Why re-energising staff is next big task for advisors

Darren Coleman, of Raymond James, on remote-working fatigue, how the adaptable thrived and why he started a YouTube series – with his dog

Why re-energising staff is next big task for advisors

As offices grapple with reopening their doors, advisors must turn around the fatigue from 18 months of remote working and re-energize staff.

Darren Coleman, of Coleman Wealth, Raymond James, told WP this is a real issue summed up succinctly by someone who recently told him they were "getting tired of playing playoff hockey". In other words, working on the edge of your capabilities will eventually wear you out.

Coleman and his team are used to virtual working – they have a wide North American client base – but he acknowledged that people are reaching the end of the line when it comes to working apart. He said: “We’ll still have to serve clients through Zoom and other remote capabilities, but how do we as a team get back together? Because when we have informal get togethers, the energy level jumps. Everybody feels like they have missed everybody.”

He added that most advisors are social people who have welcomed reconnecting with colleagues face to face. Navigating this path is the next stage for many offices and Coleman believes the most successful professionals in the business during the pandemic have been the ones who have been able to pivot. Advisors who were able to quickly adapt their operational capability to provide a digital experience thrived during the depths of COVID-19.

On top of video conferencing and using the likes of DocuSign, Coleman reached out directly through a YouTube series, Walking with Charlie, where he discussed relevant investment topics and pandemic issues while out with his dog.

“I was having a one-to-many conversation with clients to talk about the emotional component of the pandemic, and trying to keep people looking at the positive things,” he said. “I was really curious because the pandemic was something we all shared but yet each one of us experienced a uniquely differently experience. It was a really interesting paradox.

“I just grabbed my GoPro camera, and I would walk my dog, because being in a pandemic, that was kind of all you could do, and we made this little video series.”

The aim was to look for some positive attributes of how people were going to get through the lockdowns. Some, he admitted, were going to watch Netflix and gain 15 pounds, while others learnt to play piano, took up a new language or got their finances in order.

Coleman added: “Some people will use this time really powerfully because it was a bit of a blessing in some cases. So, let’s take advantage. Rather than feeling like it's just happening to us, let's actually embrace it. And a lot of clients found comfort in those kinds of messages.”