In the transition from working for someone else to breaking out to build your own business as an entrepreneur, there is rarely time to develop management skills and learn how to run a team.

During the early years, if you’re working alone or with the help of one administrative assistant, motivation is less of a concern. But as you add to your staff, it will be necessary to find methods of pushing your employees to strive for their best performance at all times and to tirelessly work toward your shared goals.

How do you motivate your staff members? Have you developed an incentive program? Do you seek to hire self-starters who draw energy from within?

According to a study from J.D. Power and Associates, financial advisors working in investment services firms and independent advisors who are affiliated with broker-dealers count many factors into their overall job satisfaction, including (but not limited to) financial compensation.

Those firms and independent advisors that had higher levels of satisfaction typically prioritized:

  • Strong firm performance
  • Having a positive working environment
  • Working in the best interest of clients
  • Establishing a “clear set of priorities and objectives”
  • Having leaders who believe in and enforce the firm’s values and mission, among other factors.

“Providing the right mix of technology and support to advisors, thus optimizing the time they spend with clients, has the biggest impact on satisfaction,” stated David Lo, the director of investment services at J.D. Power and Associates. “It’s no coincidence that the firms struggling with the key best practices identified in the study are also paying the highest retention and signing bonuses to compensate for a poorer work experience.”

In another one of my articles, Defining Roles Within Your Practice, I note the importance of role relationships in motivating employees and encouraging them to collaborate on implementing a strategy and achieving your vision for the business. Be clear with those whom you directly manage about how you want them to work together, and set descriptions for everyone’s role in the greater organization, including your own.

When they have a strong understanding of exactly what they are supposed to do and how their work contributes to the overall outcome, employees are much more likely to take responsibility and strive to go above and beyond what you expect of them. Granting them the tools, resources and guidance to do so will make success even more likely.