Inside Self-Storage

DEC 2018

Inside Self-Storage (ISS) is an information source for industry owners, managers, developers and investors covering news, trends, facility operation, finance, real estate, construction, development, marketing, technology, insurance and legality.

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Page 45 of 55

S ome self-storage owners pay little to no attention to their company culture. The irony is ignoring your culture still creates one—a poor one. According to research from marketing firm HubSpot Inc., 64 percent of employees feel their company has a weak culture. That's a serious issue plaguing the modern workforce. The problem can be compounded in a self-storage environment, as most facilities have extremely small teams. Even in multi-site brands, the properties are generally widespread. Facility owners often take a hands-off approach to operation; but if culture isn't consciously and regularly addressed, the business will suffer and employees will leave. It can be the reason you keep or lose quality staff. Company culture is unique to each business and must be nurtured from within; but it's more than just free food and "casual Fridays." So, what's the culture at your company? Is it rich in values and actions that support progress and employee satisfaction? How can you make it better? Listed below are seven pivotal elements that will help you create a healthy work environment in which employees can flourish and excel. Insight from a facility operator By Rick Beal 7 Elements of a Thriving Work Culture Communication Do the people in your company feel heard? Are employees able to provide feedback up the leadership chain? Are those comments taken seriously? Too often, supervisors have no problem giving feedback, but they're no good at accepting it. With some of your workforce possibly thinking they're being taken for granted and underutilized, communication up and down the ladder is essential. Employees can feel uncomfortable discussing their issues with supervisors. I get it; I've been there. They're afraid of repercussions. They don't want to upset the boss, so they "go along to get along." Your responsibility is to create an environment in which staff feel safe and able to express their thoughts and concerns. During your next one-on-one with your team, try asking, "Is there anything you want to learn more about, either inside or outside the company? Is there something to which you feel you could contribute more? Is there anything you'd like to discuss?" Demonstrate that you're ready to listen and address their comments. Innovation Innovation in storage? It's storage! How much more inventive can people be? If you think this way, hang your head in shame! Storage has more opportunities to innovate than many other industries today. In the past five years, we've merely passed mile one on the marathon to modernization. As a self-storage owner or supervisor, you need to constantly search for fresh ways to solve problems, reduce stress and increase creativity. Guess who sees the most operational issues every day? The people who deal with them—your staff! Give them encouragement to try new things. You can always go back to the way old way if the new ideas don't pan out. Milieu Everyone enjoys working somewhere that's comfortable, healthy and well-equipped. You can create such a place without spending a fortune, and the benefits for employees expand over time. If your team is suffering without the right equipment and supplies while you pull up to the site in your new BMW, your staff will begin to resent you and may consider leaving. They might even key your pretty car on the way out! Make sure your team has company shirts, business cards with only their names on them, and office chairs that are replaced more than once a century. Encourage employees to take breaks and provide them with healthy snacks. Do your part in contributing to staff's physical well-being. LEARN MORE! Learn more from author Rick Beal in the videos "The Culture of Awesome: Motivating Self-Storage Employees to Their Full Potential" and "Rent That Unit! Self-Storage Sales Strategies to Seal the Deal," both available exclusively at 44 ISS I December 2018

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