Strategic Planning in business is always a valuable and interesting exercise to undertake. Financial planning businesses are no exception.
In financial planning we encourage our firms to complete a Business Health check, which provides an external view of the business performance compared to the Business Health extensive database of financial planning businesses.
It is interesting what feedback is provided when you invite all staff to participate in the Strategic Planning process for the business.
A useful starting point for strategic planning is to have the whole team complete a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the business).
This is completed from a business improvement perspective. It is generally extremely beneficial when staff are asked to participate and provide their comments freely.
Some recent examples of feedback from staff involved in this process, when responding to what they observe as weaknesses in the business:
- Lack of training/mentoring
- Lack of communication
- No monitoring of staff progress/KPI’s
- Career development opportunities
- No formal staff appraisals
- Awkwardness requesting leave
Looking at this feedback there is clearly lots of opportunity for improvement in the support of and managing staff in this business. The business Principal acknowledged that these were gaps that he had not addressed. In fact he had been very focused on clients and not allocated time to work in the business.
Feedback such as this is clearly a warning sign that if not addressed there was a high probability of losing staff in the near future.
How to address Staff Concerns?
With feedback from staff such as this, there has to be a priority to set out a plan of how to address the issues.
- Thank staff for their feedback and provide them with an overview of the findings from the SWOT & strategic planning process. Outline the plan ahead and provide regular updates as to progress
- Position descriptions for each role to be completed with all staff
- Develop objectives with each staff member that are measurable, and document these in a scorecard
- Conduct 6 monthly appraisals of performance
- Create a development plan for all staff. In view of the feedback this is a critical step for this business. The staff appear to be making strong statements that they want to develop and when buy in is demonstrated by both parties they ensure the employee is growing personally, developing their ability to achieve more in the workplace, and meet the organisation’s goals.
If our business Principal actions this plan, the future for the business will be much brighter than what it could have been.
According to the Business Health Future Ready VIII analysis, those practices where staff have clearly documented performance objectives, the profitability per principal is 44% higher than where objectives are not defined.
It is really a no brainer for Principals to allocate some time to demonstrate to your people just how important you view them and their contribution to the business.
At Futuro we understand financial planning businesses. We provide support to business owners and improve both their business & personal life.
If you would like to know more about how Futuro can help your business, give us a call on (07) 3018 0400 or send an email to email@example.com.