It’s a typical morning workday, and Tam Kim Fang is preparing breakfast for her assistant. The two will start the day by eating together and chatting about the day ahead. But these morning meals aren’t just about the food. They also help establish that the two have equally important roles and are part of the same team, even though technically the assistant works for Tam.
Creating shared goals
“I never put myself as a superior for her,” said Tam, a nine-year MDRT member from Selangor, Malaysia. “I tell her that she is my assistant to help me and we are working to achieve a common target, which is to give our clients the best experience and coverage that we can.”
When Tam’s assistant first started the job, Tam took her along on a couple of client meetings. “I wanted to show her what the reports are that she will be creating for the clients, so she would understand my pressure and the importance of doing well,” Tam said. “She learned fast, and that made her work more effective for me and my clients.”
Because Tam is generally out of the office meeting with clients, it’s up to her assistant to prepare all the paperwork for the meetings. Having her assistant see what those meetings entail and how the reports are used made all the difference in how Tam and her assistant work together.
“She also knows that I am fully commission-based. If I’m not doing well, how can I pay her salary?” Tam said. “So she always makes sure I get the report document before I need it. She understands what my job is. I couldn’t do this without her.”
For more about how to work with staff
- How to make sure you hire the right staff (MDRT members only, from the 2020 MDRT Virtual Event)
- How do I develop compensate and retain a protege, from the MDRT Hiring Guide
- Turn employee potential into performance