Give them a goal, give them a shared reward, and use that reward to build an even stronger, better team.

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– Hey everybody! Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. This week, I am coming to you from New York City. Quick shout out to Jacob. Thanks for the Springfield Isotopes t-shirt, appreciate it. So why am I in New York? Well, I had a client meeting, but then I flew my entire team into New York and we’ve been spending a long weekend going to Broadway shows, seeing a Mets game, doing an escape room, all kinds of crazy things. So why are we doing that? Because we earned the privilege. I’m a huge believer that although everybody wants to do a good job, and everybody wants to help the company succeed, the reality is we have to give them motivation that matters to them. And one of the things that I have done for several years, is that at my agency, we have set some pretty audacious goals financially for the agency. And when we hit those goals, the team gets to decide where we go, and we go on a three or four day trip. It’s not super-expensive. I’m able to use Amex points and Marriott points and things like that to cover most of the airfare and hotel. So it’s really the only cost to me is what we do when we’re in that city. And we have gone to, as you might imagine, Disney World, Disneyland, we’ve been to New York a couple of times, but my team gets to pick the city and then I plan the agenda. So I have it all planned out for them, and I sort of play tour guide for the three or four days that we’re together. Here’s why I do it. Number one: It keeps us very focused on our goals all year long. Number two: It’s an amazing team building activity. Number three: It’s a great retention tool. So my staff has been with me on average for 17 years. And so I know that part of how I can motivate them to do great work, to stay focused on our work, even though they’ve done it for a really long time, and how I can motivate them to stay at my shop rather than go to another shop, is to create experiences they can’t have anywhere else. Sure, they get professional development. Sure, they have unlimited vacation. Sure, they have lots of other perks. But these trips, these agency trips, are a very unique thing that most of the other people who are courting my people, are not going to offer them. It also helps them get to know each other as people. It helps them reconnect. It creates, just like with your family when you go on trips together, it creates stories and legends and lore that gets carried on for years and it’s true for us too. We walked by a food truck the other day and we were all laughing about the last time we were here and got some pretty skanky chicken out of the food truck. So it creates bonds and memories. But it absolutely needs to be tied to a financial goal. But it absolutely needs to be tied to a financial goal. It needs to be tied to something that you’re trying to get your team to pull together to accomplish. So whether it’s a trip, it could be a day trip, it could be an extra day off, it doesn’t matter. Give them a goal, give them a shared reward, and use that reward to build an even stronger, better team. All right? I got to go because we have a food tour in a couple of hours. Talk to you soon.

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