Two Simple Questions to Motivate Your Assistant

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives. Dan Richards

Imagine that a genie gave you three wishes to move your business forward.

If you’re like most advisors, on your list would be markets that only go up, compliance departments that only say “yes” and million dollar clients who always do what they’re told and never quibble about fees.  

But high on the list of many advisors would be a cheerful, motivated, efficient team, united in the common goal of moving your business forward.

And while you have no control over markets or compliance departments and limited control over client behavior, you have a great deal of influence over how well your team operates.

The success formula for effective teams

Research and experience show that there is a five-part formula for effective teams:

  1. The right people:
  2. Start with staff with the right skillset and attitude

  3. The right roles:
  4. Ensure you’re using those skills and attitudes effectively

  5. The right incentives:
  6. A pay structure that treats staff fairly and has the right mix between fixed and variable compensation

  7. The right environment:
  8. Research by psychologist Frederick Herzberg going back to the 1960s shows that while poor pay is a demotivator, for most people money alone won’t sustain motivation.

    Rather, people are motivated by work that is fulfilling; by a sense of progress in what they’re doing; by having control over their work; by being recognized and acknowledged; and by opportunities for growth and advancement.

  9. The right leadership:
  10. Provide clear direction and communication and as leader command respect for your ability and integrity.