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How to Motivate Employees Working in the Financial Services Sector


Throughout my 20 years’ in the financial industry, I have worked with many different types of people. Along the way, I have figured out successful tactics on how to motivate my staff. Employees are the building blocks of any company, whether big or small. By giving my team the right incentives, my employees have found my financial law firm a desirable workplace that in turn has allowed my business to blossom. So what are some steps you can take to help motivate your employees that will further allow your business to flourish? Here are some strategies that have helped enhance my employees’ overall work experience while creating a positive company morale and culture that may also be beneficial for your employees and business.

Puppies in the Workplace

As a puppy raiser for the nonprofit organization, the Smithtown Guide Dog Foundation, I regularly bring different puppies home each month for training. Since I could not stay home with the puppies due to my busy work schedule, I decided that taking them to the office would be a great way for me to care for them while providing them with socialization. Little did I know this small action would ultimately boost my employee and overall company morale. Seeing the tremendous positive impact the puppies were having on my staff and the work environment, I started bringing my own dogs to the office on a regular weekly basis in addition to the different sets of puppies I would take home to train each month.  Through our “puppy interns,” as we affectionately like to call them, they have helped to relieve stress and promote positive interactions among everyone in the office. All of my employees are encouraged to feed the dogs and take them out for walks. Walking the dogs gives my employees a mental break. They return to the office feeling refreshed and recharged, ready to face the rest of the day. Having furry friends at the office generates excitement along with a feeling of home and sense of amity that makes the work days more enjoyable!

Friendly Competition

In our business, it is all about saving people money. With that being said, we have created friendly competitions in our office that revolve around saving our clients’ money. The employee who saves our clients the most money or who gets the best settlement is rewarded for their efforts. Whether it is through incentive of movie tickets or a gift certificate, these friendly contests have motivated our employees to reach their goals. They find it gratifying when they get to write their settlement count on the office whiteboard for the entire office to see. If you are not giving your employees recognition for their hard work, they are most likely going to become discouraged and unmotivated in their work.

Open Floor Plan

What gives my firm an advantage in motivating employees is our open floor plan environment. Many workplaces are constructed with cubicles that do not allow a natural flow of interaction among staff. What I love most about open floor plan design is the sense of family and friendships that are created through its arrangement. Everyone works together instead of being secluded, which fosters teamwork and camaraderie. With an open floor, employees interact in a way that leads to free discussion, exchange of ideas and solutions, along with opportunity for casual friendly conversation that can help break up the day. My employees have personally told me this design has made their job more pleasant!

Company Gatherings

After working 40+ hours a week, employees may not be so excited to attend a company gathering. To combat this, I try to come up with outside-of-the-box get-togethers that my employees are more inclined to want to attend. Instead of planning typical company dinners or in office events, we recently participated in a SoulCycle class and went to an indoor trampoline recreation center. The purpose of having events like these is to get employees to bond and interact on a personal level so this transpires to working well together inside the office. A team that gets along is critical to productivity.

Beyond gatherings outside of the office, I also look to incorporate team building exercises within the office. To make the environment a little more work friendly, I brought in a mini basketball hoop in which employees can shoot baskets from time to time. Every so often, to help my employees rest their brains, we host basketball competitions where the winners get free lunch. Additionally every employee on his or her birthday gets a celebration with ice-cream cake. I find providing employees these type of breaks decreases their chances of burnout and keeps them looking forward to coming to work each day. When you are working with numbers for long hours day after day it is important to have an outlet and special things to look forward to.

Without my valuable employees, I would not be able to lead thousands of people to financial freedom. My work environment and culture is special in that it creates trust and comfort among not only the financial and debt clients we serve but also the employees who support them. Working in the financial industry can be taxing so it is important to find a balance between work and fun to ensure your employees enjoy what they are doing, are motivated and focused. You never want someone just coming in, doing their job, and then leaving. As a business, the focus should be about sharing ideas on how we can grow with each other as a work family as well as how we can continue to grow the business in the process.


Leslie Tayne

Written by Leslie Tayne

Leslie H. Tayne, Esq. has nearly two decades of experience in the practice area of consumer and business financial debt-related services. She launched her law firm, Tayne Law Group, P.C., formerly Law Offices Of Leslie H. Tayne P.C., in 2001, which is one of the few New York State law practices concentrating in debt management, debt resolution and alternatives to bankruptcy for consumers, business owners and professionals who are in need of help with managing finances. Leslie and her firm deliver comprehensive consulting and support services for clients in all areas of debt including credit cards, unsecured loans, lines of credit and consumer based loans as well as business and student loan matters. Leslie is highly accomplished in negotiation and settlements with large national banks, credit unions, collection agencies and multiple creditor legal representatives. Her mission is to reshape debt resolution alternatives by giving clients a supportive and reliable environment built on experience, trust and results that will not only relieve clients of the stress from debts but also the burden of the never-ending debt cycle. Leslie’s practice has grown since its establishment, with offices now in Manhattan, White Plains and Mount Kisco and continues to expand. Eager to share her counsel and expertise, Leslie is frequently invited to participate in speaking engagements and is often a volunteer guest presenter at colleges, bar associations and not-for-profits. Continuing her commitment to public service, she has been actively involved with the Guide Dog Foundation of Smithtown since 2011 as a volunteer who cares for and trains puppies that eventually become service dogs for individuals in need. Leslie is also Chair for the Nassau County Bar Association’s Attorney Accountant Committee, treasurer with the Jewish Lawyers Association of Nassau County, and is the Chair for Nassau Suffolk Law Services, Inc. A highly respected consumer and business debt-related expert, Leslie is often called upon by the media to comment on a variety of financial topics. She has written content for and been interviewed by a variety of national and local news outlets including Inc. Magazine, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Fox News, CNBC, Newsday, The New York Daily News, as well as many, many more. Always ready to donate her time and services when and where needed, Leslie was responsible for launching a specialized Hurricane Sandy Hotline in the aftermath of the devastating storm where she and her staff responded to questions and concerns among the many inflicted by the storm free of charge while providing free financial and debt advice. Leslie also devotes her time to the Long Island Against Domestic Violence organization speaking regularly to their support group on budgeting techniques and money saving strategies. Most recently, Leslie has been selected to Superlawyers for 2015 and 2016, voted Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business, awarded 2016 Top Legal Eagle by Long Island Pulse Magazine and the Tayne law Group has been voted Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s best debt consolidation service for the last 4 years in a row.

Read more posts by Leslie Tayne

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