D&I and Employee Retention

D&I and Employee Retention

The nation is going through a major shift.

 

 

   A shocking report published by Forbes estimates that turnover is costing U.S companies a whopping $160 Billion a year and in September of 2018, 3.6 million Americans quit their jobs voluntarily. However, in the multifamily industry employee turnover is much worse. The annual turnover rate in the multifamily industry stands at 33% which is higher than the national average of 22%. Combine that with Property Managers entering the retirement age, the industry is in for a major talent crunch. Why is this happening?  

Some HR experts say that managers are assumptive in what makes their employees happy, stating that they feel their employees want benefits like a 401/K, company-paid perks (car, phone, or gym membership), and room to grow within the organization. While this is true, surveys find that benefits and long-term perks may attract employees to your organization, but it doesn’t encourage them to stay at your organization. So what does?

Belonging generates engagement. Recruiting and staffing firm The Dreamer Group says “Shockingly, a recent global study of engagement by the ADP Research Institute spanning 19 countries found that only 16% of employees worldwide consider themselves to be fully engaged–which means that a whopping 84% are not currently working at full potential. In the U.S. specifically, employee engagement sits at 17%.” And while many have heard the business case for why your organization should have a DEI strategy, and employers are attempting to make the shift towards creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce particularly after the death of George Floyd, a consistent problem arises. Many don’t know where to start in the creation of a D&I strategy in addition to implementing an important component of D&I, a sense of belonging.

First, what is diversity?

“Diversity is the practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations.” What does this mean exactly? Diversity moves beyond “inviting people to the table dance”. It involves the understanding that there are four types of diversity. With this understanding, you know the strategy you need to create, how to execute the strategy, and whom you need to partner with for the continued execution of said strategy. In this blog, we are going to focus on internal and organizational diversity. 

How does an organization or an individual use internal and organizational diversity to fabricate a diverse and inclusive organization?

First, you must acknowledge that no member of any internal diversity strategy is a monolith. Meaning no two white women are the same, not all disabled persons have visible disabilities, and so on. Second, training yourself and leaders on topics such as bias and empathy can provide you with perspective. Lastly, hire a consulting firm to create a survey to recognize the gaps in your organization, then ask current members of your organization to anonymously provide feedback. These are vital steps to creating a diverse and inclusive environment, and to be effective leaders must be willing to be receptive to feedback. 

Remember this, Internal diversity feeds into and can fuel organizational diversity. You can have mostly male executives (Gender Identity, and Seniority) and lack Hispanic/Latino(a/x) Mid-Level Executives. These gaps can cause major disruption in your organization such as high turnover, low-profit margins, and potentially a toxic work environment. 

Truth is…

Many will not recognize how the lack of diversity and inclusion impacts their business, despite the evidence. Not to mention, D&I strategies take months if not years to show a return on investment. However, we can no longer afford to look at D&I from a perspective of profits, a lack of belonging is a mental health issue.

In a case study involving over 800 workplaces by Jonathan S. Leonard and David L. Levine, professors at Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, CA, found “no consistent evidence that diversity itself increases turnover. In contrast, isolation from co-workers and from customers is often associated with higher turnover.”

There is a popular saying “Birds of a feather flock together.” This theory is based on similarity-attraction. Meaning, the more employees can connect and see themselves among leaders in the organization the more likely they are to stay. Having an organization that lacks diversity feels and is isolating. Imagine you are the only Asian Woman in your organization, you will probably feel pressured to conform to those around you and attempt to change who you are which is mentally and emotionally exhausting. This type of behavioral adaptation is called “code-switching.” It’s like wearing a metaphorical mask, disguising oneself for the sake of acceptance, or participating in organizational conformity. This can lead to what we know to be called “burnout” and emotional exhaustion. This is what they call “facades of conformity.”

As leaders, you have a choice. Create a diverse and inclusive workplace, not for the potential profit gains, but because you want your employees to stay, and your employees want to stay because they feel “seen.” They have a sense of belonging. This creates a better human experience within your organization. No one wants to feel isolated, burned out, or unvalued. Even when you are the only one in your organization “asked to dance”, that inclusive attempt without training, can feel performative, and inauthentic. 

To learn more about how to create a D&I strategy to increase employee retention register for this class taught by the author, L&B Manager of Digital Media, Liz Newkirk. Hosted by the Upper State Apartment Association.

About the author

Liz is the Co-Chair of the GCAA DEI Committee, and Chair of the Education Subcommittee on the Triangle Apartment Association DEI Taskforce. She has multiple certifications including DEI, Organizational Culture, and Ethical and Inclusive Leadership.

 

 

 

 

Stop your cases from being continued, or worse… dismissed.

Stop your cases from being continued, or worse… dismissed.

Have you had this happen to you? You have received word that the owners of your community are looking to sell. The weeks turn into months and you hear that negotiations are going well. The owners tell you that they will be closing the sale on a specific date, so you, of course, work diligently to close out contracts with your vendors, inform your residents, and brief your team on what’s to come. We understand that during this high pressured process, you may forget about communicating with your legal counsel. In this blog, we will discuss why this is VITAL to help ensure that the transition process to new ownerships goes smoothly. 

Why is this important? 

The Court’s Rules of Civil Procedure require that “[e]very claim shall be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest….” That means that if you’ve filed a case in the name of the Property’s old owner, and the closing occurs before the court date, then that old owner is no longer the “real party in interest.” How do you avoid this? 

Informing us early on in this process allows us to have these important discussions with you, so we can advise you on when and how to file these cases, in order to save valuable time. Additionally, In order to continue filing evictions for you and providing legal advice, we need the new owner to confirm they want us to represent them too. How? In the form of a new representation agreement. 

In addition to changes in ownership, though, it is equally important that you inform us of any management/staff changes, particularly when the managers or staff are no longer working for your community. Not only does this help us keep our contact information up to date so we can reach you more quickly with case updates and questions, but your employee logins serve to identify you on the filings you submit to us. By using a prior employee’s login credentials, you are electronically signing that person’s name to a document making legal representations about the case-related information you are transmitting to us. For this reason, please notify us immediately of any management/staff changes so that we can disable the old log in info and create fresh login info for the new staff members. 

Keep this in mind…

Remember, If you continue with our representation, the options from there will be limited: for the new Owner, the fastest and easiest way to proceed is to Dismiss the case(s) without prejudice and then re-file under the name of the new Owner. The other option would be to keep the current case(s) in place, but seek permission from the Court to perform substitution of Owner; that said, this option requires filing a Motion, having a Hearing in front of a District Court Judge and then proceeding with the eviction case(s) after that. This will take longer (30 days or more) and will cost more (our Motion and Hearing charges are higher than the cost of a new case filing). 

Notify us as soon as possible.

If your property is changing management or ownership, click here to let us know.

 

 

LGBTQ+ Fair Housing Q&A

LGBTQ+ Fair Housing Q&A

LGBTQ+ and Discrimination in Housing

What is Fair Housing?

The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination when they are renting or buying a home, getting a mortgage, seeking housing assistance, or engaging in other housing-related activities. Additional protections apply to federally-assisted housing.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Familial Status
  • Disability

Source: HUD.Gov

History of LBGTQ+ discrimination in housing.

LGBTQ+ persons face social stigma, discrimination, and rejection from their families because of their sexual identity. According to a study done by the Williams Institute, “Nationally, on average, approximately 3 complaints of sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in housing are filed for every 100,000 LGBT adults each year, compared to approximately 5 complaints of race discrimination filed for every 100,000 adults of color, and 1 complaint of sex discrimination filed for every 100,000 women.”

LGBTQ+ discrimination in housing

Managing Principal Chris Loebsack and Manager of Digital Media Liz Newkirk address these issues and more in our Q&A session regarding LGBTQ+ and Fair Housing.

Resources: