To date, more than 500 staff from over 100 buildings have participated in the program, which actively engages participants in communication activities and provides useful tips to improve their performance. The course was created and led by Jaime Sikorski, a hospitality industry veteran with 20 years’ experience training front-line employees of luxury hotels.
“This customized training emphasizes the critical nuances of providing great customer service in the context of our company’s core values, and uses team building exercises to make it a fun learning experience,” said Dan Wurtzel, president, FirstService Residential. “Among other skills, participants learn techniques to help build confidence in effectively communicating with residents.”
Communication, both in quantity and quality, cannot only improve a situation, it can also enhance teamwork, processes, and accountability. The course stresses the importance of understanding that the phrases we use are equally important as what our body language conveys while we are speaking.
“While we may not be able to say ‘yes’ to every request, we have a responsibility to avoid saying ‘no,’” explained Sikorski, a FirstService Residential general manager. “By being empathetic and working together with residents to discuss alternatives, a mutually acceptable solution often can be found.”
Michael Urena, GM at University Towers, a 551 unit co-op, participated in the program with 20 members of his staff. “My team was able to put into perspective the different ways we can assist our residents to feel good and show that we care,” said Urena. “Putting into practice the effective listening and communication techniques will improve our ability to create an allaround positive experience for residents.”
George Ferruzola, a security officer at University Towers, found the segment on effectively handling challenging situations particularly helpful. “Residents do get upset from time to time, but I now have new skills to use when interacting with an impassioned resident in order to properly resolve the conflict.”
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