Senior Program Manager, Nydia Parries, works with clients across the country to improve departmental workflows and reach agency goals.

Housing agency department managers and directors have a lot on their plates: completing day-to-day tasks, supervising departmental staff, communicating with community members, and working with agency leadership to ensure all work is completed on time and to agency standards.

With so many responsibilities, it can be challenging to manage it all. Senior Program Manager, Nydia Parries, works with PHA managers and executive leadership to improve workflows. She also leads Quadel consulting teams to complete various technical assistance projects for clients nationwide. She provides her thoughts on how to work with team members to complete tasks accurately and timely.

Realize the Strengths of Team Members

Housing agency staff are as diverse as the communities they serve, and rightfully so. Oftentimes, differences in personalities and work styles may cause frustration or anxiety for team managers. Parries reminds managers and executives it’s important to embrace team differences if they want successful projects and deliverables.

“It’s the manager’s job to recognize employee strengths and weaknesses and coach to employee strengths to help them grow in his or her role. A diverse group of employees will complement each other and hopefully learn from each other,” Parries said. “A manager can facilitate this learning through positive reinforcement and building a collaborative supportive culture among the team.”

Delegate Tasks as Needed

PHA managers and executives face many operational challenges. Housing agencies across the country are understaffed and often underfunded. PHAs navigate slim margins while trying to operate programs that meet the needs of their communities. Additionally, the ever-changing regulatory landscape requires a special level of attention to detail and programmatic knowledge.

In order for departmental managers to do their jobs well, they must trust their employees to complete delegated tasks. Task delegation is critical for departmental productivity, but managers must hold their team members accountable.

“It’s important to recognize the strengths and skillset of the team to be able to effectively delegate tasks to the team. It can be hard for busy managers to ensure accountability when delegating tasks because it is additional work (for them),” Parries said. “Managers should document (task) requests, provide extremely clear instructions and implement proper and ongoing training to staff. Implementing effective and robust quality control is also essential.”

Establish a Culture of Open Communication

Parries noted it’s important to understand employee work practices and skillsets to create smooth workflow processes and successful deliverables. Staff mentorship and training may look different depending on the agency role or department.

“Managers should ensure open communication with their staff. This allows them to report issues up the chain of command and let managers know when there will be problems completing work on time and to (agency) standards,” Parries said.” Asset management staff need effective work order and ticketing systems, training, manuals, and service level agreements to set expectations and give employees the skills to complete work to standard. Managers should continually evaluate team member performance and keep lines of communication open to ensure staff have the proper training and documentation.”

Quadel can provide technical assistance to rework departmental workflows and staff training. Request a quote to learn more information.