First Annual ComPAny-Wide Training Day BRINGS STAFF TOGETHER

Staff members from each of L.I. Smith & Associates’ (LIS) three office locations, Paris, Nashville, and Portland, Tenn., came together yesterday for a staff-wide training day held at the Paris Landing Lodge, located near LIS’ main office in Paris, Tenn.  

LIS President Patrick Smith said, “We are a dynamic workforce stretched between three offices, so it’s important to meet as a whole group. Training days are wildly important. I emphasize often that if we want to go fast, sometimes we must slow down. That is exactly what we did during this training day, slowed work to a stop so that we can pick a few areas to improve.”  

Throughout the day, staff members had the opportunity to sharpen their skill sets, learn from seasoned experts, and network with one another. Guest speakers covered a wide range of subject matter including human resources topics, financial planning, and snake identification. Speakers were strategically chosen to lecture on topics that would best benefit the unique staff at LIS. 

“We have such a diverse staff, varying in age, background, education, and geographic location. It is imperative that we stay up to date with human resource topics as we continue to grow both in numbers and diversity,” commented Human Resources Officer Debbie Kinsland.  

Human resources topics including diversity, inclusion, and sexual harassment, were discussed by Dr. Sean Walker. Dr. Walker is a professor in the College of Business and Global Affairs at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He is also a licensed minister and mediator, both of which provide him with the training needed to educate students, colleagues, and external agents on how to reach a peaceful consensus when faced with conflict in an organization.  

In addition to learning about diversity and inclusion as well as sexual harassment, the LIS team had the opportunity to learn directly from the Tennessee Park Ranger Association (TPRA). A ranger, representing the TPRA, educated staff on the identification of poisonous snakes found in Tennessee. This topic was especially useful for the LIS staff, as field personnel come into contact with snakes on a regular basis. 

While a large portion of the day was spent learning, LIS’ new employee benefits package was also unveiled. The benefits rollout included several new initiatives including a childcare stipend, an employee referral program, an emergency care fund, a financial advisor, employee engagement program, and staff awards, among numerous other programs. The new benefits package will be available to all full-time staff members in the upcoming year. 

“We are proud to be able to offer new benefits and awards to the LIS staff. Our staff is our most important asset, and it is our responsibility to recognize their accomplishments, provide them with competitive benefits, and create a culture in which they feel valued,” commented Ashley Horn, Marketing Coordinator at LIS.  

Awards recognizing staff members who exceeded expectations and displayed extraordinary integrity in their roles throughout the 2022 year were also presented. The awards presented were the Leadership Award, Standout Performer Award, Exceeds Expectations Award, Best Team Player Award, and Culture Award.  

LIS’ new financial advisor, Jamie Orr, provided staff with a financial planning session. Orr is the founder of Orr Investment Management, an LPL registered Financial Advisor and holds the Series 7 License, Series 24 General Principal License, Series 66 License, and is AAMS Certified. In the upcoming year, Orr will act as a financial advisor for all LIS staff members.  

Horn commented, “It’s important for our staff members to have the opportunity to meet face to face and spend time with one another outside of the office setting. The training day allows us to do that, while also learning important topics related to human resources, leadership, and professional development. We look forward to offering this event each year.”  

While this was LIS’ first staff-wide training day, the event will become an annual occurrence, as staff members will continue to come together to learn and network together each fall.  

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