Sharing Condo Association Work on a Board

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A Condo Association is a volunteer organization.  You know what you’re getting into and how a Condo Board works.  Unfortunately, you’ve got different types of Board members who work at different paces.  Some are the super type-A’s who work endlessly.  Some freeload.  Others get frustrated that some freeload and become disengaged.  The old saying goes: “Many hands make light work.”  The key is you need to find ways for effectively sharing Condo Association work to keep everyone engaged and accountable.

Consider Creating a System that Encourages Participation

Make sure the banner says “participate” not “freeload” – or you’re doing it wrong.

If your Condo Board needs structure, consider creating “best practices” that help set guidelines for work.  However, it is important that you make this a “best practice” concept as opposed to a code of conduct.  For example, you might set up a system where everyone takes turns writing responses to Owners on a rotating basis.  You might create certain types of work categories (i.e., financial, communications, committees, etc.) and assign Board members to manage each one and be responsible for related actions.  Whatever you decide, make it a collaborative effort.  Right after a Condo Board election or a few months after new members get comfortable might be a good time to have an annual work assignment exercise.

Help People Find Their Niche

While having a system is important, you also want to help people find work they enjoy.  If you’re lucky, Board members will come out and say what they like – maybe they love writing responses to Owners or working with numbers.  Other Board members must be guided towards finding what they love.  The key is to try to actively help everyone get engaged and contributing towards the Condo Association.  

Don’t Be Passive-Aggressive

In general, this is good advice.  When it comes to sharing Condo Association work, it’s crucial.  If someone is slacking, you need to politely – but clearly – ask them to contribute.  While you can’t make them contribute – unfortunately, this is a major issue on most Condo Boards – you can be polite and firm.  If that fails, hopefully it will rally other (productive) Board members towards dealing with the freeloader accordingly. 

Let Work Drive Priorities

This quote is one of my favorites, and captures a major challenge in sharing Condo Association work.

One of the worst types of Condo Board behavior is when a Board member comes up with ideas or critiques but refuses to do the legwork.  This behavior must be called out and shamed without remorse.  If a Board member opines about how they think a policy is poor and could be better written, challenge them to write it.  If they refuse and other Board members don’t find it a priority, call them out and tell them that if they want change, they need to do the work.  In 90% of the cases, they’ll grump and bitch and be passive-aggressive (see above)  and then drop it; 10% of the time they’ll actually go do the work.  Either way, problem solved.

Sharing Condo Association Work is Awkward – But Worth It

Many of these activities are awkward conversations to have.  No one really enjoys calling people out or assigning work.  The alternative, however, is stagnation and resentment.  If you have a Board that has dead weight, the productive Board members start to resent them.  They either get angry and confrontational or they stop working too, which is not good for the Association.  Make sure you’ve got a good system for sharing Condo Association work and you’ll lead a better Condo life.  


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