When the clock strikes 12 a.m., and electronic calendars display a new month and year, people all over the world celebrate the New Year. Each New Year prompts a time of celebration, reenactment of traditions, and reflection and assessment of the previous year, along with a commitment to new resolutions, goals, and mantras.
BH recognizes and observes the New Year by closing each of its offices to allow employees time to celebrate and ring in the New Year with family and friends.
Just as individuals reflect on the previous year and set goals for the new year, BH’s teams do the same. We recently interviewed team members from the business performance, marketing, accounting, and people & culture departments to get insight on their approach to 2023.
A Continual Look Back: Jodi Gruening
Jodi Gruening, Director of People & Culture, considers the end of the year and the beginning of a new year a time for reflection. “It’s a great opportunity to reflect on your accomplishments, the things that went well, and then things you wish had gone better,” Jodi said. Jodi encourages her team to take thorough notes throughout the year so they can apply them as lessons learned going forward.
In Fall 2022, BH administered its first company-wide employee survey, and has since been reviewing and prioritizing the feedback we received. “Almost half of our employee base completed the survey,” Jodi said. “We are looking at what we learned from the survey participants and using that insight to continue to differentiate BH as an employer of choice.”
Alignment is Essential: Brandy Daniel
In addition to looking over the previous year, Brandy Daniel takes inventory up to five years back. Brandy is the Vice President of Business Performance Systems. Over time, plans change, and some projects are redirected or put on hold. Reflecting on larger plans and overall goals provides an opportunity to stay on track or realign. “One of the important things I like to do is take a full inventory back to the plan to see if we have accomplished the things we initially set out to accomplish,” Brandy said.
Brandy said it’s also important to make sure her department is aligned with other departments and the overall company goals. One of the ways she works toward this alignment is to begin working on the upcoming year’s plans in August. “Once I get a plan together in my head, I build a budget for it, begin socializing my ideas with my team to get their input, and then communicate with other vice presidents,” Brandy said. “I make sure what I envision is in line with other departments’ visions, and then we roll into the new year with everybody on board.”
In January 2023, BH began offering a Citizen Analyst training program designed to create a learning path to help employees learn how to read, interpret, and use data to better understand performance.
Brandy is also looking forward to the business performance team’s plans to release BH Advantage 2.0 and an updated version of Fusion this year (two software systems built and maintained in-house at BH).
Checks and Balances: Jill Cunningham
While most other departments at BH are forging ahead into 2023, the accounting department spends a little more time in 2022 to make sure the financials are clean and ready for tax season. Jill Cunningham, a property controller, is used to wrapping up the previous year while the rest of the company is working in real time. “Accountants use a lot of checklists to help us keep track and crossing something off the list serves as motivation to be done with the old,” Jill said. The accounting team uses the mantra “Clean the closet” as a checks and balances system. “Cleaning the closet is taking a closer look at the things we are doing, and deciding if we should continue doing them,” she said. “It’s also looking at the things we are not doing, and asking ourselves if we should be doing them.”
This year the accounting department is focusing on making the jobs of onsite team members easier. “We have some big training initiatives coming up,” she said. “We are making changes to workflows and implementing more trainings to help improve communication between the onsite teams and our department.”
Data Drives Innovation: Andre Washington
The necessities and desires of apartment and home seekers are constantly changing, and BH thrives on innovating and evolving to meet those needs. Through his work as the Director of Contact Center Technology, Andre Washington achieves this by keeping things fresh. “We’re working on revolutionizing how things are being tracked and what’s being reported to ensure our approach to leasing is aligned with the ever-changing customer,” Andre said. “Using data to tell the story of the customer journey gives us visibility and removes assumptions about our customers’ wants and needs.”
Let’s Do This, 2023!
Whether looking forward or backward for inspo, BH’ers are ready to tackle another year of doing wildly awesome things.