When preparing for your practice succession, a vital area of your business is the productivity of your staff. High-performing staff will be a real asset through your practice succession process; conversely, staff with a track record of lower productivity and performance will present challenges. Low-performing staff need to be effectively managed to help them improve their output, ultimately benefiting both the staff member and your business.
Creating a high-performing environment within your business will positively impact your succession journey.
During your practice succession, low-performing staff can pose several issues, including:
Financial performance: Low-performing staff will ultimately generate less revenue than other staff, which will flow through to comparatively reduced profitability.
Decreased customer satisfaction: Low-performing staff can negatively affect the client experience, leading to potential client loss.
Negotiations with buyers: Low-performing staff can lower the company's overall value, making it more difficult to find a buyer and potentially reducing the sale price.
Employment: A flow-on effect with low-performing staff is whether their employment in the business, post succession, will continue.
Managing unproductive staff involves a combination of coaching, support, and performance management. Some practical steps to take include:
Setting clear expectations and goals: Communicating job responsibilities, performance standards, and expectations can help employees stay focused and motivated.
Providing regular feedback: giving regular, constructive feedback on performance can help employees identify areas for improvement.
Offering additional training and support: Employees with additional training or support can help them acquire the skills needed to do their jobs more effectively.
Encouraging open communication: creating an open and supportive work environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their concerns and ideas.
Monitoring and measuring performance: tracking employee performance and setting specific, measurable goals can help identify areas where improvement is needed and measure progress.
Taking corrective action: if an employee's performance does not improve after coaching and support, it may be necessary to implement corrective action, such as performance improvement plans or termination.
It's crucial to approach performance management fairly and consistently, focusing on helping employees improve and succeed.
Some best practice initiatives for creating a high-performance environment are:
Hire carefully: Hire individuals with the necessary skills, qualities, and work ethic to succeed in their role, including good time management skills, strong focus and motivation, good organisational skills, a positive attitude, a thirst for continuous learning and effective communication skills.
Training and development opportunities: Offer opportunities for professional development and continuous learning to help staff members grow and improve.
Establish clear goals and expectations: Communicate job expectations and performance standards to help staff members understand what they need to do to be successful.
Provide regular feedback: Offer constructive feedback regularly to help staff members understand their strengths and areas for improvement.
Positive work culture: Encourage collaboration, creativity, and a positive work environment to boost morale and motivation.
Recognise and reward achievement: Show appreciation for a job well done through recognition and rewards to keep staff members motivated and engaged.
Provide resources and support: Ensure staff members have the tools, equipment, and support to perform their job effectively.
Encourage work-life balance: Promote a healthy work-life balance to prevent burnout and increase job satisfaction.
By creating a supportive and productive work environment, you can help to boost morale and motivation, improve job satisfaction, drive the firm's financial performance and ultimately work towards a more prosperous and rewarding practice succession.