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From The World Cup to Love Island to Las Vegas

Posted on
June 22, 2018

So, the least hyped and anticipated World Cup I have ever experienced is underway, but in fairness, I am enjoying it quite a lot. All of my colleagues in the office agree, which is a bit of a relief knowing I am not an outcast. Despite all the bad publicity surrounding Russia being awarded the World Cup in the first place, they are putting on a good show and well done them. Let’s hope it continues.

Now for something that has divided the office. Love Island. No, you do not have to read this twice, I did in fact say Love Island. The vast majority of the office, both ladies and gents (the latter being a loosely used term) are all on board with the show. None of this hiding behind the missus “I am watching it because she is” it is very much more an open and honest set of comments. Good on you boys, don’t be afraid to say what you enjoy watching.

One matter that has not divided the office is a recently launched incentive. And it is a beauty. A three-night stay in Las Vegas, for all that qualify. Even better still, this is not just for the Consultants. Other employees can be on the plane, if they their own defined targets, valuing that every individual has an input to the business.

The Las Vegas incentive is the second of its kind this year. The first being a two-night trip to Porto. Starting in January, running through to June, the target was reached in April, so the Directors upped the ante and Las Vegas was born. The ones that have qualified are off to Porto in September, so fingers crossed they all return, as Vegas is looking a real possibility, even this early on.

Recruitment is primarily viewed as a sales orientated business, with Consultants branding figures around to match their ego’s. What is often overlooked are the people behind the scenes. Take motor racing as an example, please bear with me, I promise it will make sense. The mechanics that sit behind the scenes and refine Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari to be a winning machine. When Max Verstappen writes off another priceless Red Bull, the guys back in the garage work throughout the day and night, to put the car back on the track so he can get the car into the points. It’s a team effort, not just the driver.

At BWD, we have project management, admin, and marketing all supporting the Consultants in their efforts to get on that plane. It’s a collective effort, so why shouldn’t others be targeted and incentivised to go also? I have been in the Financial Services industry for nearly twenty years, rapidly progressing towards veteran status, but that is a different story. I have witnessed many organisations with sales incentives/rewards, while the support staff are not incentivised at all. I have fought the corner of the ‘mechanics’ in the past and have been put in my place. Why is it you often see a high level of turnover in these positions? Hmmmm.

Now, I am not saying for one minute that sales based roles should not be rewarded. I totally agree they should be. They are in fact a very good concept, not just for the sales team members. It aids senior managers and directors in assessing who is performing above and beyond targets and who is not. For the latter, are they just having a spell of bad luck, or is it something more serious? Plans can then be implemented to change this mis-fortune.

One of the most impressive, possibly unique attributes to a business I have ever witnessed, is the combination of individuals working towards their targets and working as a team. Let me explain in a little more detail. Newly promoted Senior Consultant, Harry McNeill, joined the Pension & Benefits Division of BWD in early 2017. He took the time to get to grips with his market, learning from some of the senior consultants.

In his first year, he began to gain some momentum, but as with all Consultants, had some knock backs along the way. He leveraged off these senior members to help alleviate the negatives and look to build his own style of consulting. 2018 is certainly the year of his making, smashing his targets and continuing to establish himself in the industry. He now has an excellent list of clients who entrust him with the positions they require, utilising Harry and BWD as a business partner.

BWD has recently hired a number of new Consultants, who are currently engaging with the newly overhauled and enhanced training programme. Understanding from past experience of being a BWD ‘newbie’, Harry provided a fantastic speech on how he transitioned into the Consultant he is now. Centred around learning and leveraging off the team members, explaining how approachable and open each and every one of them is. Each Consultant wants to see the others succeed and this can only be achieved via a collaborated engaging set of individuals.

Of course, I can be accused of being biased because I work here. But I am not a Consultant and can see it from an observational perspective. As an industry veteran, I have been approached by newbies, Consultants and Directors for my opinions, how do I go about this, do you have a good relationship with this firm etc. This demonstrates the ethos instilled across the organisation, so it is no coincidence the core team has over 5 years of service.

I for one want to be on that plane, but I also want every one of my colleagues to be with me. Quoting the late Steve Jobs, “great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people”. We have an excellent team of drivers and mechanics and I am certain we will all be there.

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