Teaching Financials at Spring Kickoff

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Spring kick-off is a time to renew team spirit and ready your staff for the upcoming year, as well as recognize employees for past accomplishments.

Recognition can encompass highlighting a positive safety record, employee longevity at your firm (5, 10, 15, 20 yr. employees), becoming a new member of your team, and other branded annual awards your firm can hand out.

Team spirit can include discussing goals for 2017, showing photos of employees at work and at past company parties, having a current client come in to speak to your team to rev them up, etc.

A fun aspect I always enjoyed during our spring kickoffs is handing out prizes, using raffle tickets and calling out numbers throughout the event. Ask your vendors to donate prizes; you may be surprised at their generosity.

An area that is gaining traction at the spring kickoff is to discuss the company financials of your firm. That’s right!  Discuss the expenses and profitability of each sale that is made, and develop the financial literacy of your team. In my book, Destination Company®, I highlight how to play the penny game as a way to educate your staff on how much money is spent on all the different line items: labor, materials, subs, insurance, etc, etc.

Use 100 pennies to represent a 100% of every dollar sold, and show them how many pennies are spent on each expense area.

To maximize engagement of your staff, turn this discussion into a contest, where small groups of employees work together to guess/figure out how much is spent on each major category in your P&L, and how much is left over for profit.

Then explain the major categories where your profit gets spent and invested: Uncle Sam, equipment, working capital, etc. Identify how much profit is actually leftover for reinvesting back in the company. It’s not much.

Take this one step further: Do an exercise to explain how much of that profit can get eaten up by a crew squandering 15 minutes each morning and evening, or wasting 5 minutes per job for those doing multiple jobs a day. It really adds up over a year’s time!

Jeffrey’s Breakthrough idea: Understanding financial literacy is part of your employees’ job; teaching financial literacy is part of yours.

Take Action: Connect the dots: When you explain how money is spent and profit is created, show your team how this translates to their day-to-day work. You will want to do this final step in order for your employees to understand how they impact the bigger picture.

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