Behind Every Great Advisor is an Even Greater Operations Team, Find Out Why
Financial Advisory firms are suffering from talent shortages and high turnover rates among back office roles (Assistants, Operational and Service Staff). According to a survey on 400+ wealth management professionals, by Ocrolus in April 2022, 58% of respondents said their organizations experienced shortages of back-office staff during the past year. Operational roles within financial advisory firms are not easy jobs that just anyone can walk in and do – they require at least a month of onboarding to get up to speed. Back office teams are responsible for a number of critical tasks, including increasing efficiencies, reducing costs, improving work quality, and building client relationships.
At Hubly, we have worked with hundreds of financial advisory firms and their operational teams. We’ve come to recognize some of the key skills that define success in an operational role. These skills include proficiency, organization, strategic planning, team management, multitasking, prioritization, and a flexible mindset. You might think that this is a long list – but we told you this wasn’t an easy job that just anyone can do!
If you have operational staff members working for you who possess the skills listed above, it’s important to take great care of these employees, ensure that they are happy in their roles, and acknowledged for the impact of their work. Hubly analyzed over 60,000 workflows managed by over 100 RIA firms and pinpointed a crucial finding across the wealth management industry; the majority of tasks and workflows are completed by back office employees, such as administrative and operational staff.
This work is highly repetitive and requires a high degree of quality control – with little or no room for errors. Although we have an extensive list of reasons why a talented operational team is key to the success of a financial advisory firm, we are highlighting the 5 most crucial reasons.
1. Talented operations team make you look good in front of your clients
Financial planning is complex – that’s why your clients hire you as an expert! Your clients depend on you for a consistently excellent experience, and this is easier to deliver as a team. Without an operational role to help keep you organized, client service can suffer, and important tasks will fall through the cracks. Your operations team allows you to focus on your areas of expertise – financial planning and serving your clients – while using their own specific skill set to support you in delivering a reliable experience that customers expect. They are masters of routing work, and balancing workloads between your team members. Your firm’s excellence is created by working together.
2. Operational Experts keep great advisors on track
Your operations team creates capacity to keep you on track. After client meetings, and before project deadlines, your operations team can help you keep on track of follow-up tasks and get extra tasks done when you don’t have the time nor capacity. Advisory firms love Hubly because operational teams can see exactly where an advisor is with a client project and automatically get notified about tasks assigned to them based on the advisor’s actions and meeting outcomes. This makes work flow seamlessly throughout the firm and significantly reduces bottlenecks. Hiring great operational experts will result in you becoming absolutely indispensable to your clients.
3.Back office employees ensure things running smoothly
Your operations team is instrumental in getting your entire team aligned and seeing every project through to success. They help you to get the most out of the software that you pay for, optimizing every subscription directly to suit your advisory firm’s needs. Your operations team has the knowledge to build a technology stack to fit your firm’s needs in order to make every piece of technology work for you. In addition, they are instrumental in ensuring that everyone on your team knows how to use, operate, and manage the software in order to create a more powerful work environment.
4.Operations teams allow you to provide a high-touch experience at scale
It’s often the personal touches that make you known and valued to your clients. – but with hectic day-to-day activities at your advisory firm you don’t always have the capacity to complete those extra touches. Your operations team can either take these tasks on for you, or alert you to those special occasions to ensure every client feels important.
It’s important for your customers to see the value in the work that you do – and we know that paying close attention to all the small things will ensure that you and your team are completely indispensable. We’ve found that many larger teams in Hubly have specific Workflows dedicated to these small touches – birthdays, anniversaries, kids’ birthdays and more, helping to create a consistently positive client experience. Your operations team all-stars have a sixth-sense for identifying your client’s needs before your clients even know what they need, helping to put your advisory firm’s best foot forward.
5.Back office employees are your firms hub
Firms tend to rely heavily on their operations team to provide an overview of everything that is happening in the firm and they are the go-to for tracking important client information. Hubly user Meghan Rutherford, Director at Ridgeline Financial Planning says;
“Before Hubly, I was the hub that everything was coming through and it wasn’t sustainable.”
If you are using Hubly then you have the right tools in place already to empower your operations team and remove them from the tedious responsibility of being the "air-traffic" controller in your firm. Instead, Hubly can automatically route and assign tasks within your firm to keep everyone accountably.
We find that the operations team quickly becomes Hubly gurus, updating Workflows as your processes change, tracking important client details, and ensuring that your newest team members can get up to speed as soon as possible. They tend to understand your processes inside and out. Utilizing Hubly means that a single person is no longer required to act as the single source of truth. Instead, anyone in your firm can login to Hubly and know exactly what has been done, needs to be done, and will be done for every single client.
Related Case Study: How Meghan's Team of 5 Uses Hubly to Function Like a Team of 10
With all of this impact that your operations team can make, it’s clear that they are invaluable to the success of your advisory firm and losing them can be costly. Once you find your operational superstar, don’t let them go!
In a world where financial advice can be found at the click of a button, it’s important to differentiate your knowledge and excellent service by providing an exceptional customer experience. Considering the impact that a high functioning team can make on your business and the customer experience, advisors need to go above and beyond to attract and retain their talented operational employees. Hubly is working toward this goal in the following ways;
- Building technology to reduce inefficiencies that arise through communication processes and task delegation.
- Providing training and retention initiatives focused on empowering back-office team members.
- Developing continuous education on best practices, business support systems and human capital while highlighting the importance of non-client facing work.
Do you think your operational team could benefit from Hubly? Book a Strategy Call with one of our experts today to see how Hubly can help your firm deliver a better client experience.