Create the Ultimate Work Environment

Almost anyone who has considered opening a brokerage has seen “The Wolf of Wall Street” at one point in their life and had a vision of a hectic sales floor with hyped and over-adrenalized salesmen who are pushing clients and each other in a money-driven craze.

While creating a dynamic, competitive and fun work environment is extremely important, a midget-tossing competition might be a step too far, and drug use is not a brilliant idea either. In reality, most brokerage sales floors do not look anything like Jordan Belfort’s Stratton Oakmont, but many sales managers are indeed looking for creative (and decent) ways to motivate their workers and keep their sales reps sharp while on the phone.

So what makes for a tastefully fun work environment? Here are some small tips to begin with:

  1. First of all, your offices and work floor should be in decent premises and on a good location. There’s no second chance for first impressions, and although most of the business is done via phone, the location of your offices is highly important to your employees as well as to your recruiting efforts. Not many people would agree to come and work in a cramped building in some dodgy neighborhood. By choosing a good and accessible location, as well as a new and pleasant building, potential employees will have a good first impression of your brokerage and are more likely to enjoy coming to work every day.
  2. Choose an office with a balcony or some other outdoor space. While this may seem insignificant, between intensive sessions of sales and retention calls your employees will almost definitely be eager for some fresh air. Just consider how many working hours are lost in the process of going out for a cigarette or coffee break – waiting for the elevator, the ride down and then back up, going to the smoking area, etc. By choosing an office that has a balcony, you not only reduce time lost, but also create a cohesion and positive social dynamic among colleagues who spend their breaks with each other and often discuss work, rather than spending their break with people from other offices and discussing unrelated topics – thus increasing productivity even during breaks.
  3. Another element that needs to be considered is the atmosphere on the sales floor. Do you play music or not? If you do, then which type of music and how loud? Do you make sure that there are always good snacks and food available, or do you keep them for special occasions?  Do you hold competitions between different sales teams? On one hand, a silent sales floor is boring, unenergetic, and generally not profitable. But on the other hand, a sales floor that is closer to a club than a place of business is equally inefficient.
  4. Know your leadership style. If you’ve done your research properly, you’ve probably visited a few brokerages and you have probably seen that no two sales floors are alike. This is because the atmosphere in the call center needs to reflect the character of the brokerage owner, their management style, and their team-leading abilities. A charismatic manager that knows how to contain and direct a rowdy staff would benefit more from a hectic sales floor because they can stay on top of employees’ energy, driving them forward with little additional effort. On the other hand, for some brokerages a more professional and restrained approach will yield better results.

While there are many more elements that affect the nature of a work environment, the location, quality of facilities, and atmosphere on the trade floor are the “holy trinity” that does not vary from broker to broker. Take them into consideration when setting up your brokerage and your business life will be much easier going forward.

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