team building Bellaria Jimenez

5 Proven team-building strategies by co-author Bellaria Jimenez

Bellaria Jimenez, President at MassMutual Tri State, and Co-author of The Team Game shares proven team-building strategies for business leaders, executives and entrepreneurs.

Bellaria Jimenez, Co-Author of The Team Game (Credit courtesy of Bellaria Jimenez)

She is passionate about business and leadership. With over 25 years working in finances, she has gained the expertise of leading and coaching teams within a business.

When she began her career, she had the desire to help people understand what to do with their money and empower individuals and business owners to make smart choices to grow their assets and protect their family. Beginning as a financial advisor, Bellaria worked her way up. 

During her time as assistant manager she grew her leadership skills by supporting the training needs of her office and stepping in whenever someone needed support. These leadership experiences fostered her love for coaching and would eventually lead to her love for team-building.

“Throughout the years I felt the most energy and joy when I was coaching individuals,” says Bellaria. “When I began focusing my time and attention to developing teams, I became even more energized. This became the start of my love for team-building.” 

Why teams?

Throughout the years of team-building, Bellaria has seen firsthand the impact that collaborating and combining unique skills and abilities has on the overall success of a business. 

“Financial advisors, for the most part, build their practices as solo-practitioners,” says Bellaria. “When we started partnering advisors that had different skill sets to complement each other we were pleasantly surprised with the financial results and an improved experience for the client.” 

After fifteen years of coaching, mentoring, and developing their own teams, Bellaria and business partner, John Brucsek, finally share their proven methods in their book The Team Game: “How Your Business Can Dominate Year After Year.”  

Described as “the definitive playbook for business leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, and managers to build and develop highly efficient teams,” The Team Game takes Bellaria and John’s unique process of creating, coaching, and doubling productivity through teams and breaks it down into strategies that can be adapted to fit all businesses. 

Growing with change

Bellaria Jimenez with her son (Credit courtesy of Bellaria Jimenez)

One of the key takeaways from The Team Game is how teams can allow businesses to continue to exponentially grow ones’ practice in an unpredictable, ever changing business climate. 

In such a competitive business climate where change is so rapid, businesses need to stay competitive and flexible to stay relevant. Often though these changes happen too quickly, and individuals struggle to keep up. Technology is one of the key culprits to staying competitive. Another key issue top performers battle is time capacity. 

“There gets to a point when top performers just can’t keep up with the high demands of the business or growing client base,” says Bellaria. “They reach capacity and their business stalls. Teaming allows them to continue to exponentially grow their practice.”  

You might be interested: Bellaria Jimenez, a Latina leader’s passion helps others achieve their dreams

The 5 Fundamentals of team-building

team-buildingFive key team-building strategies to form a successful, long lasting team: 

1. Compensation: Having transparency on how team members get paid and the positive results of attracting new clients creates a strong culture within each team. How will my actions impact my compensation, including in a commission/fee-based business or an incentive-driven practice? We teach you how to come up with a compensation agreement for both fee-and non-fee-based practices. Once you receive the input from the team, that agreement can be refined. 

2. Client SegmentationSegmenting your book of business is a key to marketing your practice effectively, but it requires you to go through each client and categorize them as your A, B, C, or D clients. Once they are categorized, assign each segment to the appropriate member of the team who will work with them. The top achiever should be focused on the A clients.

3. Roles and Responsibilities: Making sure that everyone on the team understands their role on the team is a critical part to a successful team. It provides clarity and transparency. It is also a key part to good communication. It’s like football. There are 11 players on the team. Each one has a different job. If each one carries out his or her job effectively, the team is going to be successful. Whether you like the New England Patriots or not, most of you know what Bill Belichick says: “Do your job.” That’s critical.

4. The Sales Process: Allow team members to focus on a specific part of the process. You must have a uniform process that all team members are following. That uniformity allows you to identify team players with specific skills and to efficiently meet client needs and create superior customer experiences because everyone on your team has a specific role to play and each does it well.

5. The Client Experience Matrix: The most valuable assets a business has are its customers. If they feel loved, if they feel they are being serviced and getting attention, then they are going to do more business and they are going to refer more people. Remember, we live in a referral world. Think Yelp or TripAdvisor. Referrals can greatly impact your business, both positively and negatively. Just think how videos can quickly go viral.

In her book, Bellaria further breaks down in detail just how team-building works to increase growth and productivity with her top fundamentals from the team-building process. With these tried and true methods, any business leader or entrepreneur can create a winning team. 

MassMutual ERGs ALMMA receives ERGs and Councils Honors Award 2015

Best Companies for Latinas: Two Hispanic ERGs receive honors award


ERGs and Council Awards

ERGs and Council Honors Awards

The 2015 ERG & Council Conference recognized the Top 25 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and Diversity Councils at their 7th Annual ERG & Council Honors Award™ in Alexandria, Virginia.

Among the honorees, two Hispanic/Latino ERGs were award recipients, the Association of Latinos at MassMutual and Allies (ALMMA), named in 12th place, and the Cleveland Clinic SALUD Hispanic/Latino Employee Resource Group, which ended in the 23rd place of 538 participants.

The ERG & Council Honors Award™ is part of the annual ERG & Council Conference™ presented by diversity and inclusion training and consulting firm PRISM International, Inc. , and its practice group the Association of ERGs & Councils.

“ERGs and Diversity Councils are vital links for improving organizational results,” said Linda Stokes, President and CEO of PRISM. “They need opportunities to improve and grow by learning and sharing best practices, gaining important insights, knowledge and skills to increase their impact and effectiveness. They also need to be recognized and awarded for the contribution and results. This is the purpose behind the annual Conference and Honors Award,” concluded Stokes.

MassMutual ERGs ALMMA receives ERGs and Councils Honors Award 2015

MassMutual Hispanic/Latino ERG ALMMA receives ERGs and Councils Honors Award 2015. Left to right: Linda Stokes, president and CEO, PRISM International Inc. and The Association of ERGs & Councils; Emmanuel Aguero, MassMutual ALMMA member; Sylena Echevarria, MassMutual ALMMA Chair; Angie Rios, MassMutual ALMMA vice chair; Marcela Aldaz-Matos, assistant vice president, MassMutual Diversity and Inclusion; Karen Lavariere-Sanchez, MassMutual ALMMA member; Emmanuel “Manny” Vera, MassMutual ALMMA member; Debbie Smith Rayford, executive director of The Association of ERGs & Councils. (PRNewsFoto/MassMutual)

MassMutual is recognized as a company that has demonstrated diversity and inclusion results in their workforce, workplace and marketplace and has emerged as one of the top Latino employers in the country.

“We are proud to see one of our employee resource groups, which are certainly successful internally, getting recognized by this prestigious industry organization, especially to be among so many impressive diversity and inclusion organizations and initiatives from a variety of industries,” said Lorie Valle-Yañez, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at MassMutual. “It is an honor to be named among the top organizations setting the standards in diversity and inclusion.”

Spanish for “health,” SALUD provides a network that supports the professional development of Hispanic/Latino employees, increases retention and talent acquisition, and works with senior management to address concerns, provide feedback and promote positive growth.

“Through our Resource Groups, Diversity Councils and other enterprise-wide employee networks, Cleveland Clinic proudly honors diversity in all its forms. By embracing our differences and similarities in race, gender, age, class, disability, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, family life and diverse ideologies, we better understand human dimensions as we put ‘Patients First,’” said Le Joyce Naylor, Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Cleveland Clinic.

Award recipients included a diverse combination of corporations, governmental agencies and not for profits representing various sectors, geographies and organization sizes.

The 2015 ERG & Council Honors Award™ recipients (by rank) were:

  1. Advancing Professionals Resource Council (APRC) – Northern Trust
  2. Joint Diversity Executive Council (JDEC) – National Guard Bureau (NGB)
  3. Diversity Advisory Council – American Airlines
  4. Proud to Serve – U.S. Bank
  5. Diversity Advisory Councils – TriHealth
  6. Employee Resource Groups’ Council – General Motors
  7. Flexible Work Employee Network (FWEN) – State Street Corporation
  8. Diversity Council – Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center (JHBMC)
  9. Proud LGBTA EBRG Louisville Chapter – PNC Bank
  10. United Resource Group for Equality (URGE) – TriHealth
  11. Customer Care Center Diversity and Inclusion Council – PNC Bank
  12. Association of Latinos at MassMutual and Allies (ALMMA) – Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual
  13. Diversity and Inclusion Team – Citizens Energy Group
  14. Diversity & Inclusion Council – Carolinas HealthCare System
  15. Diversity Councils – Comcast NBCUniversal
  16. Big “I” Diversity Task Force – Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, Inc.
  17. ClinicPride Employee Resource Group – Cleveland Clinic
  18. Women of AT&T – AT&T
  19. Corporate Diversity Council – NextEra Energy, Inc.
  20. Joint Corporate Social Responsibility Council – MGM Resorts International
  21. Women in Leadership Business Resource Council (WIL) -Northern Trust
  22. Network of Empowered Women (NEW) – Progressive Insurance
  23. SALUD – Cleveland Clinic
  24. Business Resource Groups – Johnson Controls
  25. USA Diversity & Inclusion Council – Siemens

“There was a record participation of 538 ERGs, BRGs and Councils this year. This is certainly the most competitive and exciting field to date,” stated Debbie Smith Rayford, Executive Director of the Association. “We are excited about the 26 percent increase in this year’s applications, attendance and sponsorship. It shows that more organizations are appreciating how critical diversity and inclusion initiatives are to their future development and survival,” said Smith Rayford.

Linda Stokes, President and CEO of PRISM and Debbie Smith Rayford, Executive Director of the Association of ERGs & Councils

Linda Stokes, President and CEO of PRISM and Debbie Smith Rayford, Executive Director of the Association of ERGs & Councils

The 2016 ERG & Council Honors Award application process opens in February, 2016. “Due to the tremendous interest and participation in the annual ERG & Council Conference, the 2016 conference will be held October 20th and 21st at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas,” said Stokes.

For more information about the ERG & Council Honors Award or the ERG & Council Conference, visit ERG & Council Conference.

View 2015 Conference & Honors Award Photos