How to Incentivise Community Managers
There are various ways in which coworking providers can incentivise Community Managers. As a recruitment expert, Jason suggests an array of solutions: “Leadership teams can establish player-coach relationships to build clear lines of communication and fully understand the challenges faced by Community Managers. Get creative with solutions which add accountabilities to the position. Or increase the accountabilities of less senior team members allowing Community Managers to specialise in a discipline that engages them, whilst providing pathways to other positions in the business or offering sabbaticals.”
MakeOffices already incentivises Community Managers by allowing them to specialise in disciplines which engage them. Jazmin states: “We allow Community Managers to work for members where they wish to do so. If a Community Manager is passionate about design, and a member is hiring a designer, why not let our employee pursue their passion? Leading on from this, we give Community Managers side projects alongside their Community Management duties, such as designing training programmes, which helped me progress from a Community Manager in one building to an Expansion Team Lead across all locations.”
In Brazil, Nex Coworking are incentivising employees through a strong vision and pathway to progression. The company has employed a horizontal hierarchy with support systems in place, allowing Community Managers to gain a full understanding of high level business decisions. This means they work in close proximity with the CEO and Founder of the business, empowering them to contribute to the business strategy.
Improving Retention Rates
Improving retention rates for many spaces means practicing what you preach, providing professional development and leadership support, improving cross-location communication and engaging employees with an entrepreneurial brand.
When it comes to practicing what you preach, Jason says “Most coworking providers promote entrepreneurial mantras to inspire personal and professional development. The Community team bear the biggest burden of delivering the consumer brand experience to members, but to achieve effective delivery, senior management must ‘walk the talk’ by providing the same experience to Community Managers as their employees.” Nex Coworking agree: “there’s no use writing one thing on the wall for your members and then practicing something different in a room with your team. There has to be a strong sense of intrapreneurship.”
On-boarding, training, support mechanisms and continued professional development should also be considered. Investing in team development pays off, which is why many coworking providers set aside a budget for professional courses. The leadership team at MakeOffices also provide Community Managers with a lot of support. Jazmin explains “As a Regional Director, I'm available to the Managers at any time of day, any day of week.” Nex Coworking reiterate this: “Taking care of employees is a huge priority. Our team is the focal point of our community and they cannot be empowered to deliver an incredible experience to members without support from the wider team.”
Cross-location communication is also crucial. At MakeOffices, Community Managers are in constant communication with other locations, sharing success stories and lessons learnt. The power of sharing management practices is also particularly useful to providers such as Nex Coworking with locations in Curitiba and Rio de Janerio. These communities have extremely diverse cultures, thus challenging their Managers in different ways.
It’s important for employers to request feedback from Community Managers. Jason highlights the most significant feedback he’s received as being “the lack of sensitivity towards the demands of a Community Manager from team members that are not. There tends to be little empathy for the unique toll member-facing demands can take on Community Managers. It’s therefore a good idea for all team members to spend time shadowing Community Managers to avoid HQ departments disconnecting from the product and service being delivered.” At Nex Coworking, the horizontal hierarchy aids strong lines of communication for feedback and MakeOffices ensure feedback is passed to the people who can make change happen.