One of my favorite clients just had a retreat to launch her venture from a solo practice to an ensemble of staff and a junior advisor. She decided from the first moment the team started working together she wanted to create a winning dynamic. We worked though the steps to introduce the junior advisor to clients, and now the retreat has laid the foundation for a fantastic team atmosphere. In financial planning do you find it is more fulfilling to plan than to fix errors your clients make? In that same vein, I enjoy coaching proactively rather than reactively. Planning this retreat was a blast. It is exhilarating to move forward and watch a team grow so positively.

When Worlds Collide - Generational Differences & Succession Planning

The advisor population is aging. The time has come to assure that the next generation of advisors is in place so that aging advisors can retire knowing they have left clients in good hands.  I know Baby Boomers and Gen Xers don’t have a lock on generational differences, but technology advances and economic life experiences have drawn some stark differences between the generations in this millennium. Successful succession planning means addressing all of the joys and concerns that come with mixing multiple generations in the office.

Building a Team - Act or React

We all hope for the best when we begin a new phase. No one hires a new team member assuming things will go badly, and yet sometimes things do. Your choice as you move your team forward is to act or react. A staff retreat is one way you can be proactive. Get a jump start on potential issues such as communication styles and employer/employee expectations. You can talk about fears and concerns from the outset as well as learning about generational differences so that you are prepared for, and preferably avoid, irritations and miscommunications. Regardless of the exact contents of your agenda, you are reaching out to set the stage for success.

2015-08-27 17.40.23

Can’t we just have a meeting?

Setting aside time for a retreat takes you all away to a neutral location, reduces participants’ stress, and levels the playing field. A facilitator further helps to maintain neutrality and aid team building. You don’t have to go to an exotic locale, but getting away from the office sends a clear message that this is worth taking the time to take the best path forward. Annual retreats tell your staff that it is a special time to get the business revved up for another great year.

No retreat looks quite like any other. Create a schedule that covers your goals and concerns. Some things you may consider are generational communications, work ethic and styles, processes and workflows – especially if you are a one person show hiring your first staff. Discuss client relationships, career paths, performance expectations or take time to do some strategic planning. . Allowing for some time in the evening to socialize gives people time to relax, create great memories and connections. It may seem to be down time, but those connections will be strong when stress rises back at the office and you all need to pull together. The agenda is limited only by your imagination. Let your facilitator help you brainstorm ideas and build the schedule to suit your team and your needs.

If you believe your team would benefit from a retreat I would be thrilled to help you make it happen. Please contact me for a free first consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.