Bringing on an associate wealth adviser is a calculated risk for primary advisers. Taking on an associate can be costly from a business perspective as well as a personal-energy perspective.
But if you make the success of your associate a priority, you both benefit.
Time management is hard for everyone; there are just so many distractions. Recent studies in worker productivity have shown that workers are more productive if they divide up their workday with breaks.
While you certainly don’t want your associates spending too much time taking breaks, you can encourage them to use time blocks, dedicating short periods of time to one task with scheduled breaks between each task.
In terms of goals, if you don’t set goals or if the goals you set are unrealistic, you are setting up your associate adviser for failure. Take the time to determine goals for your associate, and make sure they’re clear when you communicate them. For example, tell him or her to spend two hours each day prospecting and documenting that work in the company’s customer relationship management program.
Hand-in-hand with setting goals are motivators. Behavioral psychologists say you need to praise a person six times for every one time you give negative feedback. In my experience, most primary advisers focus on negatives and forget to reward their associates and also tell them what they’re doing well. Negatives are not motivating.
Options for motivators are endless. One of the best things primary advisers can do is to sit down with associates and ask them what motivates them. For example, money might motivate them, in which case you could offer a graduated scale of assets under management or opportunities for profit-sharing. Or maybe your associate wants to attend a conference and needs greater flexibility in his or her schedule.
Finally, accountability is a two-way street. You have a responsibility to your associate as much as he or she has one to you. So make sure you set up one-on-one meetings with your associate at least once every two weeks. Have a specific agenda for each of these meetings but also use them as a way to find out how they’re doing. Ask them how you can help them be successful.
The more you put into your relationship with your associates and the more you show them that they are a valued and vital part of your practice, the more successful they will be, the happier they will be and the longer they will stay.
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