FCAP Community—July 2021

FCAP Community

Published July 2021

Florida Community Association Professionals’ (FCAP) training is offered on two levels. Level one consists of courses meeting Florida’s continuing education requirements for CAMs, and level two is the Florida Advanced CAM Studies (FACS) course. For further information about the more than 38 online continuing education classes available or to pursue the Certified Florida Community Association Manager (CFCAM) designation, please visitwww.fcapgroup.com/membership/education-training/.

Marcy L. Kravitz


Employee Engagement in Community Associations, Part II

Marcy L. Kravit, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, CFCAM


     Editor’s Note: This is Part II of a two-part series that addresses employee engagement. The first part was published in the June 2021 issue and can be read at www.fcapgroup.com/employee-engagement.com. It addresses five ways to foster a positive work environment as follows: Get to know your employees, provide them with tools for success, let them know how the community is doing, allow them to grow, and support them. Part II continues with an additional eight ways to foster a positive work environment.

  1. Recognize your team and their hard work. A manager who recognizes and acknowledges a job well done is an essential when improving employee engagement best practices. To be a successful manager, it is good to understand what form of recognition works best for your staff. Words of encouragement can go a long way in this regard. A “good job” or “thank you” regarding a task may be just what that employee needed to push forward or to continue to do just as well at performing his or her job. Taking it a step further, consider holding an employee recognition day, or, if the community can, try offering a monetary bonus to those who truly go above and beyond. Recognition helps to foster positive attitudes and healthy behavior in the workplace, which is a key factor to elevating the levels of employee engagement. Employee team meetings are key. This is an opportunity to recognize employees’ efforts, issue an employee of the quarter award, and identify and communicate the upcoming projects.
  2. Encourage teamwork among employees. There is a reason why people sign up to participate in team sports. When a group of people pulls together to win the big game, it often comes as an infectious feeling that engages everyone around them—from teammates to the fans—the sense of camaraderie and success spreads like wildfire! The same can be said for the workplace environment. When a large account or significant client needs your services, developing a strong team of employees gives them a sense of greater purpose. Pulling them together to work toward a big goal can be incredibly satisfying and allows them to bounce ideas off each other to ultimately meet the needs of your client. It adds a sense of cooperation, consideration, and confidence in not only each other but in the community itself.
  3. Find employees who care about the community. Research shows that engaged employees are likely to provide exceptional customer service. In today’s virtual world everything is digital or online, and service can end up being a secondary concern. However, if you look at the most successful companies, their employees maintain an excellent rate of high service to their customers. Occasionally surveying your community to find out what areas need improvement is a good way to keep motivating your staff to improve their communication skills. If your employees care about the concerns of the residents, they are more willing to go above and beyond to help solve issues.
  4. Listen to and act on employee feedback. Listening to what your residents have to say is important, but so is listening to your employees. Having regular meetings to determine what areas of your workplace environment need improvement is an important part of keeping the employees engaged with the organization. If there is a situation within the internal workings of the community that goes unnoticed or unaddressed by management, it sends an unfavorable message to your staff. If they know that management cares and hears their concerns, they will continue to maintain a high level of engagement instead of becoming despondent and disengaged.
  5. Create a workplace environment free of fear. So many organizations tend to operate in a performance-based environment. This sort of atmosphere is a favorable environment for fear and uncertainty to grow in, so keeping employee engagement steady is especially important. Allowing your employees to make choices without having to run everything up the chain of command gives them great moments within their career. Coincidentally, these performance-based environments can also lead to the fear of getting reprimanded if their decision falls flat. Managing a business where employees are punished for mistakes or a wrong choice is a sure-fire strategy for staff to become disengaged and unwilling to take the risks sometimes necessary for success. This is another opportunity to choose a kinder, more positive approach with your staff that can still be effective, but without diminishing their levels of engagement.
  6. Motivate, inspire, and coach your employees. Not only should your employees understand the scope of their work, but as their manager, so should you. Creating a positive workplace environment starts with happy employees but does not end there. The tone is set by you as the manager from the beginning, and a good way to achieve a positive tone is to be more than their boss; be the best coach and leader they could have. If you see an employee struggling with a task, approach her to see if you can help in any way. Whether it is a pat on the back and words of encouragement urging her to keep trying or offering guidance on policy and procedure, she will see your willingness to help as a concern for her state of mind as well as the community’s success. Many individuals throughout history who have been praised for outstanding accomplishments have had a good coach or mentor standing behind them. Be that coach for your employees.
  7. Let them show you how well they can lead. At some point, everyone takes off their training wheels and just goes for it. For your employees to feel passionate about their work and strive for only the best outcomes, they need to know that the community has faith in them. A good way to show them that is by allowing them to display their leadership and skills without any interference from managers or owners in the community. If they do not feel confidence, help guide and encourage them until they do. Even if the result is not what was desired, show them their effort and hard work did not go unnoticed while providing constructive criticism to help them grow.
  8. Encourage their personal development. Many times, the people who work for any given organization only do so out of the necessity of a paycheck. Companies who retain employees with specific skill sets are not likely to face this issue. However, it still could ring true to some individuals on the staff. As you get to know your employees, you may learn about their personal hobbies and interests, even as far as learning what it is that they eventually want to do with their lives. Think about the community and the different areas it may specialize in. Is there a better place for this employee to apply these additional skills? Some professional development programs and training may include “lunch and learns,” internal mentorships, company or industry expert speakers, and online programs.Reference: https://www.nutcache.com/blog/how-to-engage-employees/.

Betsy Barbieux

Because You Asked
By Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM, CMCA

     Thank you for the great educational class last year. Thanks to your class and studying and a delay of everything shut down due to COVID-19, I was able to obtain my license in September. Since then, I have met other managers and have come to see that a few of them have CMCA, AMS, or CFCAM after their names, and I am wondering how to obtain those licenses as well. I look forward to any information you are able to provide.
– Aggie

     The CMCA, AMS, and PCAM are credentials offered by CAI/Community Associations Institute—www.caionline.org—Our national professional organization.
     The CFCAM is a credential offered by FCAP/Florida Community Association Professionals—www.fcapgroup.com—our Florida professional organization.
     These are not licenses. There is only one Florida license—CAM. Professional organizations in many industries (real estate, medical, legal, insurance, etc.)  offer credentials, and we are the same. Credentials are earned after completion of certain course materials offered by each professional organization.
– Betsy

     My friend was elected to the board of a condominium association. He is not an officer  on the board, just a director at large.  The association was involved in a claim for Hurricane Irma. The claim has been closed. He has asked to view the documents and is being told by both the board president and management company there are no documents. They advised him the documents were with an attorney, and they need to obtain permission from him to share the documents. What do you suggest he do?
– Colleen

     Documents that have an attorney-client privilege are not available for inspection by an owner. Once a case is closed, those documents could be available with appropriate portions redacted (if necessary). For instance, any terms of a settlement would be redacted.
     You would think that new board members would have an orientation and be briefed on past legal history, but I’m not aware of any law requiring it.
     The director/owner could make an official written request to access records. Management has 10 business days within which to schedule an appointment for him to either view the documents and make copies with his portable device or pay for copies to be made. Failure of management to respond to a proper request could eventually result in an arbitration proceeding and a penalty of $50 a day up to 10 days and an award of attorneys’ fees.
– Betsy

     I attended one of your workshops back in January. I tried finding the answer to a question in my book but am unable to find it. Our reserve study committee met last Friday to go over the 2021 proposed reserve, which was prepared by the previous board president. They feel that some of the line items are not necessary and some need to be increased. Can they delete a line item and add this amount to another line item in a reserve category, or how should it be handled?
– Brenda

     Assuming your community is a condominium association, it is my understanding that line items established when the community was created should stay as line items on the reserve schedule. Line items are added and maintained because they fall within the statutory requirements. If the replacement cost or repair is more than $10,000, that item is to be on the reserve schedule. I’ve not ever heard of removing a reserve line item. That would mean that an asset no longer exists, which would be rare. How to calculate the amount needed for each reserve component is clearly laid out in the statutes. The figures for “cost to replace” and “remaining useful life” should be adjusted from year to year using best business judgment. I don’t see anything in the statute or rules about deleting a reserve item. I would suggest you consult your CPA or attorney.
– Betsy

     Does a board of directors have the authority to control its board members? Our board created a code of ethics, but I voted against it. It’s not enforceable, right?
– Kirk

     Of course, boards of directors can set policies for how they operate, and they should. Boards of directors operate by majority rule. Without an established authority structure within a board, there is chaos. A code of ethics is not enforceable, but it sets the bar on the expected behavior of board members, which is a good thing. Boards of directors should create policies for how they interact with professional management, attorneys, CPAs, and their owners.
     Robert’s Rules of Order contemplates that boards of directors will create policies.  Community associations lag behind regular corporate America in creating a policies manual. Most of us have worked in other types of businesses that lived by their policies. We somehow don’t carry that through with us into community association management. Most bylaws refer to Robert’s Rules as the standard by which communities operate their business and meetings. The statutes and the governing documents give the board of directors the power to create policies addressing many issues—owners’ requests to access records, manner of owner comments to agenda items, architectural modification procedures, collections, etc. I have a whole CE course of policies and procedures that boards and management can create.
– Betsy

Kelly Mauzy—FCAPs Most Recent CFCAM

     “I chose to obtain this additional certification because I believe knowledge is power,” says Kelly Mauzy, recent CFCAM certification recipient. “By making the effort to enter into this certification coursework and making time to improve my knowledge on a variety of matters, I can offer information to board members to help make educated decisions. I can also help them to understand the ‘why’ behind those decisions, some of which could have long-term effects upon the community down the road. How can we effectively manage if we are not edu-

cated in the subject matter, as boards look to CAMs to be that field ‘expert’ in a variety of subjects regarding their community assets? As someone who always has a thirst for knowledge, I think you can never know enough. I thank FCAP for providing the springboard to dive deeper into areas that are common practice for association managers to work in.”

     Kelly Mauzy has recently moved to Brevard County to continue her pursuit of serving community associations while looking forward to a little more sea salt therapy time on the sandy beaches of the Atlantic Ocean near Cocoa Beach, Florida.