CommonBond Communities is the Midwest’s largest nonprofit provider of affordable housing with attached supportive services. Commonbond develops, owns, and manages affordable apartments and townhomes throughout 50 cities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Over 9,000 people — including families, seniors, and people with disabilities and other barriers — call CommonBond home.
Correcting Ineffective Staff Training
Linda Greenwaldt, Yardi software specialist for Commonbond, once had a mindset that valued hands-on training as the best way to get employees trained. As a result, Commonbond employees were given a login and password and asked to begin learning on the job. Greenwaldt soon began looking at ways to improve training, as previous methods were not achieving optimal results.
Yardi eLearning streamlines staff training with an innovative learning solution. Yardi eLearning replaces outdated methods of staff training, such as brochures and DVD’s with interactive courses with opportunities for collaborative learning with peers.
Benefitting From Online Training
Like many property management companies, CommonBond used to take a traditional approach to staff training. Focussing on one-on-one hands-on training, CommonBond found its training program to be time consuming and inefficient. “Yardi eLearning has really changed the way I see online training as an industry,” said Greenwaldt. “It allows us to automate learning in ways not possible with traditional training,” said Greenwaldt.
While CommonBond hasn’t totally replaced its former training with Yardi eLearning, it has found that the online training program does a great job of reinforcing other methods.
CommonBond staff are required to take fair housing training every other year. Yardi eLearning has transformed those classes. “In the past we would pay for instructors to do a three-hour presentation to employees. We’d record it on DVD for new employees coming on board, and you can imagine how ineffective that was. We now present fair housing instructions in easily manageable half-hour courses in Yardi eLearning. That has made it much easier for employees to retain this critical knowledge,” says Greenwaldt.
Accountability in Training Yardi eLearning gives CommonBond a complete record of all training activities. Managers can go in to check attendance at any time. This level of accountability has increased training effectiveness. “Accountability is one of the great things about Yardi eLearning. Users have to sign in with their name every time they access the solution. From the very moment they log in, Yardi eLearning users know the work they are doing is making an impact on their staff records,” said Greenwaldt.
Technology only available with online learning also benefits CommonBond. “eLearning gives users the ability to bookmark concepts and workflows which are key to their everyday responsibilities. So, even if staff only retain a relatively small percentage of the materials presented during training, they can easily log in to Yardi eLearning for assistance. They can even have two windows open and use eLearning as a guide through the live processes during their workday,” said Greenwaldt.