Sunday, August 15, 2021

Building Trust with your team

As a leader or manager ensuring that trust is built with the team is very important. Trust is what ensures the team works confidently and without any doubts. 

Gaining the trust of the team is not easy and it takes time. It has to be gained through words and actions. The behaviors one must portray to build trust are 

1. Being open and frank with your team

As a leader one needs to be open with their team. Ive had managers that would give a deadline 2 days earlier than the actual deadline. The team is eventually going to find out and they will never believe in the manager again. A leader should be able to give bad news as easily as giving good news to the team. Its necessary to be open and frank with the team. 

2. Showing courage in decision making

A leader needs to have courage. Courage to make decisions, tell a team member when they are not performing well, tell stakeholders when things are not going to plan and so on. They should not shy away from the hard decisions and should be ready to absorb the consequences and carry their team through. 

3. Keeping to your commitments and promises

The leader should stand up and ensure that the commitments they make to the team are achieved. As the leader keeps their commitment, the team will start trusting the leader more. At the same time they will also start to meet their own commitments thus helping the team meet their objectives. 

4. Keeping the focus of the team razor sharp

Being focused on the objectives and ensuring the team is aligned accordingly is very important. Ensuring that the objectives of the team are clearly articulated and conveyed to the team is very important. 

5. Having the respect of the team

Having the respect of the team is very important. Insubordination should be stamped out quickly. A leader should be able to run their team, the team should not run their leader. Respect can be earned or thrust upon. The one that is earned is more powerful and long lasting. Usually doing the above four - being open, having courage, showing commitment and being focused helps gain respect. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Communicate, communicate, communicate

 As a community manager it is very important to ensure that a 2 way communication exists between the residents of the community and the Community Management Office. I am not so focused on the modes of communication such as the call center, email, social media, messengers, walk-in and so on, this post is more about the types of communication that needs to exist. 

1. News and Information 

Everyone likes to be aware and more so aware of the things happening around them. News of happenings in the community should be sent out in a timely manner. These can be periodic once a quarter for the planned news information (Newsletters) and information that cannot wait for a newsletter. Some examples of such information that needs to be sent out are 

  • Utility service interruptions due to water tank cleaning, disruption in supply, breakdown, etc
  • Pest control activities and which areas to avoid
  • Community Events
  • Road diversions due to works happening
  • New rules/processes implemented 
The information should be targeted, if there is a service interruption in a building, the information should not be sent to the whole community. Nobody likes spam and also if there is too much information sent it will be lost and not read. 

2. Communicating Fees and Charges

Nobody likes surprises especially when it comes to money. It is very important to make sure all fees and charges are clearly documented and communicated and there are no surprises. Once these fees and charges are levied on a resident, the community management team should ensure it is delivered to the resident. These invoices and the statement of account should be available to the resident to access at any point of time. 

3. Complaint Management 

In a community there would be complaints from the residents, although all community managers wish this away it is not going to be so. Residents should have an easy way to record a complaint, be acknowledged immediately that the complaint is recorded and then the complaint should be tracked to closure in a timely manner. This is very important to have in place to make sure the residents feel that they are being heard and that their concern is being addressed. 

4. Face to Face Communication 

Sometimes residents want to be heard face to face. It is important to make sure community managers and building supervisors are always available to them. An appointment system can be implemented where for an hour or two community managers and building supervisors can meet with residents either on site in the community or at the office. 

Saturday, August 07, 2021

Having heart in what you do

13 years ago I wrote about how "Having pride is key to quality" and this was written in the context of the software services industry. But having worked since then mostly in the services industry, I have come to realize more and more that one needs to have "heart" in their work to give their best. 

What do I mean by putting your heart in what you do? It essentially means you care. You care about how the service is delivered, you care about the quality of the service, the timeliness of the delivery, you care about the happiness of the customer. 

When one cares, automatically every detail is addressed. This ensures a high quality of delivery, the customer experience is great and you end up with a happy customer. 

Happy customers end up giving you more business. 

Putting ones heart in what they do, has to come from within each one. It cannot be thrust upon or commanded. So find the job that you want to put your "heart" into what you do and excel at what you do. 

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

A case for ANPR Cameras in residential communities

 Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras are cameras that can capture and digitize vehicle number plates. We know them very well for the speed radars and that is how speeding fines are issued instantly. Ive known them to be around for 8-9 years but off late they have become affordable and more widely used with integration into resident portals. 

Once ANPR cameras are installed at all the entry gates and exit gates, the most important thing to do is to integrate it into the resident portal, so that tenants and owners can register their vehicles into the system and also they can register their visitors into the system. This way every private vehicle entering into the community can be recognized. 

What are the benefits of such a system?

  1. There is no recurring cost needed such as issuing RFID cards or tags. This reduces the cost of issuance of the access control. 
  2. Improves the safety and security as every vehicle that is entering and leaving the community is recorded and is there for ready reference at any time. 
  3. Violations with regards to parking, speeding and any other infringement can be strictly afford as you know now whose vehicle it is. 
  4. Visitors that are staying longer than they are permitted can be identified easily.
  5. Can understand the frequency of usage of the gates and deploy resources accordingly at high frequency hours. 
  6. Get knowledge about the performance of guards at the gates by analyzing the number of times they manually overrode the system to open the barrier. 
  7. Keep track of taxis entering and leaving the community with caps on how long they can stay inside the community. 
  8. Do occupancy and other demographic analysis based on the type of vehicles coming to the community analyzing such attributes such as type of vehicle, vehicle manufacturer and the number of vehicles coming in and going out.
  9. During any emergency you can filter exactly how many vehicles are there inside and make informed decisions accordingly. 
  10. Provide accurate information to law enforcement about any vehicle under surveillance.
 The two biggest players in the United Arab Emirates is SSK Technologies and Candid Camera Systems.

You do what you are

In the 2001 movie Along came a spider, there is an interesting quote by Morgan Freeman where he says "You do what you are" and the...