The more engaged people are on your team, the higher their productivity is and the better the culture is all around. We have very high expectations and demand a lot, so we want to treat people very well — not only with cash compensation, but non-cash compensation as well. We’ve found that, for some people, that’s more valuable than the salary.
Salaries have to be competitive, but these are a few examples of this non-cash compensation:
- Massage Monday. The first Monday of every month, we bring a masseuse into the office, and they give everyone a 15- or 20-minute massage. It’s relaxing. Stress goes down, and everyone appreciates it a lot. It costs $150 every month, but I can tell you, I’ve gotten that back in increased productivity many, many times each month. It’s worth it. A small little reward goes a long way.
- Catered lunch. Something else we do is a third Thursday when lunch is on me. It’s a time to sit down informally and just hang out with everyone. Talk about their family. Talk about their friends, what’s important to them. It builds the bond stronger.
- Team building. Another thing that we like to do is go off-site a couple of times a year. We work hard. We want to play hard, so we go off-site and do a team-building activity and just have fun together.
- Free Friday. Another, and one of the best, ideas is we give everyone a free Friday every month. I know you’re thinking that’s crazy, and it could hurt productivity, and we were concerned and fearful about that initially as well. But MDRT preaches work-life balance; let’s be proactive about it. People want to spend time with their family or their friends or their charities or go to the doctor or just have a longer weekend. People love it, and they protect it, so productivity doesn’t actually go down. It goes up. Because if it’s my free Friday this Friday, I’m going to be working very hard to make sure all my stuff is done. And if I can’t get it all done, I’m going to lean on a team member, and they’re going to help me because they know next week, when it’s their free Friday, I’m going to help them and have their back. So it builds a collaborative approach for everyone and helps everyone become more efficient, and yet, still have more time off.
These are inexpensive, easy ways to show people how much you appreciate them. People over profits. In a small office, we talk about treating our clients and our team like family. This is an easy way to do it, and it produces significant results.
William J. Rossi, CFP, ChFC, is a 17-year MDRT member from Gainesville, Florida. See more in his 2020 EDGE presentation. [For MDRT members only.]
Read more about non-cash compensation.