Each of us has been impacted by a series of individuals over the course of our lives – family, friends, teachers … the list is endless and the input varied. The most dramatic help is normally from those who champion our cause and want to see us succeed in school, sports or life.
Survival in the financial services industry is around 17 percent over the first four years. The standing joke is that most recruitment efforts amount to “hiring a bunch of individuals and throwing them up against the wall. Those that stick are the survivors.” That isn’t funny, because, all-to-frequently, that resembles what is taking place!
For any task, it is almost always more quickly and easily learned if someone shows us how to do it and then critiques us as we attempt to replicate it. The military understands this and has a well established program of on-the-job training that newly schooled individuals go through upon arrival at their units.
The purpose is to translate technical training into actual performance in the real world. This is just as true when a pilot lands in an aviation unit as it is when a technician arrives in a maintenance facility.
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I suspect that agencies with the highest new agent retention statistics quite possibly employ some form of one-on-one mentorship for their new personnel. If a formal managerial matchup in not implemented, informal working partnerships may be forming by the agents themselves.
The validity of the on-the-job-training concept within the financial services industry is given at least an oblique endorsement by the number of ‘family clusters’ contained within it. Almost by default, if a family member or close friend comes into financial services, more personal effort is drummed up in support. Referrals may be given to the new arrival, service work with existing clients allowed and joint appointments held. In short, a higher percentage of family members manage to survive those initial years.
However, this kind of intense training takes time. I don’t believe the industry has historically shown the patience to allow agencies and training managers the blocks of time necessary to train agents in this manner. The quarterly quota keeps popping up requiring the next batch of new hires to be run through the grist mill.