When I first got into property management, they brought out this big binder that said “EMPLOYEE MANUAL” and set it in front of me and said, “Here you go!” I read this thing from front to back in an effort to know exactly what the company expected from me and what I could expect from them. When I look back at this binder and think about how I was expected to know most of what it contained, I try and see how this would work It wasn’t effective then and now the average attention span is much shorter today than it was many years ago.
When you are hiring new team members, it’s key to make their first few days in our industry something that they can see long term value in, creating a learning environment is a critical first step. The younger generation coming into our industry has grown up being mobile so we need to consider this when we are looking at training platforms. There are many videos on YouTube that are invaluable resources. You can sit a new employee in front of solely videos and feel that their training is underway. Though, you will find this is about as bad as the thick binder as it will not keep their, or anyone’s, attention for long.
Keeping their attention is the key, you have to remember they grew up with this technology and they are used to going from video to video or quick chats on the multiple social sites. Microsoft conducted a study done where they found that attention spans have decreased in time from 12 seconds to 8 seconds since 2000. This doesn’t necessarily mean their attention spans function differently. The results simply mean that we allocate our attention differently. Multitasking, a necessity in most modern workplaces, dictates that we stay on our toes.
Making your learning somewhat entertaining and not much more than 15 minutes in length goes a long way towards making it relevant to today’s employees and increases its effectiveness. A key aspect would be to make the training interactive, where they would need to respond to inputs. The information should also be motivational and geared toward learning the path further up the management ladder and they should want to continue increasing their skill sets over time. In combination, these developments in learning are paying huge dividends in the form of increasingly competent, knowledgeable employees.
The property management industry is in need of the younger generation helping us continue to be a great field. These few ideas can help us train them in a manner they are accustomed to dealing with.