As the old saying goes “if you want something done, ask a busy person”.

We all know that there are few who are busier than a good Strata Manager. How then does the busy Strata Manager complete an ever-increasing to-do list? The answer, in my experience, is to have a strong support team.

The ‘Robin’ to the Strata Manager’s ‘Batman’, or ‘Thelma’ to their ‘Louise’.

Great, simple I hear you say. Unfortunately not. Finding the right support staff, as many will attest to, is difficult and time consuming.So how do you find the right person? I thought I would share a few tips that I have found, in my experience. Perhaps others can share their experiences in the comments section below?

A good support person doesn’t have to have Strata experience. Some of the best support people I have known have not had an understanding of what strata was until they joined the industry.

During the interview process, get to know the candidate as a person – not just a number.  By asking questions about them as a person (i.e. personal interests, hobbies etc) you can get a feel for the person & whether they are a good fit for the team they’re going to work with.

Where possible, involve the Strata manager/s who will be working with the support person in the recruitment process.

Undertake some testing during the recruitment process. Every candidate will tell you that they meet the required criteria. Simple testing to check their attention to detail and writing style will help determine if they are the right candidate.

Once the support person is recruited, for the relationship to work there has to be a strong foundation. Make sure that they are provided with an induction and proper training. If you throw someone in the deep-end without a life jacket, there is a good chance that they will sink.

From a Strata Manager’s perspective it is so important that you support, encourage and train your support team. We have spoken over the last few weeks about mentoring and how wonderful it can be. The first mentor any support staff should have is their Strata Manager.

We all know that training new staff can be quite time consuming. Often, for the first few months, it takes longer to have your support team complete a task than to do it yourself.

It’s worth it.

I know of countless support people who have gone on to become brilliant Strata Managers thanks to the time & effort of their Strata Manager in explaining things. I personally would not be where I am in my career today, if it wasn’t for the training, support and encouragement of my Strata Manager mentor.

Don’t just tell a support person what to do – tell them why they’re doing it. Encourage them to try something new & force them out of their comfort zone.  Make them part of the team. Take them to meet Committee members & inspect your buildings.

If you take the extra time in the short term, you will have so many benefits in the long term.

You might just see your sidekick turn into a superhero too!

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