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When I begin work with a new consulting client, I spend many hours getting to know the firm, the owners and the staff. Many times I am told by all involved the communication within the firm is bad. Then, my next questions is “do you hold weekly staff meetings” and I am constantly amazed at how many times I hear the word “No”.
When a team gets together and discusses things such as upcoming meetings, issues, concerns, where they stand on various projects, etc., it refocuses the team each week on the important work for that week and beyond. Having staff meetings every week can not only set the tone for everyone in the office for the upcoming week, it has a way solidifying the mentality that everyone is an important part of the team. All of our clients have regular staff meetings EVERY week. Some of our clients like to start a staff meeting off by going around the room and having each employee talk about something they are excited or grateful for that week. Ron Roge of R.W. Roge and Company (www.rwroge.com) says this “puts people in a positive state of mind.” Specifically speaking about the importance of starting the meeting off right, “Your mind has a tendency to go to the negative. When you think about what you are excited about, you have to push out the negativity. It sets the tone for the meeting, the day, and the rest of the week.”
The bare bones of a staff meeting usually include talking about issues that came up in the previous week, going over upcoming meetings and what prep needs to be done, and what everyone should be focusing on for the week.
Denise Davies, COO of Frisch Financial (www.frischfinancial.com), says, “Without a staff meeting, the CRM is useless. Staff meetings enhance the value of the CRM because no one in the firm is reading all the notes that are put in. It’s just not possible.” As far as morale in the office goes, Ms. Davies continues, “It gives everyone ownership and they feel included and are important to the team.”
The best staff meetings are light and can border on being fun because it can be a time for everyone on the team to catch up with one another. However, the leader of the staff meeting should have an agenda EACH WEEK and will adjust the course if the meeting is getting off track. Many of the owners of firms that we work with often only attend a portion of their staff meetings, or choose to exclude themselves all together. The staff meeting should be able to run without you, the owner of the firm.
Give us a call if we can help you construct or improve your firm’s staff meetings.
Ginny Hudgens, President and Owner of The Strategic Implementer, started out in the financial services industry in 1992 as a Vice President in the Investment Banking Group of J.C. Bradford & Co., a regional brokerage firm purchased by PaineWebber (now UBS) in 2000.
In August of 2000, she accepted a position with a financial advisor, his only employee at the time, as the "jack of all trades". At the time of her employment, the firm had approximately $7 million in assets under management. Later, as the COO of the firm, she and the advisor built the firm to over $115 million in assets under management. Ginny was responsible for managing all aspects of the firm, leading team strategy sessions and implementing the initiatives that drove the firm growth.
In March of 2006, she started The Strategic Implementer to share her skills with other advisors who are READY to take their business to the next level. Her background has put her in the unique position of knowing exactly what it takes to build a successful advisory firm.
Ginny has written for and been written about in such publications as The Journal of Financial Planning, Investment News and Bob Veres’ Inside Information. She is frequently asked to speak and has spoken to groups including several FPA chapters, Geneos Wealth Advisors in Denver and the 2013 FPA Business Solutions Conference.
Ginny is a 1988 graduate of the University of Louisville with a B.S. in Business Administration (concentration in Finance). She is married and her husband has two grown sons, one who served his country in Iraq for 15 months and his younger brother, who is now her associate in The Strategic Implementer. Ginny serves on the Board of Directors for the Louisiana State University CFP Program.