The offsite meeting is an opportunity to gather your team and spend time away from the office for a half-day annually. The lead advisor (or advisors) on the team should schedule this meeting and create the agenda, and ensure that every member of the team (including advisors and staff) is able to attend. Each team member has a different and valuable perspective on the business, and has had varying interactions with clients over time.
Hearing each perspective during this offsite meeting is crucial. If you have any key strategic or “virtual” team members or partners, you may want to consider including them in this meeting as well. We realize that it can be challenging to take the entire team offsite. Consider scheduling this meeting in the afternoon, after market close, in order to have minimal impact on your client experience.
Teams who commit to this annual offsite meeting find that every member of their extended team feels heard, respected, and truly appreciated as part of the team. The offsite meeting agenda should be written and distributed prior to the meeting, and should contain a mix of topics that are most top of mind for your practice (see sample agenda below). We encourage you to edit the agenda to capture your team’s most important current initiatives, challenges and vision.
- Reflection on past year’s successes and challenges
- Discussion around the next year’s top priorities, which should be clearly documented in writing, with timelines for completion and individual team member names associated with each goal
- Strategy around marketing, investment implementation, client communication, internal team processes
- Accountability systems and metrics documented for each team member
Best practice: This offsite should be something the team looks forward to, so consider including team-building activities, a celebratory dinner, or a volunteer activity at the end of the business meeting. We strongly advise that the team does not leave this meeting until you have documented 1-3 goals to accomplish in the upcoming year. Each goal should have at least one person’s name written down as the primary keeper of that goal. This allows for accountability in execution and also gives that person ownership responsibilities.
Sample Agenda Topics
Topics should be selected based on your current team state of the union, your passions; priorities, needs, etc. These are merely a sampling of topics and discussion points for your offsite meeting agenda. For example, if succession planning is a priority for your team, then a significant time should be dedicated to that topic.
- Encourage each team member to be prepared to share the following thoughts with the group:
- What team successes have occurred during the last year?
- What individual successes have occurred during the last year?
- What challenges or frustrations have occurred over the past year?
- The team should be prepared to discuss why the successes occurred (for example, putting processes into place; or working together efficiently; etc.)
- The team should also discuss each frustration/challenge that was voiced and determine if those items have been resolved or if there is further work to be done
Team Culture and Harmony:
- Does the entire team have buy-in on the current business plan?
- Is the team dynamic & culture positive and does it foster open and honest communication?
- How does the team define success?
- What will the team do as a reward to celebrate team successes when they occur (for example: a team outing, offsite, dinner, trip, etc.)
- Encourage each team member to share one personal goal for the upcoming year (if they are comfortable)
- Discussion around Team Meetings – are they happening regularly? Are they productive?
- Are there ways to enhance their effectiveness going forward?
- Is every member of the team committed to the same set of goals?
- Are there goals and commitments that were put in place upon team formation that have not yet been achieved?
Team Member Roles and Responsibilities (R&R):
- Review R&R for each team member and consider any changes or adjustments that may need to happen going forward
- Is each person currently functioning in his/her ideal role on the team?
- Does each team member understand how he/she is held accountable to their R&R?
- Does each team member understand how he/she contributes to key team business metrics?
Proactive Services Delivered to Clients (Service Model/Service Matrix/Client Experience, etc.):
- Has the team reviewed the client segmentation recently and adjusted ratings appropriately?
- For each client segment, does the team understand what services, solutions, education those clients will receive and at what intervals of time?
- Are all team members committed to using a central tracking system and entering notes consistently?
- Segmentation Best Practice:
- The team is strongly encouraged to revisit their book segmentation at least annually to determine if any adjustments should be made to client classification
- The team should also discuss as to whether any adjustments should be made to the services offered at each level of the service model, based on time, team member skills, etc.
- Are there any bad habits that need to be adjusted for the upcoming year as it pertains to serviced offered, or time spent with clients?
- Are all members of the team aligned in terms of the investment implementation process?
- Has the process been formally documented?
- Are there any adjustments that should be made for the upcoming year?
- Is there any additional training needed for any team members as it pertains to the investments?
- Does the team have a standardized and efficient investment review process that is consistently utilized with clients?
- Is the team committed to using one consistent value proposition? Can everyone easily articulate it?
- Does your team focus on a specific niche?
- Does each member of the team utilize a consistent prospecting presentation when meeting with prospects?
- Is there a consistent client review package of materials utilized with existing clients?
- What other marketing efforts is your team committed to in the upcoming year?
Business Growth Initiatives:
- What is each team member’s commitment to sourcing new clients and new assets for the practice?
- What goals have been set with regard to new assets from:
- Existing Clients
- New Clients
- What strategy is in place to meet your client’s adult children and grandchildren?
- What do you know about your client’s parents:
- Have you been introduced to them?
Succession and Business Transition:
- Is your current team comprised of multiple generations of individuals who are positioned to keep the business running for many years or decades into the future?
- What do you see as the “advisor and/or team of the future” and does your team embody these traits?
- What could you do today in order to “future-proof” your practice?
- Do you believe that expanding your team will be necessary? What is the ideal new team member for your team?
- What is each person’s ideal retirement transition strategy (if applicable)?
- What is each person’s ideal timeline for retirement (if applicable)?
- What is each team member’s ideal work schedule (for example: hours worked per week; vacation schedule; remote work; snowbird schedule, etc.)
Implementation and Follow-up
- Has the team agreed on and written down the top 1-3 initiatives for the upcoming year?
- What will be the greatest impediment to successfully implementing on these idea(s)?
- What are the key business metrics for the team for the upcoming year?
- Does each team member understand how these metrics impact his/her compensation and professional development?
- What adjustments will need to be made in order to achieve these goals?
- Set the date for the next team offsite meeting
Look at the calendar and schedule a date for your annual team offsite—a date that works for all team members. Select a venue, preferably out of the office. Build your agenda based on the most top-of-mind topics for you and your team. The sample team offsite agenda can serve as a guide in this process.