How to engage with your team

By Ravi Samalad |  02-07-20 | 
 
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About the Author
Ravi Samalad is Assistant Manager - Editoral for Morningstar.in.

In this concluding part of the webinar organized by Arthmitra Gurukulam, Rajesh Sodhani of Sodhani Investments shares how he engages with his staff.

Hiring and retaining staff has always been a challenge for most advisory firms. Rajesh shares some anecdotes and actionable best practices in human resources which he has implemented in his practice.

What to look for in a candidate?

A 12th pass candidate came for an interview at my office. He was very passionate to be successful. His parents were not doing so well financially.  I hired him in 2009. Today, he is a partner in my business. In fact, he has his personal cabin in the office. He completed his graduation while working. He will soon be a Director along with me in a new company. He has built a house for himself and takes care of the entire family. So look for candidates who have hunger and passion to achieve something.

Celebrate special occasions

Make sure you celebrate the birthdays of every employee. We give a gift, take pictures and post them on social media. My wife and daughter also come to the office to celebrate each employee’s birthday. If I’m travelling and can’t come to the office due to work, I make sure the birthday is celebrated the next day.

Have a dress code

We have a dress code at the office. Every Monday and Saturday, employees wear company T-shirts, including security guards. We have a dress code for attending our annual conference as well. This suit design and quality is similar for all employees. Even my driver wears a suit while driving us to conferences.

ALSO READ: How to build and retain a great team

Visit employees’ home

I make sure that I visit all my employees’ homes once a year to have a cup of tea with their family, even if it is our office boy. Inform them in advance about the visit. Never go alone; go with your wife. This helps develop a family-like bonding with employees.

Have goals

After six months of joining the firm, we ask our sales team to write on a piece of paper where they wish to see themselves in the next one/five years. Normally, they write about their personal goals, for instance, buying a house. So we do a reverse calculation and figure out how much he/she needs to earn and pay EMI to afford a house. This gives an idea of what should be his/her own sales target. We have seen that the sales staff typically achieve their goals before the deadline. The zeal to realize their dream motivates them to give their best. The sales team decide their own target; I don’t give any target to them.

Be in touch with top clients

There will always be a situation where someone may start his/her own business and poach clients. Advisers need to be personally in touch with the top 100 clients from whom they get a major share of revenues. This will ensure that your top clients won’t leave you.

Client service team

Depending on the number of your clients, have few employees who will call your clients every day to confirm if they are receiving account statements, mailers, policy premium receipts, get nominee confirmation, etc. You can hire fresh graduates for this work.

Train your staff

Have one training in a month for your sales staff. The trainer can be an outsider. Besides, we also conduct weekly huddles with sales staff. They conduct these meetings by each new person leading the meeting every week by rotation.

For back-office staff, you can have one training every quarter. An AMC back-office staff can give this training. We also send our staff to AMC offices to understand and learn from their processes.

Give increments

Give a minimum level of increment to your staff every year. The increments can be higher if the business has done well.  Give promotions to those who perform well. The total salary expenditure of the firm should not exceed 50% of your net income.

Have a team lunch/dinner

Plan dinner with your team and their family occasionally. This will help you bond with the team on an emotional level. Also, have a recreational trip with your staff once a year.

Give proper designation

Provide proper designation to each staff. Learn from large organisations on how they give designations. Calling someone clerk may sound offensive, so you must assign a designation that sounds respectful.

Keep them motivated

Keep your staff motivated and happy. Create a positive vibe in the office. Employees should feel good after coming to the office.

We also conduct yoga sessions for your employees in our IAP room. We are planning to put a table tennis and a carrom board soon so that staff can take some break between work to rejuvenate themselves.

Finally, be a friend, not a boss.

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