By Sarah J. Kaelberer and E. Dennis Zahrbock
A very good staff gives you a very good team. And a very good team gives you outstanding results.
Most producers know that to make Top of the Table, they need an excellent staff. Heres how to build a Top of the Table staff.
Finding the Right Fit
The first step in building your team is finding the right people. The key to choosing the best employee is to focus on the person, not the resum?.
For example, we have an employee, Lisa, who did not have a resum? when we hired her. We recruited her from a company that was going out of business.
We offered her the job because we knew what kind of person she was and how she worked. Over the years, wed seen her demonstrate that she had a heart of gold and the desire to do anything it took to help a client or teammate.
Those qualities made her a good fit for our team. If the spirit and ability is there, procedures and processes can be taught.
The bad apple theory. The old saying, “One bad apple spoils the bunch,” can prove true in an office environment. One negative person or non-team player can seriously damage a teams morale.
One way to combat this is to get to know the candidate for the job as well as possible. Our office is small enough that we can have a job candidate meet with all the current team members.
Make sure, too, that all employees meeting with a job candidate are familiar with interview laws in your state and country.
Training your team
Although the key to a Top of the Table staff is Top of the Table heart and attitude, everyone needs training. So, once youve found your diamonds in the rough, youll need to polish them.
Product and industry knowledge, as well as tax elements, can be taught. Technical accuracy is a must. It is vital that all employees understand your products. The more the team understands why we do what we do for clients, the better service the team can provide.
One of the trickiest skills in this business is knowing how to ask questions. We all know that when clients call to ask a question, rarely is the answer as simple as what they asked.
There often is an underlying reason for the question. We work to teach our team how to get to the bottom of questions.
How do you teach this? Try to allow an unlimited amount of time for training. Although the possibility for abuse exists by allowing so much time, the flexibility and respect we offer our staff belay this.
Our staff members flexible schedules and incentives depend on them getting their jobs doneand done well. They know when training will make them better.