Soula Cargakis, Distribution & Marketing Executive, Centrepoint Alliance explains why investing in your own staff could yield good returns for your clients and your business.
While there has rightly been a huge industry focus on the professional standards, education and regulation of licensed advisers, the value of investing in the professional development of your other staff should never be overlooked.
And unlike so many other issues that affect your advice practice, developing your staff is something that you can directly influence. It is something that will have a direct influence on the quality of service that your clients receive and their perceptions of the quality of advice you provide.
Let's face it, whether someone works in reception, administration, compliance, or para-planning, they are in the business of client service.
If staff are actively engaged and working together to achieve better outcomes it is amazing what they can achieve. Part of this is ensuring that operational and support staff understand the bigger picture beyond their specific role in the service chain. They need to understand the vision for a practice and be provided with the right training and encouragement to make a real contribution.
Having the right technology platforms is vital but it is the operational staff who will ensure it is used effectively to improve service quality and business efficiency.
Yes, I know, it is always difficult to find the time. I've yet to see a good advice practice where staff have too much time on their hands. But it's really something you can't afford not to do.
And never underestimate the value of all the little ideas in improving service, efficiency and growth opportunities. If all the good ideas can be harvested and scaled up across the business, imagine the difference that could make.
All of your staff will bring their own life experience, personality and knowledge to your practice. It's a fair bet that even your most junior staff member will have an innate understanding of the digital world and social media beyond more senior members.
Your staff are your eyes and ears, not just in your business, but in the broader industry and the world around them. Where they are in client-facing roles, the way they engage your clients and build relationships is crucial. And they need to be confident and capable in doing so.
Of course, if good staff develop they may leave your business for an opportunity you are unable to provide. And if they have been encouraged and supported they will go on to become great ambassadors for your business throughout the industry. They may well return one day in a more senior role.
Most staff want to grow professionally and personally, and are happy to invest their own time and energy if it is being encouraged.
That's why next February in Melbourne, Centrepoint Alliance will again be holding our annual Professional Development Workshop specifically designed for paraplanners, administrators and support staff, the only one of its kind.
The two-day event is part of Centrepoint’s commitment to helping advice practices continually improve the quality of their service and performance of their business.
Innovus Advice Managing Director, Paul Wright, has been sending a team member to the conference since its inception two years ago.
“It is not just the conference content, but also the peer sharing aspect which makes this event so valuable,” Paul said.
“Last year the debrief from this workshop took two days! My team member came back with pages of the ‘5 percenters’ which we have implemented into our business, and which have transformed the way we do things.
“This year it is time for a new team member to attend, and I can’t wait for the positive impact that a fresh set of ideas will have on my business.”
Queensland based paraplanner Megan Lazar has attended the past two conferences.
"It enables me to meet and brainstorm with people doing similar roles and see how they do things,” said Megan. “It’s a great environment for sharing information and ideas.
"It’s been a wonderful experience and I come away feeling really inspired."
Tickets for the Professional Development Workshop are now available and can be purchased here.
Special early bird rates offering a 20% savings for Centrepoint Alliance members are on sale until 16th December, so get in quickly!