Written by Kronos Technologies on April 10, 2019
Highly motivated and awesome team members are perhaps the biggest determinant of the long-term success of your practice. Staff create the awesome experiences that help you land and keep great clients. And they keep you on-track and relatively sane. The all-star team members who man the front lines of your business have the greatest influence on your clients’ opinions of you, their trust in your practice and the likelihood they’ll become life-long advocates for your services.
So, it’s vital that you find and implement the best methods for keeping great employees motivated. Read on to learn five ways the best advisors get the most from their staff.
1 : Share your vision
All team members want to feel they are part of something special—an endeavor which is going somewhere, with a bright future that they can be an important part of. The best advisors recognize this and go out of their way to share their compelling vision of the practice’s future with all of their staff. They take the time to describe what the practice could be in five years’ time, and how each team member fits into that dream. And they go a step further and ask their staff to contribute their own thoughts and dreams to the collective vision for the practice.
The idea of creating that compelling vision is not to just write a paragraph that hides in your business plan, it’s to inspire staff to get behind a future and a role that they can aspire to.
2 : Recognize extra effort
Top advisors know that people want to feel the great job they’re doing is appreciated, so they reward and reinforce the awesome things staff do whenever possible. Whenever employees go the extra mile it should be acknowledged—whether it’s when a team member quickly resolves a claim for a distraught client, or if someone takes the time to send a sympathy note to family suffering a loss. The key is to reinforce what looks or feels brilliant to you— it may be a new idea to help new parents struggling with an issue, or patience in the face of a frustrated client.
Recognition can be as simple as taking a moment to say a heartfelt thank you. Or it can be as easy as printing up cards or small tokens that actually say Thank You on them. Recognizing and rewarding is more about the gesture than the actual value of the reward. It can be a small thing—but it will be greatly appreciated when received, and is likely to encourage that person to continue to strive for excellence.
3 : Encourage staff to astound clients
Many advisors and staff are attracted to the profession because they have a strong desire to help others. When you have helped somebody, you feel better about yourself and your role. Encourage this impulse to make a real difference by creating an environment where staff are encouraged to treat clients as they would hope to be treated themselves. The best way to create this culture is to lead by example. Always demonstrate empathy. Look for ways to give clients more than they ask for. Find moments and methods to provide unexpected help. Innovate to remove client frustrations. When staff see you doing all of these things on a consistent basis—and see the joy it brings to clients—they’ll be likely to follow your lead.
4 : Clear roadblocks
Everyone gets frustrated by slow or difficult processes and needless admin. That’s why all great managers elevate employees by removing the hindrances that slow them down. They are always asking, “What can I help you with?” They reduce headaches and frustration by streamlining workflows, leveraging technology to reduce admin, and finding ways to help team members work at the highest level of their capability on the things they value the most.
5 : Encourage staff to contribute to the ‘idea’ of the practice
Encourage all team members to always speak up and share their thoughts on what the practice could be. Getting them to suggest what could be done better, or differently is a great way to, not only improve your business processes, but to ensure staff feel ownership in the business. The more involved team members are in the way the business works, the more they will be motivated to make it a success. So, encourage staff to contribute ideas and give feedback. Take their thoughts seriously and look to implement as many of them as possible. Don’t be afraid to experiment—put ideas into action and see what happens. You’ll find morale will soar and team members will be more energized about ongoing development of the practice.
The best advisors are sometimes also the best managers—continually working to motivate all team members to exceed expectations. They create and share a compelling vision for the company, and show staff a future they can aspire to. They are naturals when it comes to recognizing and rewarding employees for going the extra mile with clients and colleagues. They encourage staff to create awesome client experiences, and work to remove the roadblocks that might hamper those efforts. And they listen and act—taking feedback from staff and putting it into action, making them feel like a valued part of the business. The advisors who excel in motivating their staff will always get the best from their most valuable resource.