Wealth management firms and family offices grapple with the challenge of attracting and retaining exceptional employees. This challenge has spurred a reevaluation on how to maintain employee contentment, productivity, and engagement. We know that happier employees help firms lower their costs of recruiting and onboarding. More importantly, happier teams foster better client service and relationships. This article delves into three strategies aimed at improving employee happiness, engagement, and loyalty at family offices.
Streamline Repetitive Tasks
No one enjoys manual and repetitive tasks. Integrating technology and software solutions with work-flow processes is critical to improving the day-to-day life of a family office’s staff. AgilLink prides itself on enabling firms to scale their business and make their bill payment and accounting services more efficient, and less labor intensive.
To scale your business and boost employee retention, it’s imperative to keep staff motivated and to make day-to-day tasks efficient. Mike Merriman, President and Founder of PARR3 LLC, found that AgilLink’s bill payment solution was key to making daily tasks more efficient, so the company could scale without having to hire more employees, “It was a no brainer for me...This is the only path that I saw to being able to take on more clients with the existing team,” explains Merriman.
Prior to implementing AgilLink, the employees at PARR3 were spending a lot of their energy on dreaded, repetitive tasks. “High efficiency was key for supporting PARR3’s company growth. The amount of time we were spending on bookkeeping, journal entries, accounts payable, and accounts receivable, as a firm, felt overweight to me,” says Brian Gott, Director of Business Management, PARR3 LLC.
Mike Merriman adds that he’s seen a visible change in his staff since making daily tasks more efficient. His employees can now dedicate more time to better client satisfaction, “I hear from my account managers that the daily grind of bank reconciliations has become a lot easier, team members can now refocus their time on client interactions.”
Prioritize Work/Life Balance
Many family offices have found that the key to preventing employee burnout is to offer a better work/life balance. This means prioritizing consistent work hours, providing breaks throughout the day, and encouraging wellness activities.
Gott explains how as a growing business, he must be very cognizant of his employees’ work/life balance. Gott shares how AgilLink’s streamlined bill payment solution has been able to transform the quality of life for employees at PARR3, “We have to be really sensitive to burn out... That 30% savings of the day gave our team a little bit more of a life,” says Gott.
The pandemic drastically changed the way and location of how many firms work. Employees have become accustomed to having flexibility in choosing whether to work from home, or in an office. These flexible schedules can encourage employees to set their own schedules, and ultimately become more productive.
AgilLink’s specialized cloud accounting solution offers the controls and security firms need to be able to work from anywhere. John McILwee, Entertainment Business Manager at J. McILwee & Associates, explains, “One of the biggest problems AgilLink solves for us is being cloud based… Now, I can move almost any task to completion where I am.” This cloud-based environment, and mobile application, enables firms to offer flexible work schedules, without compromising their clients’ security.
Identify Issues and Opportunities Proactively
Another popular retention and recruitment effort is to conduct “stay” interviews. These informal check-in conversations take place every 6-12 months to discuss what they love about their role, and to uncover anything that could prevent employees from thriving at work. When done correctly, stay interviews can have an extremely positive impact on employee retention rates.
Some firms focus on them as a preventative step to stop their best talent from leaving. However, they can also be used as a powerful way to understand why long-term, high performing employees choose to stay with their current firm. Firms can use these positive insights to entice similar high performers to join their firm by mentioning them in job postings and during interviews.
The most important thing to remember is that firms need to address the information collected from “stay" interviews. If an employee identifies an issue, failing to make a change, or explain the reasoning in instances where nothing can be done, will make firms appear disingenuous. If team members take the time to share their honest feedback, then it’s a company’s responsibility to address and try to make improvements or adjustments.
With the changing trends in the workforce, firms are searching for new ways to promote employee retention and engagement. When a firm offers the right mix of technology, flexibility and support, employees can spend more time with clients and on high value activities, which in turn has the biggest impact on their happiness and job satisfaction. Firms have found that this leads to increased employee retention, happier customers, and further expansion and innovation.