Tip #2 – How do you motivate the right behaviors in your firm?

Depending on where you live, you are in your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. week of a “stay at home” order.  Here is Louisiana, we are a hot spot with the Covid-19 most likely coming into the state during Mardi Gras.  Fortunately, we have a Governor who seems to be on top of things, so we carry on just like the rest of you.

As I mentioned in my last blog, the first in this series, this may be a good time to tackle some projects that have been hanging over your head. What I’d like to discuss today is culture and compensation and tying those two things to performance. There is far too much material on this subject for me to cover in a blog post, but I’ll try and hit the highlights.

Our process with our clients is to start with culture – what are the firm’s core values? Until these are identified, it’s impossible to know what behaviors you will be rewarding. Some sample cores values might be:

  1. We strive to act for the greater good of the organization, not our self-interest
  2. We put our clients’ needs first
  3. We want to create a great place to work
  4. We have a “can do” attitude
  5. We are open and honest in all our interactions
  6. We take pride in our work

We have an exercise we take clients through to help them determine their firm’s core values. We also emphasize the importance of Senior Management “living” them every day and setting the culture for the rest of the firm.

Then we work with our clients to create a compensation plan. This can be tricky work as there are as many ways to construct this as there are employees. The first step is to determine your compensation strategy. What are you trying to accomplish? Again, we take our clients through an exercise to develop this strategy and come up with statements like these samples:

  1. We want to provide market-competitive comp
  2. We want to ensure comp is affordable and internally equitable
  3. We want to reward for individual performance, behavior and contributions to the firm

You get the idea. Next, we look at roles which are different from job descriptions. In small- to mid-size firms, one employee may take on several roles. It’s important to consider this in your compensation strategy. From there, we begin the discussion of which compensation strategy would be best for your firm.

Finally, it’s important to tie compensation to performance. Did the employee meet their goals for the quarter, for the year? Did they “live” the firm’s core values, and do they exhibit the desired behaviors? We help our clients develop a system for tracking these and ensure the employee is rewarded appropriately (or not if criteria were not met).

So, I know what you’re thinking now. Great, I’ve heard this a million times, but I still have no idea how to start.  We have a couple of options for you:

  • You can schedule a call with us, and we are more than happy to give you an hour or so of our time completely complimentary, to get you started. We can help with templates, etc., give you an outline and any other resources we can offer to get this implemented.
  • We are also offering our services on a project basis which we don’t normally do but hey, these are not normal times.  Typically, we are paid on a retainer basis and cover many different areas of practice management with our clients. However, again these are not normal times so if you need more guidance and help with accountability, we are happy to offer that as well.  We will work with you one-on-one, by phone or Zoom) to get this project completed.

You can DIY it with our help or we can come alongside the project and assist you in a more detailed way.

Okay, so there it is.  We will be offering this project-based work for a limited time during the lockdown orders and I will be detailing the scope of these projects over the next couple weeks in my subsequent posts.  We want to help, and we love talking to advisors, hearing your challenges and then providing solutions you can implement yourself or again, if you want our help, we will work with you on a project basis.

Give us a call. Thanks!