The Human Resources Department is an important part of every organization, whether it serves a small business or a large corporation. And because an effective HR team can have a great impact on the bottom line, human resources professionals with a proven track record of success can leverage their skills across a variety of industries. Todd Strosnider (MBA ’12) has worked in the retail, financial, and medical industries and has been serving as Vice President of Leadership O&D for Associa since 2012. Strosnider spoke on September 23 to Heather Kissack’s Human Resources Skills class at the University of Dallas.
Strosnider explained to students that Associa is America’s largest homeowners association management company. Because the company has grown over the years through acquisitions, Associa was faced with corralling a complex network of branch offices across the country. In 2012, Strosnider worked with management to develop a Vision 2020 plan, part of which focused on streamlining human resources and making it consistent across the Associa’s locations.
Strosnider said that the foundation of Associa’s human resources plan is employee morale. “It’s been said before, but happy employees make happy clients,” he said. “That means that happy employees are fully engaged with clients, which increases client retention, client growth, and ultimately our profitability.”
One way Associa strives to maintain good employee morale is by providing best-in-class training and development. To do that Strosnider and the Associa HR team developed Associa University, an umbrella for all of the company’s training and development. “Depending on the particular job in the company, an employee will go through a series of training modules based on what skills they need,” Strosnider said. Associa utilizes the website Degreed to coordinate employee training. “We use what we call “Pathways,” he said, “Which are curated lists of courses and articles that pertain to different areas of training, like management or leadership.” The website keeps a record of an employee’s training, allowing them to take a log of their learning with them if they leave the company.
Associa has other programs designed to develop effective leaders. “Employees don’t leave a job, they leave a manager,” Strosnider said. “And turnover is expensive. It can cost as much as half the salary of that particular position to train someone new and get them up and running.” To develop effective leaders, Associa creates “success profiles” that identify the core competencies necessary for success at various positions. Then they develop training around those competencies.
Strosnider said in order to create a healthy, sustainable organization that continues to grow, Associa wants to be known as a “Best Place to Work.” But what makes makes a company a great place to work is different for everybody. “Is it benefits, healthcare, salary, time off, or recognition? Our job is to try to prioritize based on what’s important to our team,” he said.
The University of Dallas Executives on Campus program was founded to further the University’s mission of providing practice-based education, by inviting successful business leaders to share their experience with graduate and undergraduate students in the classroom. Through this program, alumni, business leaders, and their companies are invited to partner with the University in our shared pursuit of management excellence. For more information click here.