that is appropriate, or simply lend a receptive ear. Employees sometimes just want their feelings or concerns to be recognized and an available manager helps to fulfill that purpose. Knowing their manager supports them can be very beneficial to an employee’s morale, which in turn often leads to sustained or increased productivity.
One of the most popular ways of motivating our leasing teams especially at naturally quieter times is through incentive programs, which can be very effective. If targets are not being met however, it may be time to take a second look at our incentive program.
A good incentive program for the leasing team should include:
- Setting achievable goals. These are essential in maintaining the motivation of your leasing team. Unrealistic, unachievable goals run the risk of de-motivating the team, causing energy levels to plummet with disastrous consequences for the business.
- Be absolutely certain that your leasing people understand your expectations of them and how they will be rewarded for success. As a guideline, it is unwise to reward the team for only achieving minimal standards. Once the base requirements are being met consistently, you will have the foundation on which higher goals can be set.
- Consequences for failing to achieve targets. Ensure that there is a downside to not meeting the required standards. Sometimes people are motivated more by seeking to avoid an outcome, than by achieving one.
Make the incentive program's timeline clear so that everyone knows exactly when it starts, ends and that your evaluation will be of their output between these two points.
- Establish the reward up front and ensure that people have a clear picture in their mind of what they are working for – make sure that they can see the prize. If a person can imagine using it, they will feel its possible loss more acutely and should work harder to secure it. While cash is versatile, often other incentives can be more powerful. Selecting rewards that friends or family can share are often greatly effective e.g. Free dinner for two at a well-known restaurant. If the representative can share the results of her/his efforts with others, the incentive attains an additional social benefit that may increase its attraction and motivate them to succeed.