You are the founder of a wealth management business that has been around for more than 15 years. You recently decided (smartly) to hire a next-gen professional to mine your current book and advise lower tier clients. You are excited at the prospect of adding capacity and scale to the business while also getting a head start on your succession planning. Three months in you are asking yourself the following questions:
- Why don’t they have the same excitement or passion around the business that I have?
- Why do they seem unmotivated and unwilling to go above and beyond?
- How can I reconcile paying someone that much, when they haven’t had to actually grind in this business the way I did?
The sociodemographic profiles of the talent co-existing in the industry today are vastly different. This is an often-overlooked aspect of practice management.
The advisors building truly durable enterprises are intently focused on creating synergy among ALL team members in the organization.
Here are three best practices for consideration:
1- Honor the unique communication styles and personality traits of each team member.
Have a potential hire take a personality or communication assessment prior to making an offer and … actually take the feedback into account before hiring.
If the assessment indicates that the hire excels when clear standards, structures and procedures are in place, that they do not easily express emotions and don’t feel comfortable when they are put “on the spot”, they likely will have difficulty in a traditional business development role. I have seen many advisors hire this exact personality type for a junior advisor role, only to grow incredibly frustrated when the hire seems unmotivated and undetermined. The point is: hire someone who displays the characteristics and traits that are critical to the success of the role.
2- Do not fear flexibility as long as you’re clear on business and team member goals and objectives.
Too many times I have heard advisors and their senior staff take a hard stance against work flexibility (e.g. working remotely, flexible work hours, etc.)I always challenge this thinking. In my opinion, the traditional 9-5 office work structure is a myth, and business owners hold on to it because it gives them a sense of control. We work in a world where you can do things faster and more efficiently than ever before; where emotional intelligence and creativity is arguably more valuable than years of experience.
Allow people to work in the structure that suits them. We have enough technology, artificial intelligence, communication methods, systems and apps that can allow for that. If the objectives and goals (not job description) of a particular team member are clear and link to the business’ goals – than there should never be a question of who is doing what, when are they doing it and how are they doing it.
3. Shed your biases and instead focus on culture.
Most business owners who say they have a culture that is conducive to building a harmonious team, actually don’t. My advice? Weed out people in the organization that have biases that they cannot shed.Build a culture that is intensely focused on the future: What does the future holder of wealth look, think, and act like? How can we build a business that allows us to connect with the world in a greater way than we ever have before? How can we leverage social media to allow team member personas to develop?
Further, build a culture where personal preferences matter. What incentivizes this particular team member? Does positive reinforcement motivate them more than the average person? Would they value a vacation more than a cash bonus?
These are the types of questions business owners need to be focusing on.