It’s an unfortunate truth that even the most harmonious condo community or HOA will experience occasional friction between staff members, or between staff and management. Sometimes it’s a personality conflict, or a case of an employee behaving improperly or not fulfilling the duties expected of him or her. Regardless of the origin, staff-related problems can be a burden on any association. Fortunately, there are methods for dealing with these problems that can yield positive outcomes for everyone involved.
According to Matt Nerzig, communications director for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU-32BJ), the largest building service workers union in the country, the most common staff issues brought to the union’s attention generally revolve around open position cases, schedule changes, days-off and disciplinary actions.
According to Robert Francis, president of Planned Companies, a building services management and security firm based in Parsippany, habitual lateness is a major sticking point between associates, as are things like “poor communication—when things that occurred during a prior shift aren’t relayed completely or clearly.” Francis also says that disagreements over duties and job descriptions can cause acrimony as well.
Respect the Employee and the Process
“Our company has [over] 1,250 associates and growing,” says Francis, “so there will be issues. We are all human, we are not perfect, and mistakes can and will occur. It is how you handle them that can separate you as a company and as an individual from the pack.”
Often, how you handle a situation may involve a creative approach, says Peter Grech, former president of the New York Superintendents Technical Association (NYSTA) and a building manager for over 25 years. At a previous job where Grech was a resident manager, he was having difficulty with a 40-year-old porter who enjoyed the nightlife — to the point that he was perpetually late to work. Grech says he tried everything he could think of to encourage the guy to get it together and save his job, to no avail. Frustrated, Grech had one more trick up his sleeve—he called the employee’s mother.