FAS PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT OVERVIEW
On this page, we outline the comprehensive approach Financial Advising Services (FAS) Performance Management that includes position-specific performance expectations, service standards and metrics and performance assessments among other tools. This FAS Performance Management System and set of recommend best practice tools have been developed by the Flevy author and consulting firm, Communique Productions. Both candidates-for-hire and existing staff learn what is expected and understand their roles in contributing to exceptional client care. Higher purposes and tangible measures are detailed for specific roles. Principals and Operation Managers have access to the necessary tools to objectively manage performance, and all staff are supported to succeed. Non- or under-performers are coached and required to demonstrate improvements, and high-performers enjoy greater satisfaction because they are no longer “dumped on.”
This FAS Performance Management System ensures better hires, a culture of teamwork, increased quality, effective coaching, evaluation and feedback, and increased satisfaction and retention. More engaged and productive team members help the Managing Principal and Financial Advisors be more competitive, successful and relevant. Clients on the receiving end experience improved communication, higher quality service and a cohesive focus on client satisfaction.
Challenges and Opportunities
So many principals in Communique's FAS client firms have asked important questions related to FAS Performance Management. Here are the top 10 questions:
- How can we calculate the costs associated with non- or under-performing associates, including impacts on the morale and productivity of high performing coworkers?
- Is there a way we can connect instances of turnover and associated costs to an inability or unwillingness to hold associates accountable for non- or under-performance?
- Instead of blaming supervision and management, how do we prevent non-performing associates from blaming others for their own shortcomings?
- What would increasing individual performance mean to coworkers, clients and the firm?
- With an industry so dependent upon intangible “soft skills” to establish and maintain trusting relationships, how can we establish tangible performance measurements that are observable and objectively measurable?
- How can we recognize high performers and reward them?
- What can we do to coach and support our associates to succeed rather than immediately assume that non-performance is intentional?
- How do we inform staff and candidates seeking employment what they can expect regarding roles and responsibilities so there is no question about performance expectations?
- How do we ensure consistency in implementing a Performance Management System to ensure fairness and avoid favoritism?
- How are we able to substantiate and justify feedback related to non-performance?
FAS Performance Management System
A Performance Management System developed under the Communique framework is used to achieve the following:
- Communicate performance expectations during the interviewing and selection process so candidates can assess their desire and ability to commit to the established position descriptions, assessment criteria, standards and metrics.
- Transform the firm by giving associates a higher purpose, assigning and holding associates accountable for specific roles and responsibilities that are tangible, observable and measurable.
- Consistently monitor, track and document performance.
- Identify knowledge-related performance gaps and document opportunities for continued development.
- Coach team members to succeed as knowledge gaps and/or performance issues are identified.
- Documented incidents are easily referenced to objectively complete probationary and periodic, as well as annual performance reviews/assessments and confidently substantiate and justify ratings.
- Provide documentation for initiating corrective action, if needed.
High-performing staff embrace the FAS Performance Management System, because of the following:
- Non- or under-performers are consistently held accountable.
- There is no favoritism because the focus is on work- and performance-related outcomes keeping everything objective and holding all team members accountable to established standards and metrics.
- High-performers do not get others’ work dumped on them.
- Increased employee satisfaction and respect for supervision and management for not allowing non-performance go unaddressed.
Furthermore, Human Resources staff appreciate that this Performance Management System includes the following:
- Job-specific tangible, observable and measurable expectations resulting in greater objectivity when evaluating performance.
- Consistent and complete documentation created and reviewed with associates as instances occur rather than supervision and management having to work from memory and undocumented, unsubstantiated claims.
- Informal and formal coaching to enhance communication and promote success, promoting retention and decreasing turnover.
- Consistency regarding accountability and increased satisfaction for high performers because there is a reduced chance of getting “dumped on” when non-performance are being held to the same standards and metrics.
- Support and justification for recognition, coaching sessions, Performance Review ratings, Individual Development Plans and disciplinary actions.
- Reductions in grievances and increases in attendance and retention.
ABOUT COMMUNIQUE PRODUCTIONS
Karen Reitor and Communiqué Productions have worked with Financial Advising firms in Ohio, Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Maine. We, according to one Principal, "move the entire organization to a new level, from superior to exceptional." To achieve the complete transformation, we facilitate change and provide the necessary framework and support to achieve the vision. New position descriptions, a revised compensation plan including a bonus program recognizing high-performance and contributions for tangible results, and performance assessments measure the technical and soft skill aspects of each role and position. Karen Reitor earns the respect of all of the team members, invites and utilizes their input, and works productively with team members to implement the significant changes necessary to support growth.
Each firm identified communication and quality control issues representing opportunities for improvement whereby Karen Reitor and Communiqué Productions facilitated solutions. Examples include the following:
- Checks are received and are not acknowledged resulting in no action.
- Inconsistent scheduling negatively impacting productivity and growth.
- Unacceptable number of errors in scanning, recordkeeping and data entry.
- Lack of referrals and not following up on referrals in a timely manner.
- consistently conducting research and adequately preparing for client interactions.
- Constant calendar changes with very short notice.
Specific feedback from team members includes the following:
“I will take responsibility of my actions, my workload, and my attitude and ensure I do all I can to ensure the success of the team.”
“This will facilitate individual awareness and commitment to service as a team effort.”
“We can be more respectful to team members and their needs and have a greater impact on growing the practice by working together.”
“We are owning or job responsibilities, working together to accomplish tasks and have great attitudes and are committed to producing quality work.”
“Our staff better understands the ‘big picture’ and their roles in it.”
“The re-grouping and restructuring have resulted in a better work environment, better client care and significant growth.”
“We are thinking about the clients first.”
Communique has developed a suite of 27 best practice documents on FAS Performance Management. These are available individually or as a discounted bundle. See below for further details.