What's With All This Noise About Employee Engagement – And Why Should I Care?

RIA’s come in all sizes and shapes and one constant is that many of these businesses started because someone didn’t want to be constrained by the restrictions of working for a big corporation. Many had the ‘entrepreneurial bug’ and wanted to be free to invest for their clients as they saw fit. Others didn’t want to deal with the hassles of managing people that come with rules and regulations.

Whatever the reason for their initial creation, there are now thousands of successful investment advisory firms that are out there, ranging from sole proprietorship to those with hundreds of employees and everything in between. For any firm that has even one employee, the concept of engagement is something that you simply can’t ignore. Why? Because if you don’t pay attention to how engaged your employees are (or aren’t), you can literally go out of business.

I can just see the rolling of your eyes as you read this, but trust me and keep going. If your organization has even one employee who is disengaged and frankly has ‘quit and stayed’ right there in their desk chair, meaning that they are still physically there but emotionally they are no longer committed, then it can cause you to stumble and fall.

Any business that deals with the public faces the challenge of how to stand out from their competitors that all do the same thing, in this case investment advisory services. Frankly any one of you can leave your playbook for your business on an airplane for anyone to see because you all do very similar things. The differentiator is how you do it and that all comes down to your employees and how they treat their clients. Truthfully your people are your competitive advantage.

If a prospective client is looking for a new advisor, would they rather work with someone who is passionate about what they do and committed to the mission of their firm or with someone who is just going through the motions and disengaged from the work and their company? It’s an easy answer, engaged employees and organizations win out every time.