Just like in investing, there are certain risks in running a business - such as having a new planner leave your firm after you have put in many hours of recruiting, mentoring, and integrating them into your organization. There are a variety of reasons an employee might leave your firm that you cannot control, such as when they meet someone and get married, and either relocate to another area or choose to become a stay at home dad/mom. In this month's post, we are going to focus on the reasons a new planner might leave that you can control.
The number one reason new planners leave your firm is because they lose confidence that you can get them where they want to go professionally. This can come in a variety of flavors, but here are some of the most common I see and have experienced personally:
- One new planner shared that he lost confidence in his boss when several large clients left the firm to go work with a competitor. It made the new planner question the profitability and long term viability of the firm and put his family at risk financially. Obviously, losing clients is not ideal, but it is going to happen. When it does, make sure you communicate the situation to your team members and explain why the clients were no longer a good fit or otherwise didn’t want to work with your firm, and what adjustments are being made to keep it from happening again.
- Entrepreneurs should be aware that what they perceive as adaptation, innovation, and being a “Quickstart” in decision making could be viewed as inconsistency by their employees. Over the years, new planners have reached out to our firm when they became disenchanted with senior management changing the target client, in one instance five times in one calendar year. It turned out that each time one of the senior leaders attended a conference, they decided to exclusively focus on the clientele that was discussed most prevalently, including special needs families, LGBT clients, women, those with stock options, and physicians. Another situation entailed senior management announcing to the employees that the firm was no longer providing financial planning services and instead was only going to focus on managing money for other RIAs. Finally, there have been several situations in firms recently where new planners had been hired years ago with no expectation of business development, and are now being required by senior management to bring in business aggressively. While as a business owner you shouldn’t ever feel locked into one direction, be aware that when determining strategic direction course corrections for your firm, the adjustments should be done gradually, if possible, to increase staff buy-in and reduce employee disenchantment.
- Sometimes, young planners feel limited by the professional growth trajectory at the firm. This may be a matter of perception, but is much more prevalent within firms that do not at least have preliminary career plans and current and projected organizational charts that are reviewed on an ongoing basis. It's worth noting that some firms might not have the capability to develop detailed career documents such as this, not necessarily due to lack of planning or disinterest. Rather, the opportunity is so wide open for a new planner to blaze their own path it is difficult to determine exactly how it will look. Click here for more insight as to exactly what constitutes a great growth opportunity.
- Sometimes, new planners feel like they have learned as much as they can from you. I am convinced that this is one of the reasons so many newer planners depart firms at or around the three year mark. What happens is that once the new hire starts to add value, typically around the 18 month mark, the firm owner breathes a sigh of relief that they can now focus on other things, exactly when they need to ramp up the mentoring of their new planner hire. Be careful not to imply that there’s nothing more to learn – or that you have nothing more to teach – just because your employee is starting to shoulder some of the heavy work.
Follow these tips to reduce the chances of getting that dreaded two week notice out of the blue from someone you see as a solid contributor who you would like to keep around. Of course, the reality is that sometimes a firms’ needs just change, as well as those of a new planner, and some level of turnover is to be expected even in the best managed firms. In some cases, turnover can even be a positive, as it creates a convenient opportunity to re-evaluate the needs of the firm, and sometimes you need to move people out and cycle new people in so the organization doesn't become stagnant and resistant to change. Nonetheless, some ongoing growth and continued opportunities are necessary to avoid that disappointing moment when you lose an employee you are fond of.
When you or your colleagues are ready to hire, consider using New Planner Recruiting to increase your odds of success, or view more of our free resources online at www.newplannerrecruiting.com
- Caleb will be presenting on a ByAllAccounts Webinar on the Advisory Talent Crisis: How Firms & Advisors Can Maximize Hiring Potential on February 11th at 2:30 pm EST http://bit.ly/ByallAccts
- Michael will be speaking at the T3 Technology Tools for Today Conference in Anaheim, CA on February 12th http://bit.ly/T3conf
- Caleb will be traveling to Virginia Tech, University of Missouri and University of Wisconsin CFP programs during the week of February 17th.
- Caleb will be presenting at the FPA of Minnesota Career Day on Thursday February 27th & 28th. http://bit.ly/FPAofMNCareerDay
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