Many aspects of HOA management can positively impact your HOA.
However, almost none of them will have as great of an effect as building a solid team that’s focused on your HOA’s goals.
So, how do you create a team of people committed to solving problems quickly and producing quality work?
The team you already have is likely to be the perfect one. All you have to do is bring out their best qualities. Members of the highest performing teams say the following:
• They’re encouraged to take risks.
• Their teammates are dependable.
• Goals and plans are clearly structured.
• Their work is personally meaningful to them. (What’s more meaningful than working to improve your community?)
• They believe their contributions make a difference.
Developing a team that reflects the above qualities relies on many skills traditionally considered “soft” because, unlike technical-based skillsets, it’s more difficult to teach specific methods and track progress for these skills. So, how can board members overcome this obstacle?
Below, you will find six principles that will help you focus on concrete strategies that, over time, will bring out your team’s best collective self:
Understand each teammate’s working preferences
Some people prefer to have large amounts of autonomy when they work, and some prefer to have more direction.
How can you tell which category your teammate falls into? Simply ask during projects if they need any feedback from you. After the first few projects, you will have a sense of that individual’s working preference and will be able to act accordingly during future interactions.
When collaborating with team members, remember to thank them regularly. A good best practice to follow is to thank them when they give you updates on their projects.
Create transparency around team goals and challenges
Regularly communicating with team members about goals during board meetings and in your emails is a great way to keep everyone’s eyes on the prize.
Just as important? Also reminding them about challenges impeding your goals – this will help foster ideas for overcoming obstacles.
Build positions for the individual
While creating structure is vitally important, also maintain the flexibility to allow individual team members to do specific tasks if that’s what they’re best at.
While the nature of most HOA-related tasks will be naturally self-selecting (a sociable person is more likely to volunteer to head the Social Committee than an extreme introvert, for example), there will always be instances where individual members are more suited to specific tasks than others. This is so even if, on the surface, it seems like all the individual members should have equal ability regarding a certain task.
Touch base with each team member frequently in both work and social contexts
The best teams are those whose members have great relationships with each other. While there should not be an expectation of being best friends, people respond well to feeling like they belong.
While the work of an HOA probably brings you together on a regular basis, scheduling occasional appreciation lunches or fun activities just for the group that regularly volunteers will make everyone feel more connected to the mission and encourage them to work harder for the HOA.
Focus on preventing problems
The best way to do this is to visibly track goals and to encourage everyone to ask questions. This will create a space for people to bring up concerns, which, in turn, will allow the team to begin coming up with solutions.
Navigating HOA management successfully takes a lot of teamwork. Implementing the above strategies may not produce immediate rewards, but over time, the momentum built through diligent team building and optimization will turn your HOA into a juggernaut of productivity.