Three Mindsets of Successful Business Leaders in the Post-COVID-19 Era

By Christopher Doyle, TEXAS CEO Magazine

It’s been a challenging year, to say the least. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, business owners and CEOs have had to navigate unprecedented scenarios and obstacles never accounted for in even the most thorough business plans.

The post-COVID-19 environment is a whole new ballgame in many respects, and unfortunately there’s no proven playbook for continuing to lead a winning organization. CEOs across the country are facing their own nuanced challenges that vary by industry, location, and the regulations associated with each. While some are just trying to keep their business afloat or grappling with government regulations, others are struggling to meet changing customer behaviors that may even include increased consumer demand for their product or service.

However, while the details may differ, the fundamentals of effective business leadership remain the same across industries and locations—even in this unpredictable climate. In fact, the pandemic has made some leadership mindsets more critical than ever for running successful organizations. How CEOs embrace them moving forward will make the difference between companies that fail and those that thrive.

Here are three powerful mindsets that will set successful CEOs apart in the post-COVID era.

Mindset #1: Focus on Survival

Do whatever you need to do to ensure your business survives—no regrets.

As CEO, you’ve probably had to make some tough business decisions this year, or will have to in the near future, in order to keep your business alive. Whether it’s making budget cuts, furloughing your staff, putting a new line of business on hold, or moving out of your office or warehouse space, know this: If your business has survived, you made the right call.

Whatever action is necessary to keep your business running is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family, for your employees and their families, and for the future of your organization as a whole. It isn’t pretty and it isn’t fun to make these decisions, but your company’s future success depends on its survival now, plain and simple. When business picks back up, you can rehire staff, move back into a bigger office space, or launch that new product line down the road. But if the company goes under, you’ll be completely out of options.

Shifting to a survival mindset and knowing it is still the best thing for your employees and their families will help you make the tough decisions necessary to stay in business in the short term and achieve your long-term goals.

Mindset #2: Embrace Risk
Continue to lead boldly and take the risks that spur business growth.

While we now have some idea what the post-COVID business landscape looks like, at least in terms of sectors that are crippled versus sectors experiencing growth, the future is still largely uncertain. Some business leaders may shy away from risk and try to “wait it out” until things are more stable, but successful CEOs will continue to lead fearlessly and embrace risk head-on. After all, the key to successfully growing a business is risk—or everyone would do it.

If your company is struggling because it was highly leveraged prior to the pandemic or invested in an area that’s not paying off in our new reality, don’t blame yourself or an otherwise proven decision-making process. We are continuing to experience an unprecedented global event that businesses were simply never meant to be prepared for. If companies operated in constant anticipation of these types of situations, they would never grow.

Don’t allow fear of the unknown to hold you back from making the business moves that fuel success. Maybe you need to max out your sales and marketing budget one month to achieve additional growth. Perhaps you need to finance a big project with debt and personal liability in order to make it happen. Instead of pumping the brakes on your usual vigorous leadership, look at this as an opportunity for growth. Continue taking the risks that will potentially pay off big for your business.

3. Mindset #3: Regain Confidence

Overcome imposter syndrome to lead confidently in the face of the unknown.

C-level executives, entrepreneurs, and (let’s be honest) professionals everywhere can experience imposter syndrome: that nagging feeling you’re unqualified or lack the right skills for your position, and that you’ll be found out at any moment. It’s a common mindset that can hold you back from realizing your full potential as a company leader. And if you felt this way prior to the pandemic, chances are, you might be feeling more doubtful than ever about your leadership capabilities.

As a first-time CEO myself, I’ve personally struggled with imposter syndrome. However, if this pandemic has helped me realize one thing, it’s this: Everyone feels like they are not the right person for the job at some point, no one really has all the answers, and that’s okay. By overcoming this imposter mindset, you can regain confidence in your own leadership abilities, stay focused on what’s really important for keeping your business going, and view your situation as an opportunity, not an obstacle.

The bottom line is, there is no perfect, wise CEO to lead organizations “the right way” through our current scenario. That person doesn’t exist. No one truly knows what the future holds, and you can’t be expected to anticipate every obstacle or live in fear of the unknown. The best thing you can do as a company leader right now is to adopt a survival mindset to keep your business afloat, continue embracing risk to generate new growth opportunities and remain confident in your ability to lead your company into a successful future.

Christopher Doyle is an entrepreneur and business leader with extensive hands-on construction industry experience and a proven record of launching successful startups. He is the founder, president and CEO of Billd, a disruptive payment solution for the construction industry that helps contractors and suppliers grow their businesses with less hassle and risk. Recognizing cash flow hurdles contractors face when purchasing materials, Doyle launched Billd to make traditional Wall Street working capital accessible to these small business owners.

How Business Can Beat The Coronavirus: Confront the New Reality

By Dr Gleb Tsipursky | Jul 22, 2020 for Real Leaders

As the vast majority of companies rush to reopen, they’re falling into the trap of “getting back to normal.” They’re not realizing we’re heading into a period of restriction once again, due to many states reopening too soon. To survive and thrive in this new abnormal, and avoid the trap of normalcy, leaders need to understand the parallels between what’s going on now, and what happened at the start of the pandemic.

Reality Check in a Tech Company

Consider Tim, the CFO of a 90-person tech start-up based in Texas that provides HR and Payroll software and other business back-end software. Unfortunately, the company’s leadership team, including Tim, believed Elon Musk’s statements when he downplayed the coronavirus in March

Since the C-suite thought the pandemic wasn’t a big deal and would blow over soon, they didn’t take the necessary precautions and preparations and ended up in a bad place when the shutdowns occurred. They had to turn to a very basic business continuity plan that did not factor in something as significant as a pandemic. Thinking that things would “normalize” soon, they held off making major decisions, such as moving their operations to a virtual setup.

Tim decided to contact me for a consultation after learning about my work through a recent webinar I conducted for CEOs about how companies can adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic. When he called me, his company was already embroiled in internal team conflicts and service interruptions, which resulted in several clients having problems with the software and a couple of major clients threatening to cancel. It was evident that the company needed help getting out of the murky waters — and soon. 

Facing This New Abnormal

When I met with Tim as well as the company’s CEO and COO over Zoom (by this time I had already moved my previously hybrid in-person and virtual consultations to all virtual) I told them that there were some essential points they needed to understand for their company to survive in the new COVID-19 reality. 

First and foremost, we won’t get anywhere if we don’t face the facts. We need to acknowledge that COVID-19 has fundamentally disrupted our world, and turned it upside down. Regrettably, it will not disappear soon.

However, you might be wondering why Elon Musk – and even some political leaders – downplayed the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s not like doing so had personal benefits for these leaders. They wound up humiliated when proven wrong, hurting their credibility. 

Like Tim and the other leaders of these companies, these globally-renowned leaders fell into what cognitive neuroscientists call, the normalcy bias. This dangerous error of judgment refers to the fact that our gut reactions drive us to feel that the future, at least in the short and medium-term, will function in roughly the same way as in the past. As a result, we tend to vastly underestimate both the possibility and impact of a disaster striking us. 

Normalcy bias is one of more than 100 mental blindspots that cognitive neuroscientists and behavioral economists like myself call cognitive biases. Fortunately, recent research has shown us how we can effectively deal with such dangerous judgment errors.

For normalcy bias, it’s critical to understand the dangers of falling into it and acknowledge the pain you may cause yourself and the company by doing so. Then, you need to consider the long-term outcomes realistically and plan for a realistic scenario that addresses the likelihood of significant disruption.

It was pretty clear from my first Zoom call with Tim, the CEO and COO of the company, that their leadership team had suffered from normalcy bias. However, it took until the second consultation for them to admit (more than a bit grudgingly) that they had succumbed to this mental blind spot. This refusal to admit to reality had less to do with the veracity of the facts I presented, but rather with their initial unwillingness to let go of their “gut feel.” 

After discussing the above points with them, they admitted that it was time to face what lies ahead. It was time to prepare their company for a much more significant disruption than they had anticipated. We used the “Defend Your Future” technique to help them plan for a variety of potential futures. We decided that while they would hope for the best, they would plan for the worst, a wise strategy for addressing normalcy bias.

No Longer Struggling, But Thriving

When I last spoke with Tim at the end of June 2020, he told me that he had decided to share their findings and the points we discussed during the coaching sessions with the rest of the leadership team. It was an awkward conversation, due to the growing conflicts in the company and mutual recriminations. 

However, after realizing that there wasn’t much sense playing the blame game given the urgency of the situation, the C-suite decided to buckle down and address the problems head-on. After outlining the problems and potential solutions, they eventually got widespread buy-in to do what needed to be done to propel their company to recovery. 

The leadership team swiftly addressed internal conflict — a necessary first step to addressing all the other issues. 

They focused more effort on a long-term transition to virtual. The COO led the effort to minimize their physical footprint, having only a couple of people in the office to take care of necessary paperwork. Tim, the CEO, and the VP of IT made quick, practical changes to the company’s policies and processes so that operations would be in line with their virtual transition. 

After the internal conflicts and systems had been addressed, the leadership team focused on reaching out to clients who were threatening to cancel due to the service interruptions. From these efforts, most of the cancellations were avoided, although two smaller clients did cancel.

Tim told me that he and the leadership team were pleased with the results of the changes. They were especially pleased when they realized how prepared they were when COVID-19 cases began rising again, prompting a pause of the reopening process, that led to shutdowns again.

Conclusion

During these disruptive times, it’s essential to be agile and resilient. Keep in mind that even if your company was not able to make the best decisions at the onset of the pandemic, you can still steer it back to the right path by fighting and protecting against the trap of normalcy bias.  

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is a cognitive neuroscientist and expert on behavioral economics and decision making. As CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts, he has consulted and coached hundreds of clients worldwide, including Aflac, IBM, Honda and Wells Fargo. His academic career includes 7 years as a professor at Ohio State Univ. and dozens of peer-reviewed pieces published in leading academic journals. He authored the bestselling “The Truth-Seeker’s Handbook.” and his new book is “Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters.”

Making the Case for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion During Disruption

Gartner, July 14, 2020 Contributor: Jackie Wiles

Learn seven ways HR leaders can keep diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) top of mind amid economic and business disruption. 

What seems like a watershed moment for DEI could be lost as senior leaders tackle the coincident pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial tensions and an economic downturn. But HR leaders can keep DEI efforts at the forefront.

While recent, widespread protests against racism prompted countless organizations to make public commitments to diversity and equitable treatment for all employees, the pandemic only highlights glaring inequities that organizations must still acknowledge and address. 

Workplace equity isn’t only the right thing to do; it’s a strategic and financial advantage 

“Underrepresented groups — racial/ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and women — have been disproportionately affected by the health and economic impacts of COVID-19,” says Lauren Romansky, Managing Vice President, Gartner. “And yet, in a recent Gartner survey, only 2% of HR leaders identified DEI, by itself, their No. 1 priority in light of the pandemic.” 

Learn more: Drive Results Through Workforce Diversity

And now, many organizations may be tempted to reexamine and potentially roll back commitments to DEI programs or initiatives, especially as cost-conscious leaders weigh or implement hiring freezes, furloughs and layoffs to combat the economic fallout from the pandemic. 

Hesitation would come at the very moment that leaders have committed to do more — and employees and other stakeholders increasingly expect them to make good on their promises.

Keep DEI top of mind

In the U.S., at least, early studies show that people of color are experiencing higher COVID-19 infection and mortality rates than their white counterparts, and economically, women and people of color are experiencing the greatest proportion of job losses.

This partly reflects the fact that women and minorities are overrepresented in the types of jobs most affected by social distancing measures — notably, positions in hospitality, travel, recreation and retail industries. Women and minorities are also more likely to be less tenured and hold marginal or low-authority positions, increasing their risk of suffering job losses during layoffs. 

 Help managers and leaders understand the link between DEI and business outcomes 

But as organizations navigate the pandemic and its effects, HR leaders can help limit the disproportionate impact on marginalized groups and ensure that DEI remains top of mind for leaders and managers. 

To do so, they must emphasize company culture and branding during and after the crisis, and help managers and leaders understand the link between DEI and business outcomes (including crisis resilience).

Employees, customers and other stakeholders are already paying close attention to how companies are responding to this crisis. They are likely to remember how different companies responded and which issues were stressed, acknowledged and communicated, as well as those that were sacrificed or went unaddressed. 

Companies that appear to practice their values will likely be viewed favorably, while those whose actions don’t align with expressed values may lose out — whether in terms of lower levels of trust, branding appeal, customer satisfaction, or employee engagement or retention.

The suggested actions for HR leaders reflect the reality surfacing in a growing body of research: Workplace equity isn’t just the right thing to do; it is a strategic and financial advantage. 

7 ways to rally support for DEI initiatives

  1. Identify highly affected employee segments and provide additional support. Consider how COVID-19-related disruptions affect different workforce segments, such as parents, certain demographics (younger or older), different gender groups, races and ethnicities, or those with disabilities (visible and invisible, e.g., those without technology skills).
  2. Leverage employee resource groups (ERGs) to communicate and connect with a wider network of employees throughout the organization and create social connections that might be missing in a remote work environment.
  3. Identify “volunteer” or expanded opportunities for HR and DEI teamsto partner more closely and support critical engagement and employee experience projects — especially in developing emotional well-being resources and remote work best-practices.
  4. Ensure that rapid response teams are diverse. Make sure these teams represent different parts of the business and geographies, as well as varied demographic groups.
  5. Partner with internal communications to embed DEI messaging. Advocate for communications that emphasize unity and shared sacrifice. Ensure that changes and strategies, including the DEI strategy, are positioned in an intentional and inclusive manner.
  6. Support and coach managers to incorporate inclusion in a remote and high-stress work environment. Ensure managers know what inclusive behaviors look like in a remote environment, are modeling them properly, are prepared for how they will be tested in a stressed environment and know how they can help all employees to be inclusive.
  7. Develop a working draft of your response to this question, “What did you do for your customers and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic?” Partner with DEI teams and other organizational stakeholders to clearly articulate the ways in which the organization practiced its values and commitments.

Upskilling: How to Recession-Proof Careers in the Age of COVID-19

One solution for the unemployed, or employees hoping to maintain job security in their current positions, is to change roles—or even careers. Upskilling gives workers an advantage in the race to acquire stable careers during these challenging times.

Article Author: Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE, CEO, ASCM

Although economists have been forecasting a recession for several years, no one could have predicted the source of the current downturn—or how quickly the economy would crash. The COVID-19 pandemic, which forced immediate closures of non-essential businesses around the world to prevent the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, also left crippling unemployment and a massive recession in its wake. As of May 2020, the U.S. unemployment rate was at a staggering 14.7 percent, with 30 million Americans out of work from the effects of the pandemic. The Pew Research Center reports that “43 percent of U.S. adults now say they or someone in their household has lost a job or taken a cut in pay due to the outbreak.”

Although at first those job losses seemed temporary, the scale of the economic crisis has left many businesses on the brink of bankruptcy. As restaurants reopen, for instance, it is not at full capacity, to allow for social distancing. And consumers—even those with the financial means—are unlikely to return quickly to their previous dining habits. Workers in those businesses may not go back to their positions in the future. 

One solution for the unemployed, or employees hoping to maintain job security in their current positions, is to change roles—or even careers. Upskilling, or acquiring necessary job skills, gives workers an advantage in the race to acquire stable careers. As reported in the Harvard Business Review, “90 percent of workers feel they need to update their skills annually just to contend”—and that was pre-pandemic. In the past, individuals facing unemployment may have sought a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. This is an alternative if you have a long-term focus and resources. But for those people who want/need to get back on the payroll as soon as possible, there are much less expensive, faster, and arguably more lucrative methods of obtaining the skills necessary to pivot into a recession-proof career. 

Investing a few months in continuing education to upskill and reskill can improve the chances of employability, especially in a recession. It is a small commitment over the course of an entire career, and the skills can provide a much-needed safety net in this time of uncertainty. 

1. Certifications. Many organizations, including Association of Supply Chain Management (ASCM), offer certifications that provide the knowledge and skills necessary to pivot into a more stable career. According to a DHL research brief, “Demand for supply chain professionals exceeds supply by a ratio of 6:1.” And the importance of a functioning supply chain has never been more evident than it is today as consumer demand for groceries and delivery services continue to escalate. ACSM provides free online access to Basics of Distribution and Logistics. This online module teaches the fundamental concepts required to create an optimal distribution and logistics strategy, and is a great way for people outside of the supply chain field to explore their options. For those who decide they want to pursue this path, obtaining an APICS certification will fast track them into a supply chain career. ASCM offers two APICS certifications (CPIM and CLTD) for which a college degree is not a prerequisite. A third certification (CSCP) is more geared toward those who are already in the field and want to advance their expertise. A survey conducted by ASCM showed the median salary for respondents with an APICS certification is 25 percent higher than those without.

If changing careers isn’t an option, there are many certifications that can improve marketability and stability in an existing job. CompTIA, for example, offers IT professionals certifications in various programming languages and other transferable skills, which can open the door to a greater variety of unfilled positions. 

2. Individual courses. If you’re not in the market for a certification, there are plenty of opportunities to take courses to build your skill set or learn a new one. Companies such as Coursera, Skillshare, and Udemy offer online classes in everything from marketing and data analysis to entrepreneurship and public health. Committing a few hours or days to mastering a new subject may allow you to pivot to a similar role in a different industry. At the very least, completing courses demonstrates a personal commitment to furthering your career. 

3. Digital skills. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, “Nearly two-thirds of the 13 million new jobs created in the U.S. since 2010 required medium or advanced levels of digital skills.” Clearly, digital skills are more necessary than ever for obtaining a job and earning a better salary. The Brookings Institute reports that “employees are rewarded for the depth and breadth of their digital skills through increased wages. Workers in occupations with medium or high digital skills in 2016 were paid significantly more than those in low-digital occupations.”

Essential tech skills may be as simple as using cloud-based spreadsheets and presentations; or they may be more advanced, such as JavaScript or supply chain management software. Employees may be able to access trainings in these skills through their organizations; job seekers can find lessons online through a courseware provider, such as Codeacademy, via LinkedIn or YouTube, or directly through the software company. 

4. Soft skills. Executives, industry managers, and recruiters all cite the lack of soft skills as the biggest deterrent in finding the right candidate to fill open positions. The DHL report points to “leadership, strategic thinking, innovation, and high-level analytic capabilities” as needed in supply chain careers. Entrepreneurmagazine cites “connectability,” or “the authority you exhibit, the warmth you convey, and the energy you exude and bring out in others.” Essentially, the ability to collaborate effectively with other team members, manage tasks and people, and maintain friendly relationships within the organization are all important factors to securing a job.

Acquiring these skills, however, is a bit more nebulous than training in a concrete task. But improving soft skills often comes down to one thing: communication. Many of the most-needed attributes thrive with in-person interaction, but even in the era of social distancing, workers can improve communication via video conference, e-mail, and real-time chat. Exercises in creative expression, online collaboration, and teambuilding games are all ways to practice problem solving and build leadership skills. These are useful tasks for workers who are still employed and trying to become indispensable, but they’re especially valuable for job seekers. As social isolation and remote work continue, the ability to communicate effectively while navigating the unknown is more important than ever.

Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE, currently serves as the chief executive officer for the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM). Eshkenazi has provided business, operational, and compliance consulting services to professional service organizations, associations, and tax-exempt and government organizations. ASCM is a global leader in supply chain organizational transformation, innovation, and leadership. As the largest nonprofit association for supply chain, ASCM is an unbiased partner, connecting companies around the world to the newest thought leadership on all aspects of supply chain. For more information, visit: www.ascm.org.

Sandy Denton Wins The Distinguished Service Award – CAI’s Highest Recognition

By CAMICB Executive Director John Ganoe, CAE

CAMICB’s Board of Commissioners Vice Chair, Sandy Denton, CMCA, LSM, PCAM recently received CAI’s most coveted leadership award – the Distinguished Service Award – for her long-standing exceptional contributions to the Community Associations Institute (CAI) and the field of professional community association management.  

“We are thrilled to celebrate Sandy for her extensive contributions to not only our organization but for her tireless work to advance community association living,” said CAI’s CEO Tom Skiba, MBA, CAE.  “Sandy has had such an extraordinary impact on so many facets of our work – from the Governance Task Force, to an esteemed member of the PMDP faculty for over 10 years, to the Board of Trustees and as the 2005 CAI President. She couldn’t be more deserving of this award.”

As Vice Chair of the CAMICB Board of Commissioners Sandy has been instrumental in a thorough review and update of the CAMICB Board Policy Manual, a key component of a successful effort to achieve NCCA reaccreditation for the CMCA examination in 2019.  She has been a vital part of the Executive Committee focused on strengthening all aspects of CAMICB’s organizational operations as part of an effort leading to the recent submission of an application for international accreditation for the CMCA examination through the International Standards Organization/ISO 17024.

Sandy has been a member of CAI for three decades and an active volunteer in the Greater Houston Chapter. In 2005, Sandy was instrumental in the CAI membership and governance restructure as a member of the Governance Task Force. Sandy has also been a critical player in the large-scale managers community, serving on the Large-Scale Managers Committee for more than 10 years, serving as chair of the committee twice, and hosting the Large-Scale Managers Workshop three times. In addition, she is a member of the Texas Community Associations Advocates and was a member of CAI’s Texas Legislative Action Committee. She has been an active member of the Government and Public Affairs Committee since 2015. 

Finally, Sandy has served on the Foundation for Community Association Research Board. Sandy is general manager of Sienna Plantation Associations, a large-scale community in Missouri City, Texas.

Each year, CAI honors a select group of individuals who have made significant contributions to CAI and the community association way of life. To learn more about the 2019 recipients, go to: https://www.caionline.org/AboutCAI/Pages/CAIAnnualAwards.aspx

HOAs need a good reason to tow residents’ vehicles

A Q & A with Barbara Holland RJRealEstate.Vegas, July 10

Barbara Holland

Q: I hope you can help with this issue. My son lives in a neighborhood that has a homeowners association. It recently started tagging and towing vehicles parked on the street. His car was towed yesterday and he is required to pay $400 to get it back. Today, an overnight guest’s car was towed. It would seem to be a real stretch in HOA rules that cars can be towed for parking in front of the owner’s house. Is there legal recourse that you are aware of which can be pursued by the owner to a) cease this practice and b) to get reimbursed for the cost of the tow job. This is a real financial hardship for him right now. Thank you for your consideration. 

A: The last governor’s directive that I have receive stated that residential communities could tow vehicles under Nevada Revised Statutes 706.4477 only if the vehicle is blocking a fire hydrant, a fire lane, a handicap designated parking space (if driver did not have proper handicap tag displayed in the vehicle), posing an imminent threat of causing a substantial adverse effect on the health, safety or welfare of the resident and if the vehicle is clearly marked for a specific resident or the use of a specific unit in the community in accordance with NRS 706.4477 (2b)(4).

Based upon this directive and assuming the son was not in any violation, you should contact the towing company to retrieve the vehicle at no cost. In addition, you should contact his association to find out why they are not adhering to the governor’s directive. Complaints can be made through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Q: I live in a gated HOA-governed neighborhood with covenants, conditions and restrictions that clearly prohibit the parking of large recreational vehicles on the street. The HOA community manager has acknowledged that the CC&Rs do prohibit this practice. Despite the prohibition, one neighbor insists on bringing his bus-sized RV into the neighborhood, with trailer and all terrain vehicle, most weekends. The vehicle usually arrives on Thursday afternoons and stays for multiple days and is usually connected to his house by an external power line.

I have complained, verbally and in writing, to the HOA and they acknowledge the complaints, but do not take any apparent action. Is there anything I can do to get the HOA to take action?

A: Violations and enforcement of violations fall under the privacy laws. The homeowner would not know what actions the board is taking, as they could be fining the homeowner each week the bus-sized RV shows up in the community. If you want to take this a step further, you can contact the Ombudsman office to have them address your concerns.

Q: We live in a Nevada HOA community. In the past, I have gone through some litigation over a violation that has since been resolved. During that period, it was obvious other home owners had the same violations. I understand the board could not discuss those with me during that time. Is it possible, as a dues-paying member, that I can request a copy of all ongoing violations being investigated within my gated community? Thank you and we really enjoy your column in the RJ.

A: Under NRS 116.31175 (4b), the association cannot provide the records relating to another homeowner. Under section 5, the association can send you a general record concerning each violation of the governing documents other than a violation pertaining to nonpayment of an assessment. The general record must contain a general description of the nature of the violation and the type of sanction imposed. The general record must specify the amount of the fine or construction penalty. The general record must not contain the name or address of the homeowner nor any other personal information that could be used to identify the homeowner, including the location of the home.

Q: My neighbor is complaining to the HOA about our dog, saying it’s not picked up properly and unleashed. The HOA fined me $100. But can they fine me without any evidence? Doesn’t the HOA have to send me pictures, etc.?

A: The answer is yes. Your association should have provided pictures. In addition, it cannot impose a fine unless it has called you to a hearing. If you were fined without being invited to a hearing, the association did not follow proper procedure per the state law.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager and holds the supervisory community manager certificate with the state of Nevada. She is an author and educator on real estate management. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

How to Effectively Measure Remote Worker Productivity

By Lin Grensing-Pophal, Contributing Editor , HR Daily Advisor, Jul 8, 2020 Learning & DevelopmentTalent

One of the most fundamental changes ushered in by the COVID-19 pandemic has been more economic than medical: the shift from in-office to remote work for millions of Americans.

productivity
Source: Tashatuvango / Shutterstock

While many employees may be thrilled by the newfound convenience and relative freedom afforded by remote work, employers and managers are understandably concerned about the ability to adequately supervise staff and monitor productivity.

In this post, we discuss some potential productivity measures that can be used with remote teams.

Tracking Hours

Tracking hours is one of the most straightforward methods of gauging productivity, albeit not always the most meaningful. Something as simple as a log-in/log-out feature can be used by which employees note when they start and stop work, including midday breaks.

Computer Idle Time

Just because employees are logged in on their computer doesn’t mean they’re actually working. What’s to stop them from logging in and then going for a walk or catching a couple extra hours of sleep? Keeping track of computer idle time helps address that concern by tracking how much time is actually spent being active on employees’ machines.

Employee-Reported Activity Tracking

Many companies and some professions already require employees to track time spent on specific activities. For example, law firms often require attorneys to track time spent on specific activities and specific clients down to 6-minute intervals for billing purposes. The same can be done by any organization.

This type of tracking gives greater visibility into what employees are spending their time on compared with simply tracking how often they are idle.

By reviewing employee tracking records, managers could identify potential issues and inefficiencies, such as too much time being spent helping other teammates, attending meetings, or focusing on generally low-value-add activities.

“Out of sight, out of mind” should rarely, if ever, apply to managing staff. Just because teams aren’t physically in the office when they’re working from home doesn’t mean managers have to stay blind as to their productivity.

There are plenty of methods available for managers to keep an eye on productivity. Now we’ll talk about what to monitor to make sure those productivity metrics are pertinent.

Measuring Time Is Not the Same as Measuring Productivity

Unfortunately, many managers struggle to come up with useful tools and strategies to measure productivity. Tracking the number of hours logged in to a company system, or idle time, and employee-reported task tracking are methods that can be used to track time, but they aren’t necessarily the best tools to track productivity.

Does a manager really care if an employee spends 60 hours on a task in a week if that task isn’t completed? Does the manager care if an employee is always logging in early and working late if the employee continues to miss key deadlines?

Instead of simply tracking time spent, we suggest focusing the key priorities employees are tasked with and tracking their progress toward and the completion of those priorities over time.

Employees’ self-reporting time spent on specific activities can help managers review and restructure job responsibilities in case goals are not being achieved.

A Focus on Productivity

For example, say one team member’s responsibility is to manage the rollout for a revenue-generating application, and key milestones and deadlines are getting missed. Even though the employee is putting in a lot of hours, the manager should realize there is a productivity problem. The issue may not be a matter of the overall amount of time worked but rather the employee’s inability to focus on the most important priorities.

By looking at self-reported time spent on different activities, the manager might be able to identify activities that are not as valuable or even necessary and transfer those to another team member or eliminate them entirely.

Productivity tracking has gained increased attention with the widespread shift to remote work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, many employers focus on the wrong measures of productivity.

It’s essential that organizations think carefully about what measures they track before blindly using them as metrics for true value-added productivity.

The Single Biggest Step to Pay Equity? Stop Asking About Salary History

By Bruce Anderson June 30

Pay equity is hard to achieve. It took Starbucks 10 years of concerted effort to reach pay equity for employees of all genders and races in their U.S. operations. But new research shows that banning questions about salary history can help companies move more quickly and sure-footedly toward pay equity.

In a working paper published earlier this month, researchers from Boston University’s School of Law found that in states where salary history bans have been enacted, pay for those who switched jobs increased, on average, 5% to 6% more than for those who changed jobs in other states. But the boost was even larger for African Americans, who received increases that were 13% to 16% higher, and for women, who received bumps that were 8% to 9% higher, the study reported.

James Bessen, an economist who was the principal investigator in the study, says the “use of salary-history information perpetuates inequality.”

Starting pay at a new company is the single most important factor in getting to pay equity. And getting starting pay right begins with not asking about a candidate’s previous salary, which allows companies to avoid intentionally or inadvertently “importing” previous pay inequity. The BU research suggests that while employers might not be personally biased, their actions can result in substantial inequities for groups that are discriminated against.

Salary history bans have been enacted to decrease pay inequity

In 2016, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to enact a salary history ban. That legislation was drafted to address the gender pay gap. The law prohibits employers from using previous salaries as a screening tool and from asking candidates any salary-related questions until after they have received a job offer. Since then, another 18 states as well as Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and a number of U.S. cities and counties have enacted bans on employers asking salary history questions to candidates.

“What the salary history ban does,” James says, “is it takes away that bargaining advantage [from employers].”

It has also given his team a way to measure the impact of keeping previous compensation out of the interview process. James and his two coauthors analyzed data from seven years of the monthly Current Population Survey that is compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau.

That data let them see the significant pay boosts that salary history bans give job-switchers and helped them reach the conclusion that “a large portion of the pay gaps for women and minorities . . . goes away with salary history bans.” They also concluded that the research dispels any possibility that pay gaps arise from productivity differences.

Salary history bans drive hiring managers to consider more candidates and companies to share salary ranges

Recruiters and hiring managers sometimes use current salary as a proxy for how valuable a prospective employee is, with the belief that the more a person is being paid, the more value they must add for their company — or future company. When they are stripped of access to that information, they consider a wider group of candidates, invite more candidates in for interviews, and ask more questions of each candidate, according to a research paper published last year. Which also suggests that teams that stop looking at salary history may more successfully recruit diverse candidates.

The team at BU also found that in states that banned questions about compensation history the number of job posts that listed salary ranges tripled, from about 10% to 30%. Companies that share salary information at the start of the hiring process find that that practice has four chief benefits:

  1. It streamlines pay negotiations later.
  2. It filters out those who would later decline an offer based on pay.
  3. It allows candidate interviews to focus on other topics/
  4. And, of course, it promotes more equitable pay, which builds trust, improves talent brand, and increases attraction and retention.

And this trust is particularly important for women, blacks, and Latinos, who historically have been underpaid. “Pay transparency removes the distrust people have,” saysLesley Miley, a director of engineering at Google. “As an African American, I’m always distrustful because all the data supports that I’m going to be paid less. If you come out and say, ‘This is what our salary is, these are the ranges,’ that’s going to build trust.”

Final thoughts: Even if you’re not required to, consider discontinuing questions about previous salary

If your company does business in a state or country that still allows questions about salary history, consider dropping them and, instead, sharing your salary ranges. You’ll be on trend: When LinkedIn asked 5,000 talent professionals around the world if their companies share salary information, 27% said they did and another 22% said they were likely to over the coming five years.

For starters, candidates are increasingly turning to aggregated salary information on tools like LinkedIn Salary or PayScale. They have a pretty good idea what the ranges should be. So, by posting salary info, you can build trust and find candidates who are less likely to haggle over compensation.

When Starbucks was on its decade-long quest to reach pay equity, it not only stopped asking about previous salaries, it started sharing salary ranges with any candidate who asked for them. But beyond that, Starbucks also was very clear about telling candidates where they would fall on the range — and why.

Understandably, Starbucks felt a great deal of corporate pride when they finally achieved pay equity. Just imagine how their workforce felt.

Are You Looking For Online Education Opportunities While Many Of Us Continue To Work From Home?

CAMICB recognizes that during the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person education opportunities have halted with the worldwide shift to social distancing. To assist in this transition, CAMICB offers a number of online continuing education opportunities.

We have a helpful list of On-Demand webinars available here for managers to view that are free or low-cost, and CAI Headquarters has an entire library dedicated to webinars available for continuing education credit available here. All of CAMICB’s continuing education opportunities can be found here

CAMICB also offers the option for managers to seek out online opportunities that work best for them, and unapproved online options can be e-mailed to info@camicb.org for approval consideration.

For any questions, please reach out to CAMICB at info@camicb.org

Who Has Zoom Fatigue?

By John Spence

Internal and client meetings alike are (and will continue to be) brought to virtual platforms like Zoom. Rather than dread your calls, I offer some actionable tips to help you fight the Zoom fatigue that I have been giving my clients and practicing myself.

  1. Avoid Multitasking – Turn off other electronics, keep only the Zoom call window open on your screen and don’t check your email or Facebook!
  2. Avoid Other Distractions – Find a quiet place to work where you aren’t interrupted by family members or pets.
  3. Build In Breaks – Set meetings for 25 or 50 minutes so that you have structured time to stretch, use the restroom, get something to drink and give your eyes and mind a little rest.
  4. Reduce Onscreen Stimuli – Change the call to the “speaker view” so that you don’t see all of the other people on the call, which can be very distracting.
  5. Use Good Zoom Etiquette – Join meetings on time, stick to the agenda, keep your computer on mute when not speaking and use the chat or Q&A buttons when appropriate.
  6. Change Your Location – If you’re using a laptop, move around the house, or take casual meetings on your phone. Again, find that distraction-free zone.
  7. Change Your Mindset – During the day, you are not working at home, your home is your office. Be sure to treat it as such.
  8. Set Clear Boundaries – Create a clear separation between work time and personal/family time. Stay firm on that differentiation in time.
  9. Not Every Call Needs Video – Often times, email or messaging platforms are more efficient than a Zoom call.
  10. Learn to Say No – You don’t have to attend every single meeting. If you’re not going to add value or you have more important tasks to complete, have a discussion about whether you need to be involved.