Conflict resolution

Covid19 has been very stressful for everyone and one thing it has done is increase the number of complaints and debates.

Here’s 8 tips which I’ve found to work in dealing with people:

1. Be calm.Losing your temper and arguing typically isn’t the best way to get them to collaborate with you. It is always better to assume a calm persona.

Someone who is calm is seen as being in control, centered and more respectable. When the person you are dealing with sees that you are calm despite whatever they say you will start getting their attention.

2. Understand the person’s intentions.

I’d like to believe that no one is difficult for the sake of being difficult. Even when it may seem that the person is just being difficult, there is always some underlying reason that is motivating them to act this way. Rarely is this motivation apparent. Try to identify the person’s trigger: What is making them act in this manner?

What is stopping them from cooperating with you? How can you help to meet their needs and resolve the situation?

3. Get some perspective from others. In all likelihood, your colleagues, managers and friends must have experienced similar situations in some way or another. They will be able to see things from a different angle and offer a different take on the situation.

Let the person know where you are coming from.

One thing that has worked for me is to let the person know my intentions behind what I am doing. Sometimes, they are being resistant because they think that you are just being difficult with them.

4. Build a rapport. With all the computers, emails and messaging systems, work sometimes turn into a mechanical process. Re-instill the human touch by connecting with your clients on a personal level. This builds relationships and trust.

5. Treat the person with respect. No one likes to be treated as if they are stupid/incapable/incompetent. If you are going to treat the person with disrespect, it’s not going to be surprising if they treat you the same way as well.

6. Focus on what can be actioned upon.

Rather than harp on what you cannot change, focus on the actionable steps you can take to forward yourself in the situation.

7. Escalate to a higher authority for resolution.

8. When all else fails, escalate to your manager. I found it to be the most effective in resolving the issue even if they are saying the same thing you have already advised the client previously.

Transparency

With a large company and your focus on growth it’s important to be transparent with your plans and ides for the company and staff.

They need to be able to confidently do their job which can be impacted if they are not sure of the plans of what they may need to do.

Empower them by asking for feedback

Do they have any ideas that may help?

Are there any changes in the current staff or equipment that you may need to change?’

Does the team need any further training to help with the new changes?

All of the above is necessary in succeeding in your plans.

Are you all organised for holidays?

When there are seasonal holidays you need to be prepared ahead of time to ensure your business still runs smoothly and effectively.

First thing to do:

Greate a Xmas planner well in advance and schedule all staff leave from each department with a due date.

Create what days you will be open during this time what days you will be closed.

Let all staff know about this.

Find out if any of the tradespeople will be on leave proactively to avoid disappointment at the time – especially during such a busy time.

Communicate the opening hours with all your clients and include a poster of this clearly on your front door well ahead of time.

Find out what tasks will be due during this time and proactively divide it with the staff working.

Have the emergency phone readily available.

Nearer to the time, recheck all tasks and staff to ensure everyone is still available.

Have a back up plan in case of sickness as well.

Think about what is due around that time or – bills due, rubbish collection. Any deliveries

Check in on the team.

Once you have opened up again have a meeting to see what went well and what we might change for next year.

Doing some of the above will heal during such a busy time.

Emergency plan

Emergency procedure

In every office you should have an emergency procedure and clear emergency exit so it’s clear where to go; And most importantly update it if you have had some structural changes.

You must have regular practice runs so everyone knows where to go in the event of an emergency

Appoint two key emergency leaders with the correct hard hat and high visability vest and make sure they understand the emergency plan as well.

Have a employee list with phone numbers as well as a car registration list- update regularly

Have it as part of the induction process as well

Have a copy in each office

Make sure everyone knows where the extinguisher is and how to use it.

Make sure it is serviced regularly

Hopefully you will never need to actually use it in a real event but will be confident that every employee knows what to do if needed

Tradespeople

Tradespeople

Do you have quite a few tradespeople and lose count on who you use. Do you have the most up to date details for them all?

Do you regularly monitor the prices and quality to ensure you are giving your clients the best service?

These are all questions that you need to ask when looking after a large office.

Quite often the contractors stay with certain companies for many years and can become complacent, so you need to regularly monitor the prices with other companies to ensure you are still getting the best prices. 

We have approx. three companies for each service, so this is a great way to monitor the prices.

We also keep them up to date with any changes in our office by emails and newsletter so they are aware and can work with us effectively

Service – The program we use lets us get feedback from our tenants as well things like cleanliness and promptness which they rate on 5 star. The tradespeople think this is a great way of building up their reputation as well.

Thanking them – often we are so busy we forget to say thank you for all the hard work they do for us in a quick turn around time. Especially when it’s an emergency.

Its great to do things like arrange a Tradie BBQ to say thanks and meet the team as well. Maybe have a door prize with business cards.

Hope this helps you build a great tradespeople team

Newsletters- do they get read?

Do you have a current newsletter?

Does it get read?

Do you have it as a source of information for your clients as well.

A well planned newsletter should have:

  1. Any new legislation information or changes
  2. Any discounted services that you can offer or tradespeople can offer
  3. Any information like Xmas holidays or any new software your company is using
  4. Office hours and emergency hours so everyone has it

Exclusive to tenants:

  • The vacate process
  • What to expect
  • Any discounted services if using your preferred tradespeople
  • Routines – any natural remedies for cleaning and handy hints
  • Consider a competition? Maybe a clean kids room and voucher – this gets the kids involved and excited for the routine

For Owners:

  • Any specific service you suggest – landlord insurance and why you need it
  • Tax depreciation and why this is important
  • What maintenance is their responsibility
  • Opening hours

Hopefully this helps you get a well read newsletter

Staff Conflict

With any large company you will inevitably get someone that doesn’t get on with another person.

This is completely normal.

What you need to do is make sure that you sort the conflict quickly and effectively so at least they are respectful of each other in the work environment.

Maybe it is a misunderstanding –

Maybe it’s two strong personalities-

Whatever the reason better to get it sorted.

Firstly gather each person separately and ask their feedback on the issue if they haven’t come to your first to discuss it.

Make sure you are clear to not take sides on the matter. Offer examples of where you can see both sides.

Suggest they have a coffee outside of the office to see if they can sort the problem themselves.

If not then suggest the meeting in the office to facilitate the conversation and help the mediation by explaining to each person what your hearing from both sides. That way you can intervene if it gets heated.

With two confident people you will have most likely get some conflict but if handled well they will actually turn out to be each other’s best support.

Once the meeting is complete make sure you follow up with each party in a week to see how it is going.

What we need more of is support for each other in such a tough environment ❤️

Hope this helps conflict in your office

Car accidents – Are you prepared?

If you have company cars it is inevitable that you will have someone have an accident in one.

Whether minor or major it’s important to have a policy and procedure manual to ensure the person knows what to do and what steps to follow.

This can be essential in helping them remain calm.

Have a laminated instruction checklist in the glovebox so the person knows exactly what to do.

On the list:

Have the office number

Emergency contact person details

Policy number with registration

Claim line

Make sure you ring the office to inform them of the crash so someone can attend and assist you, especially if there are any injuries

Get the following:

The other parties drivers licence, address, name and car information.

Take lots of photos of both cars.

Most importantly keep calm.

This should help you be your staff keep in control during this situation

Let your Human Resources person know as well if there is a workcover compensation claim possible so they are aware.

Check up on the person the day after to check they are dealing with the situation mentally as well as physically. Follow up regularly afterwards to ensure they are dealing with it well.

Also remember to regularly update the information in the cars as well as let the staff know as you may have a change of staff and they may not know.

You may not be able to avoid the accident but you can ensure you will handle the process well and supporting the staff member during the process.

Changing over programs

So the time is right; you are going to change subscription to a more up to date system that has alot new improved sections making your everyday tasks easier to complete.

Make sure you do your homework and ask the little questions to ensure a smooth transition.

Here are some tips.

Write a to do list. See what tasks you complete each day and write them down.

Check with the support team that there are provisions for the new system to cope and even ask for a sample demonstration to pick up any loose ends.

When handling the receipting tasks, are they similar? Are there parts missing?

End of month reporting – even simple things like average weekly rent or average management fee, some providers do not currently have this available in their EOM reporting so you manually have to add everything up.

Training- so important to make sure all staff have adequate training so when you change over they are confident to do their applicable tasks

Preparation – are there clean up items you need to finalise before moving over or merging? Are there aligned programs that integrate that need work?

Timing – this is crucial in a smooth transition. I always recommend after EOM so it’s not confusing on the statements for the owners.

Tradies – do they need to prepare for the change? Does it effect how they operste

All of the above is vital in a smooth transition, be prepared.

Getting the most out of conference

Conference are a great way to mingle with other like minded people and learn something new that may assist you with your chosen role.

Since spending so much for the tickets ensure you plan ahead to make sure you get great value.

Research – find out what speaker is featured and what time. Create a planner for yourself so you don’t miss out on something valuable.

Clothing – smart but casual, and most importantly comfortable shoes – don’t go breaking in new shoes at these events you could regret it.

Awards Night – there is usually an evening event with complementary drinks – drink wisely – remember you have more work tomorrow and have paid for this opportunity.

Take good notes at each seminar and review each night to get the most out of the day.

Food – there will be a lot of deliciousfood at these types of events, eat wisely so you are not tired or become ill from food you don’t normally eat.

Fruit in the afternoon is a great way to start alert.

Hope some of these tips help you enjoy your next Conference.