If you had taken a glimpse into Backyard Bookkeeper’s most recent in person company meeting, there are a few things you’ll notice that are different than most meetings I’ve been a part of.
- People were smiling and laughing
- Everyone was engaged in what is going on, note taking, listening intently, participating.
- Things got done.
- We all walked away feeling better about our jobs than when we walked in.
I have to admit at this juncture that we have boring meetings just like everyone else, so what made the difference this time? In order to have an effective meeting, it should be purposeful and present relevant information, solve problems, and most importantly boost morale. A happy employee is a productive employee.
At our most recent company meeting, we started by listening to a great presentation from Ryan Beck from Mountain West Advisors. He talked to us about personal finance and steps to getting ourselves in a great financial position. Given our background as bookkeepers, this was helpful on a professional and personal level. We were able to get some great advice on personal finances and also have some valuable tools and contacts to share with our clients.
After Ryan’s presentation, the majority of our time was spent with Angie DeLong, an Enrolled Agent with more than 25 years of experience with tax law. Our bookkeepers better understood their part of the financial process as they heard from her. Identifying where their job fit in with everything else helped give them insight and more confidence in their place. Even though we keep our bookkeepers from advising on tax issues, it was valuable for them to know about tax law so they can better categorize items. Many of our bookkeepers let us know how helpful it was to better understand their place as bookkeepers within the bigger financial picture of their client’s companies.
Then we ended with a lot of morale boosting talk from Alex and Julie (the owners), reminding us to work as a team and prioritize our lives. They made us feel appreciated and important. We celebrated Backyard Bookkeeper’s 10th anniversary and walked away with personalized gifts.
I use this example of our company meeting as a great structure for any meeting:
- Start with an agenda that is good for your employees on a personal and professional level.
- Show them how their job fits into the big picture and give them the tools they need to fit well as that piece of the puzzle.
- Celebrate your employees, the company, and teamwork. Boost Morale, so when they leave they feel they are supported.
Let your job sponsor your life: a change in perspective
There’s a moment in everyone’s life where you wake up and think, “Ugh! I have to go to work today.” Even people who love their jobs have this moment every once in a while.
For me a solution that allows me change my perspective on those days is to remind myself that this job is sponsoring my life. It requires some of my time, just like any sponsor does, but I can see physical evidence of the great things my job does for me all around. I live in a house, I have transportation, I have clothing and get to spend time with my family doing the things I love, all because I have a job.
Real life example of what I’m talking about in kid terms: My son really wants to buy some ice cream from the ice cream truck, but I just can’t justify the expense. The other day, he found some money in his room and got really excited, “Mom! If I save my money, I can buy ice cream from the ice cream truck all by myself!”
“You’re right. Go for it.”
When something is important to us, we work for it. What is important to you in your life? What could you have a goal for that would make going to work exciting? For my son, it’s the ice cream truck. If I only focus on the bare minimum, on the things I need to survive, then work becomes about survival. It becomes drudgery, fight or flight. When I think to myself-I’m gonna let my job sponsor my life, I really want __________________________ (fill in the blank with something that would make your life better); suddenly my job is exciting because of the thing I am working for. That thing could be as simple as ice cream, or as big as a vacation, or tool to do thing you’ve always wanted to try.
After writing this, I am going to re-approach my budget and my goals list. I am going to let my job sponsor my life. I have a list of “cool thing I want” that I add to on a regular basis. It’s time to prioritize that list and let my sponsor provide the life I love.