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Life Health > Health Insurance > Your Practice

5 Simple Gifts

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The Nutcracker ballet is as much an annual holiday tradition to many families as is cookie baking and Christmas light display viewing.

No matter how many times we’ve watched the Nutcracker lead his gingerbread soldiers against the Mouse King, the careful choreography between the dancers never ceases to amaze.

For years, I’ve noticed a similar synergy of talent in the best FA offices around the country whether big or small. Clients choose to stay with these top-producers year after year just as they take in The Nutcracker each season.

Though each possesses unique attributes, these advisors all cultivate an atmosphere of community within their offices that earns their clients’ trust and long-term business much like the unison of dancers on stage who keep us coming back for more.

Your staff is your dance troop and your front line that pulls it all together for you day in and day out. They interact with clients, troubleshoot and work under frequent time constraints and pressure. Keep this crucial support system happy and healthy this holiday season and into the New Year by thanking them in these simple ways.

Hold offsite meetings: Fresh ideas are often sparked in neutral, offsite settings without the distractions of the office. This is particularly true for staffers who are generally onsite day in and day out.

Brainstorming, developing team work and bonding over a simple cup of coffee can make all the difference. Invite them to offer their ideas on how to better serve clients; as they do a lot of interacting with them, they tend to know them pretty well!

Take a look at your staff’s calendar and block off a mid-morning slot for catching up one-on-one or with the entire crew this December. Then keep it going into 2014!

Start staff appreciation days: Ring the New Year in with a bang and a new tradition… staff appreciation days!

These can be simple gestures of kindness offered throughout the year like bringing in an office chair masseuse for an afternoon, catering a staff lunch or even offering fresh fruit and muffins every now and again to start the day right.

Tokens of periodic appreciation remind your staff why they love working alongside you and your clients. They can prove crucial for morale during hectic periods, but don’t forget to show your appreciation for jobs well done, too, all year long.

Give back to your community: The benefits of giving one’s time and expertise are numerous and well-documented. Though it may seem counterproductive, offering a local organization just one afternoon of your entire staff’s time is among the best ways to boost morale and health, encourage team work, and create a strong sense of loyalty.

It’s no wonder why many of the most respected organizations have long had volunteer programs in place. Food banks, community and convalescent centers are just some of the places to look right in your own neighborhood.

Can’t carve out a few hours this season? Consider a matching contribution to your staff’s favorite charities. By setting a limit (perhaps just $25 per person) you can encourage your staff to think of others while showing them you appreciate what matters to them. It’s a win/win for everyone.

Host a holiday office party: There’s a lot that goes into the decision of having an office holiday party. They do have numerable advantages from the inclusion of your employees’ families to reconnecting with offsite or part-time staffers.

There’s no need to get extravagant but you can get creative. Hosting the annual party at your home, a local restaurant or even an ice rink is a wonderful gesture.

I’ve seen successful holiday parties done in the office, complete with holiday lights and a Santa Claus who delivers small toys to the kiddos. Take those vendor gifts that are probably piling up as we speak and raffle them off to your staff along with movie tickets or Starbucks cards.

Remember, the point of the party is to come together — outside of work — and enjoy each other’s company wherever it may be. What better time of year to do that than now?

Last but not least… Give your staff the gift of time.

We all know how this time of year tends to be stressful with business wrapping up, families in town and presents to buy.

Reduce those headaches by giving staff a few hours off to take care of those crucial package mailings and shopping trips.

Happy staffs are eager to share their ideas, pitch in on new initiatives, take on more responsibilities and dance that delicate dance which keeps your clients coming back for more.

Until next time, wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

— Connect with ThinkAdvisor Life/Health on Facebook and Twitter.

Wendy BoglioliWendy Boglioli is an Olympic swimmer, long-term care financing planner and motivational speaker based on Hood River, Oregon.


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