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An 'A-Player' Needs an 'A-Employer' to Thrive — What Kind of Employer Are You?

I had a conversation some time back with Caleb Brown of New Planner Recruiting on the frequent irony of the advisor who seeks to hire "A-Players," but only pays "B" or "C" wages or runs a B or C shop. The usual refrain is either, “There just aren’t any good candidates out there,” or “It’s got to be the low unemployment rate!”

If you’ve had trouble hiring and retaining A-Players, or if you have smart, ambitious, and well-qualified team members, but they just aren’t quite an A-Team — it’s time to look in the mirror.

We’ve talked about how you identify and hire A-Players in our High Impact Team series. Now we ask:

Are You an 'A-Employer?'

You are if you provide:

Inspiration, Direction, and Alignment. You’ve hired for specific roles with clearly-stated outcome expectations, and you screen and regularly check for shared values. Each of your team members feels motivated and inspired by the clear vision you’ve articulated for the company and the career path you’ve put before them.

Respect. You adhere to the same boundaries and practices you expect from your people — in fact, you are a role model for the behavior you expect. You recognize your team carries you, so you serve them to help them grow and advance their well-being.

Even when someone has made a mistake, you pause, you listen, and you support them so they can recover.

Strategy and Ownership. You’ve laid out the primary strategies to accomplish your firm’s mission, which is directly tied to the mission for each role in the company. You’ve challenged your new hires with ambitious outcomes, and invited your current team to develop their own — yet you are hands-off and give them agency over the “how results are achieved" part. That means you let go of your own ways — and sometimes even your own experiences — if it means one of your team members has a chance to grow in a new direction.

Metrics, Feedback, and a Collaborative Structure. Each team member knows precisely what is expected from them and by when. Progress and obstacles are overtly everyone’s business, and you acknowledge stretch efforts regularly.

Development and Support. You know your people and what their goals are. Everyone, especially you, knows each individual’s strengths and you provide opportunities for them to grow. They can count on your ear when they encounter obstacles or a serious personal issue, and you make sure they have the right tools and access to the resources they need.

Want to Learn More About Being an A-Employer?

On June 5, 2019, I'm co-hosting a webinar alongside Christine Sjolin of FP Transitions and the Financial Planning Association, in which we'll be discussing how you can create a culture that's built for growth. Register here, and discover how you can foster engagement, ownership, and responsibility in your next-generation team members.

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