Hot business tip no. 1: Look after yourself and your staff

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Looking after your staff can build a better business.

Looking after your staff can build a better business.

Looking after yourself and your team draws on several important considerations for financial advisers. There is the importance of your HR approach; there are matters around staff motivation and of course there are worklife balance/health and wellbeing considerations to take into account.

An advice practice is essentially a small business and too often HR is put to the bottom of the pile in SMEs because owners don’t have the required experience, or they find such processes too time consuming.

Ironically, HR – and its role in recruiting and retaining the right employees – is fundamentally more important for SMEs.

HR policies that many successful practices have adopted from ‘big business’ include:

  • Have an employee handbook which explains the values, key policies, benefits and expectations of your business
  • Ensure a thorough recruitment process is in operation – it is more costly taking on the wrong employee than no employee at all
  • Proactively schedule a meeting at three months for all new staff
  • Implement regular internal feedback sessions – listen to your staff and value their opinions.
  • Have an underlying focus on employee retention and satisfaction

Happy and motivated staff stay longer, and when it comes to retaining people, it’s not always about money. Think about simple non-monetary rewards including awards, celebratory lunches to congratulate staff; salary packaging options; flexible work hours or offering extra annual leave. In terms of the job itself, think about empowering staff with extra responsibilities or a new job title, and invest in their development by allowing them to enrol in training courses and attend industry events.

Research by Business Health found that businesses with a formal incentive programme generate 129% more profit than those without.

In terms of the health and wellbeing of your staff it pays to offer different options that reflect the varying preferences of your team; yoga in the park and lunchtime walks don’t appeal to everyone, plus it’s important to focus on their mental wellbeing as well (which may include giving each staff member one or two ‘mental health’ days off each year).

Other popular ideas including injecting more fun into the office (nerf guns, foosball tables), team pizza and wine (and perhaps karaoke) on a Friday afternoon, holding meetings away from the office, and team-based volunteering and community involvement.

Your people are the biggest asset, and in a smaller business staff issues have a proportionally bigger impact, which is why adopting a formal approach to HR is an investment in your business, not a cost.

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This is an extract from a collection of business improvement tips for advisers, launched at Zurich’s Trax2Success national roadshow, featuring the 2013 AFA Adviser of the year Jenny Brown.

Click here to read Hot business tip number 2: Survey your clients

Click here to read Hot business tip number 3: Place a higher value on your time

Click here to read Hot business tip number 4: Review your client onboarding process

Click here to read Hot business tip number 5: Adopt an estate planning methodology across your business

Click here to read Hot business tip number 6: Tailor your communication strategy by client generation

Click here to read Hot business tip no number 7: Change your approach to review meetings

Click here to read Hot business tip number 8: Create a differentiated service offering (segment your client base)

Click here to read Hot business tip number 9: Set up a Board of Advice

Click here to read Hot business tip number10: Develop a client retention strategy

Click here to read Hot business tip number 11: Run a program where staff drive improvements

Click here to read Hot business tip number. 12: Build your emotional intelligence

Click here to read Hot business tip number. 13: Go Social

Click here to read Hot business tip number. 14: Get better at handling objections

Click here to read Hot business tip number. 15: Create stronger referral sources

Click here to read Hot business tip number. 16: Set up a Google account

Click here to read Hot business tip number. 17: Learn from leading advisers

Click here to read Hot business tip number. 18: Make better use of technology in your business

Click here to read Hot business tip number 19: Improve your office environment

Click here to read Hot business tip number 20: Develop a great value proposition

Click here to read Hot business tip number 21: Make more use of video in your business

Click here to read Hot business tip number 22: Optimise your website for mobile

Click here to read Hot business tip number 23: Have a marketing plan

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