There’s one person that next gen advisors strongly believe will play a vital in their career development: their team leader. Nearly 90% of survey respondents reported just that. In order to fulfill this expectation, firms and team leaders need to provide their younger advisors with more coaching. In fact, next gen advisors said that their team leaders’ most important development tasks were offering timely feedback on performance and highlighting areas that they could improve. However, only 64% of respondents said their team leaders were effective in these areas.
This next gen wants guidance, yet their team leaders aren’t responding to that request. About half of the participants in our study reported that their team leader doesn’t act as a coach on a regular basis. When it came to team leaders’ areas of effectiveness, they received the lowest marks for acting as a coach, helping define career goals and providing timely feedback. Their team leaders are present to be sure, but most of the time they spend with their younger advisors is unscheduled and as-needed, instead of through regularly scheduled meetings.
These ad-hoc encounters are usually short on time, squeezed between meetings and other obligations. As such, they offer little opportunity for thoughtful feedback. Scheduled time sends the message that people development is important and, ensures that key learnings are reinforced. For less-experienced advisors, coaching is also crucial. The next generation agrees; in fact, survey respondents say they’d prefer four or more hours of coaching per month. Yet the survey reveals that nearly half are receiving less than one hour of coaching each month.
The next generation of advisors will play a crucial part in the current and future success of advisory firms. However, the industry is at an important crossroads when it comes to preparing our less- experienced advisors for the roles and responsibilities that will undoubtedly come their way. The next gen needs more confidence in their leadership as well as guidance in order to improve their practice, whether it’s delivering the firm story or growing their assets under management. Firms that focus on cultivating their young advisors through coaching and strategic development plans will set themselves up to not only retain their best and brightest, but also grow and improve their business for years to come.
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Breakthrough Growth, LLC is a joint venture between The Collaborative and Purpose Consulting Group. Established by two industry veterans to meet the need for effective hands-on resources to accelerate productivity of the next generation of advisors and their leaders.
Christine Gaze is president of Purpose Consulting Group, a practice management consulting firm that works with financial services leaders to develop strategies and thought leadership programs that engage and advance financial advisors. In the last 20 years, she has held a variety of leadership roles in practice management and human capital at firms such as Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, AllianceBernstein and TD Ameritrade. She is a frequent speaker, avid researcher, and writer.
Beverly D. Flaxington (The Human Behavior Coach™) has spent more than 25 years in the investment industry as a sales and marketing expert, corporate consultant, college professor and Gold-award winning author She has been quoted in hundreds of media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com and USA Today. Her latest bestselling book is titled Understanding Other People: The Five Secrets to Human Behavior.