A high performing team demands a rigid policy and procedures manual. The framework of a high performing team draws a connection between the position descriptions, key performance indicators and the policy and procedures guide. Without an up to date version, it is difficult to successfully onboard new team members, upskill existing team members and drive autonomy and accountability across the business.
In a previous post, I discussed the best way to create a policy and procedures guide for the office. Just to recap I suggested two key things. Firstly, schedule a time in the weekly team meeting to work on a new procedure and before long you will have a complete guide. Secondly, keep the guide short, 1-2 pages only for each procedures and keep it in checklist type format.
Keeping your policy and procedures guide current is a very different animal. As you grow you will need to onboard new team members, promote existing team members and maintain a continued development program for everyone. Building out a procedures guide for your business is the first step. The key to it working effectively in your business, is to have a strategy to continually update it and evolve it as the business grows.
When you built your policy and procedures guide, you deliberately kept it to 1-2 pages. This allows the team to use it more as a checklist than a guide. Great for onboarding new team members and creating a consistent service to your clients. This also allows the document to remain dynamic and easy to update on a regular basis.
There a number of ways to keep the procedures guide current. Using the same format as when you created the guide, continue on with reviewing each procedure at your weekly team meetings. Each week take an existing guide and review it. I would suggest that if you revisited each guide 2-3 times a year, you will find minor changes in each of the processes. This also allows any new team members that have joined the business since it was last reviewed, to engage with the team and contribute to its update.
Another way, to update the guide, is to use an event that may have happened as a training, opportunity. There are so many different moving parts in the property management business, that one session of planning won’t catch every scenario for a guide. You inevitably find that, through no fault of a team member, the guide will fail. Use this as a case study to review the procedure guide and highlight the areas where the guide failed. The team can then review the guide and suggest changes to prevent this from happening again.
Like with every process in property management, creating it once isn’t enough. Each needs to have a way of being reviewing to keep it current, both for the business and for the team. It is crucial that, if the team members are to have autonomy and be held accountable to their role, that they have a documented reference point to refer to.