The end of the year often brings one of many challenges for Condo Association Boards, which is Condo Association employee annual reviews. Your involvement in this process will depend on your community. Some Condo Associations can have half a dozen employees or more. Beyond your property manager, you might have assistant managers, concierges, office staff, chief engineers, and maintenance staff. Some communities fully delegate the performance review process of subordinates to the property manager. Other Boards may want to be more hands on and review every single employee. No matter what your situation, you must ensure that you are being consistent and effective with your Condo Association employee annual reviews.
Stay Consistent With Your Process
When you developed your initial process, you should have set ground rules with your Management and employees as to your level of involvement. You must stay consistent with this approach. Resist the urge to change your mind for whatever reason. For example, if one Board member had a bad experience with one concierge and now wants to rate all of them, self-police on the Board and don’t let that fly. If you must, change the process in future years, but don’t mess with the current one.
Similarly, if you set compensation expectations, do not shift them just to shift them. If your Association is suddenly broke, that’s one thing. But don’t change the method of rating, even if you screwed it up. Own the mistake, treat your staff fairly, and fix it for the next year.
Be Extra Cautious When Taking Corrective Action
If you are going to take corrective action, you need to be extra vigilant about providing feedback and documenting said feedback. This is a process that you need to be vigilant about throughout the entire year. If you think that corrective action is going to be termination, you may want to consult with your legal representation. There may be local rules you are not aware of that your lawyer can fill you in on.
Your Association also should set rules with Management as to when the Board wants to be involved in terminations. Make sure that you are empowering your Management to run the building appropriately and not creating unneeded hurdles.
Set Rules Among the Board for Providing Feedback
It is very important that the Board be careful to delineate throughout the year what is an individual Board member’s opinion versus the opinion of the Board as a whole. An individual Board member generally does not have the authority to discipline or speak for the Board. If one person is out of line, make sure that the Board as a whole slaps them down and makes it clear to Management that it was not a Board comment. In general, Board members should avoid citing individual displeasure. If a Board member feels they must do this, ensure they preface such feedback as “my personal opinion.” This is an issue Board members must be vigilant about self-policing. Inadvertent feedback can be damaging during Condo Association employee annual reviews.
Take the Process Seriously
Performance management is a critical part of any organization. Your Association is counting upon the Board to ensure that employees are professional and effective. Ensuring that everyone is pulling their weight is arguably a part of your fiduciary duty. Make sure that your Board understands its role versus that of Management when it comes to employees, and you’ll lead a Better Condo Life.