Have you ever had a team member who performed poorly, had a bad attitude or low skill set?  If so, what do you think the impact was, or is, on your business? Often the effects of low productivity on your team are overlooked.

Team members who aren’t pulling their weight can affect our businesses in a number of ways including the obvious dings to our bottom line as well as draining the emotional energy of those around them. This type of employee is often inefficient and more prone to work errors and mistakes. Not only this, but they can also be offputting to clients if they have a less than welcoming personality or their quality of work is lacking.  

One of the keys to business growth is being able to delegate things that are not the highest revenue-producing activities to team members. If we have somebody that we know is not a right fit or doesn’t have the right capabilities, we’re probably not going to delegate very much to them. This can lead to stagnation or limit our outside growth potential.

So, what is the impact on our business of having someone on our team that isn’t the right fit?

Let’s consider a hypothetical example. Advisor A does $500,000 in annual gross dealer concession with 150 clients and she shares a staff member with another advisor. She’s frustrated because she spends too much time placing trades, doing paperwork, responding to and following up with miscellaneous client issues. She doesn’t feel like she has enough time to go out and grow the business. This is because she feels she can’t effectively delegate to her staff member and be confident that things are going to get done.

This leads to constant double checking of her staff member’s work. She finds herself compelled to micromanage. This staff member also splits time with another advisor, so if the other advisor also has 150 clients, the staff member is servicing 300 clients. Someone in this position would have to be excellent at time management, compartmentalizing tasks, and dealing with two different advisors. Every advisor has different systems, personalities, and ways of doing business, so it would take a dynamic staff member to be able to handle that responsibility.

Having said all of that, ideally,  this advisor could get a 5 to 10% increase in productivity if she could make a few adjustments in how she ran her business. 

One is to delegate trading and paperwork to her staff. Number two is to have a staff member who can work autonomously so that she can feel confident that assigned tasks are going to be completed correctly and in a timely manner. Third, create systems that add more capacity for her and her staff to take on new clients. This would free up time weekly to spend with her top clients, with marketing, and with revenue-producing activity. She could also take more time away from the business to rejuvenate and refresh.

In order for the advisor to experience this type of increase in her productivity, I’d recommend that she first start with a Kolbe A assessment of herself and her team members  It’s a great tool for helping you understand how team members problem solve. Their Kolbe is probably going to be different from yours, so understanding these differences can be a great way to work together more effectively.

You could also use StrengthsFinder through the Gallup Organization. We’ve used this with our team. Different team members are going to have different strengths, and knowing these can help you figure out how to delegate and how to work with them more effectively.

Incentivizing is a great way to motivate team members as well.  You don’t have to give a large bonus, but you could do some sort of recognition each week for things that they’re doing well. It could be as simple as a handwritten card with a Starbucks gift certificate. Just recognizing someone for doing a great job in specific areas can be a good motivation for them.

Delegation tools and techniques are also important. Since Advisor A is splitting staff with another person, she should meet with the other advisor and agree on ways to standardize practices. Once they’ve done that, they can agree on delegation tools and techniques. Standardizing the way they interact with the staff member will take some of the stress and complexity out of the situation.

A solution that Illuminate Business Advisors provides is called the Teamwork Optimizer Solution where we work with your in-house team directly. We walk with you through the challenges you might be facing and put new systems in place to put you on the right path for increased productivity and employee/employer satisfaction.