Skip to main content

It’s late Friday afternoon, and Sarah, a dedicated community management professional, is about to wrap up her week. Just as she’s about to shut down her computer, the phone rings. It’s a lot owner, furious about a decision made by the committee—a decision Sarah had no control over. The call quickly escalates, harsh words are thrown, and Sarah is left to absorb the abuse, trying to de-escalate while her own stress levels soar.

Sadly this is a common occurrence in the industry. Community managers, like Sarah, navigate a minefield of emotional labor, often facing undue criticism and blatant disrespect. It’s a massive issue that needs attention.

We need to protect our Community Managers


It’s no secret that community managers are busy. These professionals are faced with managing complex tasks, thousands (usually millions) of invested dollars worth of assets, and the massive responsibly of looking after people’s homes. All while being expected to be a phone call away, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It’s absolutely crucial that these people are well looked after, by giving them a safe place to work, not only physically but mentally.

Due to the sensitive nature of some of the topics a community manager deals with, it’s not uncommon that challenging situations arise. And with such a diverse array of stakeholders, respect is a non-negotiable when it comes to communication. Especially to your community manager, who probably has 10,000 other jobs they’re currently dealing with.

The Impact of Job Stress


Every job has some degree of stress and Community Managers are no different. Although there are unique pressures community managers face, including juggling multiple communities, dealing with complex legislation, and often being the middleman between conflicting parties. But then there’s also the expectation to be available round-the-clock with instant replies. The lines between work and personal life can blur, leading to extreme burnout, maybe enough burnout for them to exit the industry completely?

The industry is only growing and becoming more complex every day, attracting new talent to the industry is proving to be a challenge. So, we should be protecting these managers, to reduce the risk of even more turnover and industry exits.

Stress manifests as physical exhaustion, mental fatigue, and emotional strain, impacting health and well-being. Which nobody should have to deal with, especially from their job.

Promoting Work-Life Balance & Flexibility


Speaking of industry retention, job seekers are placing more emphasis on the importance of work-life balance

“Work-life balance and wellbeing have also increased in importance notably since 2015, with 53% of employees citing them as “very important” compared with 61% of today’s workforce.” (gallup, 2022)

A part of protecting our managers is providing them the freedom to do their job effectively in a way that works for them. Organisations can play a significant role by implementing flexible working arrangements, encouraging time off, and promoting a culture where work-life balance is respected.

Empowering teams with the technology to work in a way that suits them is something the high performing management companies do differently, read more about the topic on this blog post here.

The Role of Organisational Culture & Support Systems


Establishing support systems within the workplace, such as mentorship programs, peer support groups, or access to counselling services, can provide community managers with the resources they need to navigate workplace challenges effectively.

But it also must come from the top, with management advocating for their community managers right to expect a standard of respect from stakeholders.

A healthy work environment plays a huge role in community manager wellness. An organisational culture that values transparency, communication, and mutual respect can significantly reduce workplace stress. By creating an environment where community managers feel supported and valued, companies can encourage positive mental health, boost morale, and increase job satisfaction.

Respecting Community Managers and No Tolerance for Abuse


The unfair reality of the community management profession often involves dealing with verbal abuse and unreasonable demands from stakeholders. The constant barrage of negativity takes a significant emotional toll, even for the most experienced professionals. The role has a lot of emotional labor involved, and it needs to be made clear that enduring abuse should not part of the job.

Like other public facing roles, there need to be safeguards put in place to protect community managers and reframe the public perception of the role.

Clear policies protect managers and ensure a professional, supportive atmosphere. After all, a managers job is to coordinate everything and everyone required to make communities a better place to live, for everyone.

community mangers