Wrap-Up: Becoming a “Best Place to Work”

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This year, I’ve dedicated my blog posts to discussing the 12 dimensions of “best places to work,” as defined by the Gallup Organization. To recap, they are:

  1. I know what is expected of me at work.
  2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
  3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
  4. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  5. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
  6. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
  7. At work, my opinions seem to count.
  8. The mission/purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
  9. My associates (fellow employees) are committed to doing quality work.
  10. I have a best friend at work.
  11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
  12. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.

The goal of this series has been to challenge advisor/business owners to maximize their workplace environments by embracing the dimensions. As the Gallup Organization has found, in the end, there are not great companies but rather great work groups. And fostering a great work group is certainly manageable for small business owners. Tangibles like pay, benefits, and so on are important, but Gallup’s research shows that the dimensions listed above are what really stand out in employees’ minds.

When push comes to shove, advisors can do three things that have a huge impact on employee job satisfaction:

  • Make sure each employee has an up-to-date job description and clearly understands your expectations.
  • Give each employee two written performance reviews per year. Of course, a two-way performance discussion between you and the employee is just as important as the review document itself.
  • Hold staff meetings at least monthly, involving employees in decisions outside their job descriptions so they fully understand and connect with the firm’s overall mission and vision.

Small advisory firms are in a good position—no, a great position—to become best places to work. And many already are. But great organizations and great managers are never quite satisfied with the status quo. Conducting an annual review of the 12 dimensions and assessing how your company stacks up is an excellent way to identify areas for continued improvement.

Joni Youngwirth
Managing Principal of Practice Management
Commonwealth Financial Network
Waltham, Mass.

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