Property managers face their fair share of hazards in the workplace. From day-to-day issues like tenant conflict to unexpected gas leaks and pipe ruptures, a lot can happen in a short amount of time, especially when you’re not prepared.
And while some disturbances you can see coming, you may not be so lucky with others. That’s why it’s necessary to prioritize the safety of yourself, employees, and tenants. The instant something happens, you need to have the tools and tactics to respond urgently, notify affected parties, and escalate actions to resolve things back to normal.
Because of the nature of your operations, joint responsibility is required in managing risks. As a property manager, you need to work together with your staff and tenants to minimize disruption, so everyone can benefit from a safer, more peaceful working and living environment.
Here are 6 ways property management companies can help amplify safety for employees.
But first, why should you care about workplace safety?
Your employees are your most valuable asset and a critical resource that drives your business forward. If it weren’t for them, none of your operations would make it off the ground, so they must be safeguarded.
Not only do they turn the wheels of your day-to-day operations, but your employees are the ones who determine your business continuity in the event things come to a standstill or if productivity takes a major hit.
By keeping your staff safe and informed, you’re putting them in the best positions to problem-solve. Even when business gets interrupted, you can trust that your employees know what to do to resolve conflicts, streamline communications, and return operations to normal as quickly as possible.
As a result of promoting workplace safety, your business can experience increased ROI, renewal rates, and less churn and costs that go out the window. Plus, all this streamlining creates a more positive tenant experience and an attractive place to work.
6 ways to make your property safer for employees
1. Recognize the hazards
The best way to handle incidents is by getting in front of them before they occur. Preparation and developing relationships with first responders, municipalities and government officials can help you control or correct risks on your property before they escalate.
Whether you’re serving an eviction notice to an uncooperative tenant or managing a fire that breaks out in your building, having plans and policies in place for potential hazards can make your response easier and more efficient and can better keep everyone safe.
It’s your responsibility to be aware of potential safety issues from the get-go and develop a system for responding and reporting incidents, which also directly impacts the costs of running and repairing your property.
You need to consider all scenarios that threaten your people and property, including who to involve in the incident and in what capacities. By implementing early advisory alerts for emerging threats, you can get ahead of the problem and know what to expect.
2. Strategic environmental design
Your physical surroundings play a big part in accident and incident prevention. Ensure your property’s common areas are well-lit and pathways are clear if you need to evacuate or access entry and exit routes quickly.
With a mass notification system, you can document and communicate these notices to all employees ahead of time, so they’re familiar with the property’s layout should an incident arise.
Similarly, suppose your property staff encounters a threatening situation such as an active shooter or violent interaction. In this case, they can warn other employees and tenants in real-time and include mapped routes that are safe for them to use to vacate the premises.
Smart environmental design for your property is a relatively easy and affordable way to keep your employees and tenants safe. Additionally, investing in a security system and strategically locating cameras to maintain a complete view of your property can further help you mitigate risks associated when your staff is on the job.
3. Effective communications solution
Preparing, responding, and recovering from a property-related incident requires good communication. And there’s no better tool than one that’s multipurpose. A mobile-first mass notification service can take care of everyday communication between your staff, such as unit inspections and service outages to emergencies like flooding and evacuation.
Having a centralized place where your employees can access notices on-demand, communicate timelines to staff when services begin and resume, and notify tenants when a service is restored is invaluable to their safety and your business productivity.
In just seconds, everyone on your property can be made aware of serious situations and receive clear instructions on how to respond. By design, mass notification technology keeps employees and tenants safe by pinpointing the exact whereabouts of an incident, who’s affected, and relevant muster points with rich media and supporting documents that help you make smarter decisions.
4. Lone worker support
While it’s true there’s strength in numbers, sometimes your employees work alone, and with that comes increased risk or exposure to potential harm. Empower your remote or lone workers to initiate emergency alerts or instant notifications to communicate essential safety information.
With a mass notification system, lone workers can broadcast their GPS coordinates if they’re not visible so others can locate them and step in to support where needed.
Employees can detail their location and situation through two-way communications and real-time feedback like one-click responses and simple polls.
5. Regular training and practice
You could have all the plans and policies in place but still fail to protect your employees and property if you don’t apply what you know into practice. Catch your staff up to speed with regular training, so you can prepare for the worst-case scenarios and overcome them.
Periodically schedule fire drills, test your alarm system, and send test alerts and notifications to help prepare maintenance workers, cleaning crews, and administrative staff for how to react during a threat or emergency when it comes to the real deal.
6. Apply lessons from past incidents and emergencies
One of the most effective ways to prevent an incident from recurring is to use past events to inform future actions. Promote hazard awareness training for your team, monitor risks on an ongoing basis, and develop a regular review process that investigates how risks relevant to your property may evolve over time and how they can be better managed.
Just because you’ve completed a risk assessment once doesn’t mean you’re all set going forward. Hazards vary depending on multiple factors, and you need to continually work with your staff to ensure they have the right tools and the most up-to-date understanding of how to respond. Leverage the insights from previous incident reports and analytics to correct and influence your future practices.
Protect your people – first, last, and always
Although it may not seem like it, property managers face unique challenges, many of which include diffusing situations that require stepping out of the office, monitoring maintenance issues, and responding to tenant complaints.
Because managing risk is a vital part of their duties, property managers must have a robust communications plan to help minimize damage, inconvenience, and injuries to create better working and living conditions for their employees and tenants