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!
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!
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.