Last month, we stressed the importance of a mission buy-in by clients and staff. This month, I want to address how and why many advisors fail to keep staff, amid the myriad of missed opportunities they have every month to appreciate them.
In coaching high school basketball for many years, I’ve learned that all players are not created equal. They have different skill sets, aptitudes, levels of motivation, and both intellectual and emotional intelligence. The same is true of employees. While some are motivated only by money, I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by people for whom respect, appreciation, and being a key contributor to something unique and lasting are even more important. As our newest team member said to me two years ago in her third interview, “I had an unfulfilling job before I left it to find something worthy of what I know I can give to the right organization; I’m not just looking for a job, I’m looking for a home.”
Below is a short list of indispensible keys for maintaining an efficient and thriving workplace, as well as contented and fulfilled staff teammates:
• Define their roles, and place each in a position where their unique strengths can develop and thrive. Remember: Failure is still the best teacher, but don’t place employees in situations where they’re likely to fail—trust them with responsibilities wherein if they make a mistake, the damage is minimal and the opportunity for growth and learning is great.
• Appreciate them with words—publicly and privately—as well as with dollars. My team works creatively and conscientiously—not just because I pay them well, but because they understand that their contributions are integral to our success, and because I (and their teammates) recognize that in emails, conversation and staff meetings.