One of the recurring challenges that independent advisors face is dealing with the process of change, and dealing with employees who don’t deal well with change. I have worked with many advisors and many employees through the seasons of change, and have seen what works, and what doesn’t.
Because advisory firms are small businesses, change is unavoidable. The owners typically want to become larger firms: more clients, more employees, higher revenues, increased owners’ income. But while growth is the goal at many firms, many firm owners don’t recognize that growth comes with a cost: the price of growth is change—and it’s important that you know that some of your employees aren’t going to be happy with that change.
When firms grow, many business owners assume that everyone will embrace the changes that come with it. After all, why wouldn’t they? More clients mean higher revenues, that usually lead to higher compensation, bigger jobs, nicer offices, better benefits—the list can go on and on.
It’s true that most professional employees (I’m thinking junior advisors here), do want all these things as much as the owner. What owners often don’t realize, however, is that some of their employees liked the firm the way it was: they liked their jobs, the family atmosphere, their contact with the clients and unlimited access to the owner. More often than not, they took their job in large part because of these things.