Balasa Dinverno Foltz

Employees 65 | Firm Type RIA | Co-CEO and President Armond A. Dinverno | Location Itasca, Ill. | Primary Custodian Schwab Advisor Services |

“How can we love on you?” That’s a question the management of Balasa Dinverno Foltz constantly asks its employees, said Armond Dinverno, co-founder and president.

One of the ways in which the firm’s 65 employees feel loved is through management’s attention to personalized communication styles.

For the past several years, the firm has embraced a form of the DISC training program that uses birds to teach the four DISC personality types linked to specific communication preferences. Each employee has a small stand-up bird representing their behavioral type, which they bring to all meetings. Everyone tries to adapt their communication styles when making requests of each other.

The ripple effect has been deeper connections, along with clearer direction and delegation regarding lines of responsibility. This, in turn, has led to better employee retention, more engagement, and new clients, Dinverno said.

“It’s humor with seriousness. It’s part of our culture,” he said. “If you want to build a relationship with somebody, you have to make sure you’re speaking in the way they want to be spoken to.”