An effective support team can make all the difference in an advisory practice.

If someone’s in the wrong role, you can have an unproductive or unpleasant work environment.

When this happens, you’ll likely find yourself micro-managing, hanging on to tasks you should be delegating, and feeling like the staff is simply punching the clock.

In a positive work environment, people’s strengths are matched to their roles, and everyone works toward common goals. This type of workplace leads to effective communication and problem solving.

To develop this type of environment, advisors need to create the right business structure and hire the right people. Yet even though advisors have had a lot of financial training, they’ve received little to no training on how to hire staff or build a team.

We’ve worked with hundreds of advisors and their teams over the years, and found there are three steps to creating a high-performance team:

1. A hiring process

Define the business need first, then the role. Finally, find the right person to fit that need. Align team members’ tasks with their natural strengths in mind.

2. Integration of hires

Integrate team members by creating an effective training, development, communication and feedback process. To increase the team member’s awareness of how their jobs are interdependent, cross-training is critical. Cross-training strengthens the team overall, increases team flexibility and improves client service and response time.

It’s imperative that each team member understand the relevance of her job and how it impacts the business. Knowing the big picture promotes collaboration, increases commitment and improves the quality of work and client service.

3. Effective leadership and common goals

Provide effective leadership to ensure staff collaborate, grow and develop as the firm evolves.

A critical aspect of leadership is feedback. It must be received in time to make corrections; otherwise, it feels like criticism. Also, managers should provide feedback on both mistakes and successes. Effective leadership includes recognizing employees their good performance.

Effective teams also have common goals that are simple, measurable and relevant. Each goal must have key metrics that everyone on the team can track. These metrics should be used to determine team effectiveness and where improvements need to be made.

If you follow these three steps, you’ll see your team transform into a high-performing one. You’ll create an environment free from constant supervision, fire-fighting, and micromanaging, and be able to focus on serving your clients.

Juli Leith, BA, FLMI, CFP, CLU is a coach at The Personal Coach
Originally published on

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