If you don’t have a great plan in place to support your employees in this new environment, your firm will suffer.
Like you, we had to adjust overnight to a new working normal and figure out ways to keep our advisers and team members encouraged, equipped, productive and engaged. While the process continues to evolve, I’d like to share with you some of the things we’ve done these past few weeks.
Daily huddles. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of daily meetings, but due to these extreme circumstances, we decided to have daily “huddles” with each department of the organization. These are 30-minute video calls where we can share what’s going on within the organization, as well as discuss personal details about our lives. We’ve found that having that daily connection is helpful for our people to still feel like they are part of a team.
Camera mandatory. I’ll be honest, up until two months ago, I wasn’t a big fan of using video on calls, except perhaps on FaceTime with my wife and kids while I’m traveling. Now I’ve fully embraced it and find it incredibly helpful.
At a time when most of us are stuck at home, being able to see another person makes a tremendous difference.
Weekly video to staff. Each week, Pat McClain (my co-CEO) and I create a short video that is distributed to our entire staff. We give an encouraging talk and discuss some of the things happening in the organization. To make it simple, we join one another on Zoom, use the “record” and “screen share” features, and within a few minutes we have a video that can go out to all our team members.
Get-togethers. We have a variety of virtual events in which our staff can participate. For Cinco de Mayo, we had happy hour at 5 p.m. and gathered remotely to play bingo. We’ve had companywide Zoom calls where all 230 associates can join in and see the faces of their co-workers. We also have what we call “Morning Buzz,” which is an unscripted, 45-minute window where any associate can pop in and engage in the type of conversation that would occur in the break room at the start of the day.
Training and coaching. We’ve trained all our advisers and associates on how to conduct great client meetings via Zoom, and we coach and monitor to ensure that our clients are having great experiences.
Communication. In normal times, leaders are asked to communicate, communicate, communicate. This is now more important than ever. From newsletters to emails to videos, touch base with your team regularly.
Scott Hanson is co-founder of formerly Hanson McClain Advisors, a fee-based RIA with $8 billion in AUM.