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The Top 5 Ways to Retain Great Hires

I can count so many moments in my professional career where I thought I was the only one who could do certain things. But every time I let go and gave ownership to junior team members, the freedom I experienced multiplied my energy and creativity. Here are the top ways to build a loyal team.

1. Let them know you care. Have these discussions:

  • What fires them up about their job?

  • Where do they see themselves next year, three years, and five years from now?

  • What can you do to help them do their job better?

  • Do they know what you really like about how they do their job?

  • What really works well between you, and what could you improve to be more helpful to them?

In one offsite lunch hour, you’ll hit five of the top 12 employee engagement indicators, leading to more productive outcomes for your team, you, and your firm.

Gallup’s Q12 instrument, designed to assess employee engagement, measures the top 12 actionable issues for management — those predictive of attitudinal outcomes such as satisfaction, loyalty, pride, and so on. These five indicators are addressed by the "lunch-hour questions" we just discussed above:

Q04. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work. Q05. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person. Q06. There is someone at work who encourages my development. Q07. At work, my opinions seem to count. Q11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.

To use Gallup’s Q12 survey, click here.

2. Let your team fail. Do you hesitate to delegate for fear a team member might not do things as well as you? Get over it, and let your team member experiment and explore. It may seem risky, but did you do everything perfectly your first time? You may find they do things better than you…

3. Align your team members with growth. Are goals for your team tied directly to your own, new business goals? Sharing the growth of the business engages your employees, helping them feel like they are part of building something bigger than themselves. Break down your new business goal for the year into specific actions and assign at least one to each of your team members. Now you can celebrate with your team when new business comes in!

4. Elevate your team. What topics arise frequently in client emails and calls that your team members can handle (e.g. how RMDs are handled)? Let your team respond to emails and take calls from clients. Elevate them in the eyes of the client. Not only will your client be relieved that you aren’t the only one that can help them, your team members will also begin to experience the joy of client relationships as you do.

5. Expose your team to relationships. Do you complain there aren’t any junior advisor candidates to hire, but have an admin that is smart and personable? Bring your admin into client meetings to take notes. They will learn and see their job as more important, and being exposed to client engagements may switch on an ambition neither of you knew they had.

The bonus to letting go and focusing on my team was that everything operated better, even the client interactions which I thought only I had the experience to handle.

Growing your successor is an obvious duty to your clients. The surprise is this: Just like you’ve turned your clients into successful investors, you will find immense joy in turning your team members into successful advisors.

Source: The Relationship Between Engagement at Work and Organizational Outcomes, 2016 Q12® Meta-Analysis: Ninth Edition, page 9.


Are your team members engaged? Which is the bigger challenge for you: retaining good people or finding good people?

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