Property Management is a business of people helping people. It was truly an honour to be nominated for a Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement Award in the category of Employee Relations which comes from people. Every business strives to provide excellent customer service but it is all too easy to risk reaching for that goal at the expense of those who matter most – the employees who make it happen! We have been recognized many times in many ways for our dedication to customer service yet somehow this recognition is much sweeter than all of those combined.
We believe our employees are intelligent, successful people who work hard to continually improve. Hiring the right attitude and training for skill builds the best team. We expect our mangers to work closely with employees acting as a mentor and guiding them to where their natural talents benefit the company and our customers. We have completely revamped our annual performance appraisal program which includes a development plan for the coming year to help reach employee goals. Larlyn covers the cost of professional memberships, provides 100% tuition reimbursement for external courses and pioneered the in-house certification of Registered Condominium Managers in Ontario for which we were awarded for our contribution to education in the Property Management industry. Encouraging employees to further their education while working for the company not only creates a smarter, more connected workforce but increases employee morale when they know we believe they are worth investing in.
LARLYN CONTRIBUTED OVER $13,500 TOWARD EXTERNAL EDUCATION IN 2014 ALONE.
Beyond industry standard benefits including paid sick leave, paid bereavement leave and a comprehensive Group Insurance Plan, Larlyn believes a family that plays together stays together. Larlyn enjoys a healthy social interaction both at the regional level as well as interacting with our teams across regions wherever possible. Popular social events include:
- Ontario’s annual “Hacker’s” Day Golf Tournament – a fun way to spend an afternoon getting to know co-workers we might not get to interact with in person every day and laugh and chat about each other’s experiences.
- Staff Appreciation Barbeque – watch our CEO and President flip burgers and dogs in the parking lot of Head Office for a “bring your own lawn chair” break in the afternoon.
- Creative Holiday parties – unique to each region celebrating as a team as the year winds down and we plan a break to spend time with our families.
- Simple, random themed pot-luck lunches, chili cook-offs and cupcake buffets are sprinkled throughout the year to remind us to take a short break from the telephone and email to get some casual face time with each other.
It’s great to see the strengthened relationships and surprising amount of brainstorming on solving each other’s challenges that come out of these events.
FAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICIES
Larlyn is proud of its commitment to diversity in hiring practices. We are actively engaged with Goodwill and WIL Employment Connections providing quality employment support and career development for people in transition and newcomers to Canada. We are excited for our recent nomination by Goodwill Industries as “Employer of the Year!” We are also committed to fair employment practices throughout the entire employer-employee relationship including internally posting job vacancies before publicly advertising. Paired with our focus on education, training and development already discussed, this allows current staff the first chance at promotion and transfer opportunities.
Maintaining an open line of communication with management is an essential step in improving the employer-employee relationship. Quarterly All-Employee Town Hall Meetings where employees are informed of important company information, new clients, personal successes and measurement against our annual goals are held with a welcoming opportunity to ask questions. A popular component of these meetings is peer recognition where employees encouraged to share examples of how their co-workers improved their working environment and are rewarded with tokens of appreciation like Tim Horton’s and Starbucks gift cards. It is amazing to see recognition coming from across different departments and even regions building that sense of teamwork across the country.
Our custom intranet, “LarlynONE” comprehensive Orientation Manuals unique to each regional office provide 24/7 access to the tools required to perform our job to the best of our ability.
Managers who focus on employee relations devote a significant amount of their time to measuring and ensuring job satisfaction. The most effective task is identifying what underlies employee satisfaction and resolving matters that cause dissatisfaction in the workplace. Larlyn management meets to engage their regional or departmental staff with periodic exchanges not only for operational updates but routine “pulse checks” about how we are feeling. A popular tool instigated by one of our department leaders allow every single team member to write, anonymously or not, one word on a post-it note describing how they are feeling. Feelings are discussed successes and challenges are shared and a game plan is brainstormed as a team with the goal of continually improving those feelings. More importantly, the support and assistance with implementing these action plans is provided by executive leadership.
We are proud of the success stories of many current employees who have developed from Assistant Property Managers to Property Managers to Senior Property Managers to Regional Managers to Vice Presidents and continue to welcome back employees who left for various reasons and return to us as we continue to improve. When our co-founders established the business in the basement of their home 40 years ago, they eventually grew into office space and hired employees. Some of whom were recently acknowledged with plaques and gifts for their own 20, 15, 10 and 5 year anniversaries with Larlyn. We are thrilled to call them family.