Genesis takes the SCA ‘Pledge to Respect’ and acknowledges the importance of safe work places, including for mental wellbeing.

It’s no secret that mental health burn out happens in strata management, a lot. In 2018, our Licensee, Natalie Fitzgerald, was awarded the SCA (NSW) Essay award, for writing about this very matter. With the inclusion of psychosocial hazards as the responsibility of employers in the WHS legislation in October 2022 it is clear this is a real issue.

We understand, often when an owner needs to contact us it’s because something has gone wrong, or because they don’t understand something that impacts them, like a levy increase. And we get it, there is a good chance that the owner contacting us in that respect will be upset. What we don’t understand is why it seems to be acceptable that the strata manager be treated as the boxing bag.

Now to be clear. This isn’t every owner. It’s not even a majority. But let’s call it one in ten calls or emails (which is probably pretty close to right). That’s still a lot of misdirected anger. Our people, well they are people, people. They have to be to do this job. They enjoy helping. They want to problem solve. It’s what motivates us.

What doesn’t motivate us? Being criticised because the advice we provide (based on experience and legislation) doesn’t support an opinion. Being blamed for the increase in insurance premiums or trades costs. Bring yelled at because someone didn’t read their emails and missed an inspection for fire safety. And the worst? Being blamed for levy increases. Every.Single.Time. It’s a lot.

This ‘bad’ side of the job is often balanced by the good. Our amazing volunteer committee members who understand we support them and our advice is always given in the interest of the owners corporation. Working with those committee members. Solving the issues, big or small. Finding that out of box solution that results in the win/win. The thank you ’s that do come through. That’s what we’re here for.

Because we know that our committee members support us, as we support them, we want to be proactive in protecting our team, and our committee members, from the psychosocial hazard of abuse and misdirected anger. No person deserves to be sworn at, belittled or unfairly criticised for doing their job.

Strata Communities Australasia, in response to the WHS legislation inclusion of psychosocial hazards has prepared the ‘SCA Respect Pledge’. It’s a three-way promise, between strata managers, committee members and owners to work together with respect and care. You can read more here. We think it’s bigger than that. It’s a framework for best practise for how we work with all strata stakeholders.

Genesis will take this pledge, and in doing so makes the below promise to all our committee members, owners, building managers, suppliers, property managers and any other stake holders. We’re confident our committee members will join us in sharing this pledge with owners as we all work for harmony in strata communities.

The pledge is:

1. RESPECT. We pursue respect with energy and persistence and are respectful under all conditions.

2. INTEGRITY. We stand for honest and ethical moral principles and stand united for situational challenges and choosing the right thing to do over the easy thing to do.

3. INTOLERANCE. We do not tolerate others who are disrespectful, and we will call them out respectfully when they behave inappropriately.

4. SELF-AWARENESS. We are aware of our own actions and the effect that they have on others.

5. SELF-REGULATION. We maintain awareness and self control of emotion, behaviour and decision making.

6. EMPATHY. We invite the perspective of others and consider feelings and thoughts that may be different to our own. We are compassionate and respectful of differences that may exist between us.

7. TRUST. We welcome differences of opinion and healthy debate, and we ensure that all voices feel safe to be heard. We aim to build relationships of trust based on mutual understanding for the greater community good.

8. HONESTY. We are open and transparent in our dealings.

9. DUE DILIGENCE. We understand the financial, strategic and other implications of our actions.

10. GOOD FAITH. We act in the best interests of owners and their representatives, and we demonstrate accountability for our actions.

11. FAIRNESS. We will avoid bias and discrimination, and act impartially and fairly.

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