Becoming a strong manager in the Financial Planning industry is no easy feat. It requires dedication, hard work, patience and an understanding of people that goes deeper than just getting them to get the job done. Some managers are guilty of treating their team as worker bees, taking little time to explore their individual strengths and where they can truly add the most value.
We caught up with Alice Lording Partner and Head of Wealth Operations at Saltus on Financial Planner Life podcast. We talk about her experience with people management and how she maximises productivity and nurtures development within her team. Alice is a real people person and takes pride in her ability to listen to the needs of those around her and use feedback to motivate her and move in the right direction.
“Every individual person is so different, and what they need is different. All I want is to make sure that all of them are successful, whether it’s through a progression plan, whether that’s communicating in a way that makes it easier, it makes me really excited to make small amendments to my day, that actually make a huge difference to their ability to be successful.”
Alice Lording – Partner & Head of Wealth Operations.
This got us thinking, what is it that makes a good manager? What technical, operational and personal factors play a part in a strong management style and how can managers bring out the best in their colleagues? The result is a tool kit of essentials to use as a framework for managing people with the highest chance of success.
With these five tips, you can be well on your way to becoming a successful leader in Financial Planning, or any profession!
- Avoid the void – Communication is key!
Effective communication is a non-negotiable when managing a team. Make sure that everyone is aware of project deadlines, goals and objectives as well as any changes in policies or procedures. Be sure to keep the lines of communication open so that questions or concerns can be addressed quickly and efficiently. This also offers an opportunity for clear and honest feedback, the less connection you have with your team, the less you know about the concerns, questions and discrepancies they may have.
2. What are we doing here? – Establish clear objectives
It’s critically important to establish clear goals and objectives for yourself and your team. This will give everyone involved with the project direction and purpose that can help drive productivity and enthusiasm. Outline what needs to be done, create deadlines and make sure everyone has access to this information. That way, everyone will have the best chance of staying on track with their tasks and feel as though they are contributing to a larger cause. Financial Planning is a complex and high stakes affair, the more you can simplify your duties and goals, the better chance of success and lower chance of stress-overload within your team!
3. Horses for courses – Optimise your resources!
When managing a team of unique individuals, optimise your resources. That means making sure you have the right people with the right skills in place for each task, as well as creating a plan for distributing workloads among team members. By utilizing resources effectively, you’ll be able to maximise productivity and efficiency when it comes time to execute projects, as well as improving job satisfaction. Some people are excellent communicators, others are technical wizards, why give a similar workload to both when you can capitalise on their strengths?
4. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know – Build better relationships
Strong relationships are key when managing a successful team. Make an effort to get to know each member on an individual level and make sure they feel heard and valued. This will create a collaborative environment where everyone feels comfortable contributing ideas and working together efficiently. In Financial Planning, teams might go days or even weeks without having a face-to-face conversation with their management. Regular one-to-one’s, team building exercises and days out might feel like they take away from time spent working, but in fact they have a profound impact on whether or not your team feels heard and valued, resulting in a deeper connection that goes beyond ‘kind regards’ in the email thread.
5. The past does not define me, it ignites me – Regularly review performance
Many managers misuse the ability to monitor and evaluate performance regularly. Set up performance standards for yourself as well as your team members and measure progress on projects over time. Mutual goals are what drive us as a team, personal goals drive us as individuals. Identify areas that need improvement, open up the conversation about what can be done to improve, as well as what you as management can do to enable this. In conjunction with this, make sure to provide motivation for continued success.
Alice really opened our eyes to the endless potential locked inside the unique individuals in every team, and how overlooking this will most definitely have a detrimental effect on your productivity, and in turn, your business. By following these five tips, you can become a strong manager in any industry. So what are you waiting for? Check out the episode below: