Jason McGuigan (pictured above) and Rohan Sivajoti explain the measures they have taken to increase cooperation between departments at their firms.
Chief executive, Critchleys
I have merged our tax and financial planning teams into one integrated private client proposition. This has created greater synergy as they were not really talking to each other.
This has proved successful. The two skill sets work well together. When a client comes in for advice, the two disciplines should be working together to find a solution across the whole tax and product-based spectrum. Clients really like this multidisciplinary approach.
One of our clients is a successful recruitment consultancy business and I have joined-up meetings with the directors and the accountant, so we can deal with their business and private needs together. This is very empowering because you have two disciplines working towards a common goal, putting the client at the heart of it.
Our vision is to be the go-to firm in Oxford for accountancy, tax, financial planning and wealth management. The only way to do that is to make sure all our staff are educated on what that actually means. A lot of time is spent educating different departments on what each other do, to aid cross-fertilisation of ideas. That is the future.
We integrate our staff socially and by organising days out and activities. The more they get to know each other, the more opportunities they have to talk about each other’s services.
Top tip: Make sure everyone knows what each department does.
Director, Postcard Planning
A couple of years ago we spent time in a business growth accelerator, Entrepreneurial Spark. This offers cross-sector training to start-ups and businesses to ‘encourage entrepreneurship through the development of entrepreneurial mind-sets and behaviours’.
The accelerator contained every type of business: a team of magicians, engineering firms, small tech firms and us. Through this we learned a lot about teamwork and how this is achieved in other businesses and industries.
One of the things from the accelerator that resonated with me was learning to celebrate winning. The leaders I spoke with said doing this was a reminder that we are all in this together. It also serves as a reminder to the team of what can happen when things are done right.
It is difficult to not feel great when you win. So pat yourselves on the back from time to time. You deserve it and it will bring your team closer together.
We have implemented bonus.ly, a website that allows users to share out a small monthly allowance among colleagues. This means employees can gain recognition for good work via micro-bonuses, which can be redeemed through a rewards catalogue.
Top tip: Learn from other industries and reward your team’s successes.
What Twitter thinks
Director, Beaufort Financial Planning (Yorkshire)
We take all our team away, usually somewhere in Europe, once a year. This is to thank them for their hard work and help them to build good relationships outside the office environment. We try to include a fun team work event as part of this, such as an escape room.
Joint managing director, Robertson Baxter
It is important to develop a culture of positive and constructive feedback, in an open and honest environment. Directors should encourage the team to challenge upwards.