5 Ways to Keep Your Firm's A+ Players Engaged & Onboard

April 26, 2017 Jillean Kearney

Your firm's staff wow your clients by delivering awesome financials and great advice. They are critical to the long-term success of your firm. Losing a member of the team can result in a loss of institutional knowledge, hiccups in client relationships and an expensive recruitment process to find a replacement. As an advisor, keeping your people happy and energized will payoff for your clients and your business. Below are five ways to keep your people engaged and onboard.


For tactical culture-building strategies, read our guide: 

Keeping the Dream Team:  10 Tactics for Building an Employee-Centric Culture

Get the guide


1. Encourage staff involvement in business decisions

Employees feel more connected to a company if their voice is being heard and opinions are acknowledged. Your people will be less likely to leave if they feel that they are a valued asset to the firm and a key contributor to success. To encourage input:

  • Share your business plan with the entire team

  • Take the time to solicit input on new business initiatives and decisions

  • Listen to your staff’s advice and take actions as warranted

  • Review monthly results in townhall-style meetings 

2. Encourage experimentation 

Engaged and excited employees take initiatives to try new things, look for improvement opportunities and implement efficiencies to help their colleagues and the business. They're constantly seeking ways to optimize the processes and systems that power your daily operations. Keeping this type of employee engaged requires a culture that encourages risk-taking. To do this:

  • Encourage staff to experiment with workflow and technology solutions

  • Create a culture in which mistakes are considered learning experiences

  • Empower staff to make decisions on their own

  • Reward staff for finding new efficiencies or better ways to dazzle clients

3. Coach each team member to greatness

A successful manager has a well-defined and repeatable coaching process. They conduct regular informal check-ins, weekly one-on-ones, and quarterly reviews. Coaching is integral to keeping your people motivated, and these consistent interactions keep everyone's priorities on track as they reinforce expectations. Provide constructive feedback about weak points and areas of improvement – but also give your people props when they deserve it.

Listening to feedback is equally as important as providing it. Listen to your team during these coaching sessions. Provide each team member with a chance to share their own feedback about the firm, your coaching style and whatever else is on their mind. 

It's not uncommon for an advisor to overlook the professional development and growth of their high-performing employees to focus on the more junior individuals of the group. This is understandable given that rock stars don’t always appear to need help – they’ve got it handled, so it's easy to let them go on handling it. However, rockstars need attention too. Your high-performing people can benefit from coaching. If you help a top performer improve (by even a small percent), the impact on your business can be huge. 

4. Let the air out of high-pressure days

Your team works hard and they don’t always take the time to decompress. It’s important to find outlets for stress to keep staff happy and healthy. Make your firm's work environment enjoyable. You don’t have to go as far as a company like Google that provides in-office chefs, but there are things you can do to reduce stress and help staff blow off steam. Some firms take afternoon breaks together, play board games or hold potluck Fridays. Let your team brainstorm the kinds of activities they would enjoy during a particularly busy or high-pressure week.

5. Be competitive with compensation

Money matters to your team. How you compensate is key to their continued engagement. Staff who feel undervalued will lose connection and loyalty to your firm. Dissatisfaction can, and will, set in if your people think they are paid less than their counterparts at other firms. To create a compensation that engages employees:

  • Make sure it is competitive with other firms 

  • Consider motivating staff with variable comp such as bonuses

  • Provide great benefit packages

  • Set clear targets and review performance with each employee annually

Wrap Up

The key to keeping your people onboard is to keep them engaged and feeling valued. That means listening to your team members, helping them grow professionally, and making them feel like an important contributor. 

For a comprehensive guide on building a culture that will keep your firm's people engaged and onboard, check out our guide:

Keeping the Dream Team: 10 Tactics for Building an Employee-Centric Culture

Read it now!

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