Your clients and leads are facing uncertain economic times, and they are probably asking quite a few questions. “Should I continue my investment path?” “What are your thoughts on saving money by increasing my insurance deductibles?”
As an employer, you are also facing uncertainty. We watched the “Great Resignation” as it led to “Quiet Quitting,” and there is another key problem facing employers with a lack of employer engagement. Regardless of the causes, you are facing a tight labor market and must be intentional in your approach.
Let’s look closer at workforce challenges in the financial services industry and how you can develop leaders who will rise to the challenge.
Workforce Challenges in Financial Services
The constricted workforce means you need to deploy strategies for not only attracting & acquiring talent but also retaining your best employees. However, the tight labor market is also accompanied by the additional challenge of changing workforce demographics. Many older workers who left during the pandemic are not returning, and the younger workers making up more of the workforce have different expectations.
Finding and keeping talent is harder than ever in the financial services industry. Deloitte reports that nearly 75% of hiring managers at private financial companies expect challenges in attracting and retaining talent.
That problem is further exacerbated by a skill gap as financial services employees adapt to developing technologies. Companies use financial services training programs to develop the technical skills needed. Unfortunately, those programs won’t get you to the outcome you need — an intentional company culture of excellence focused on building all necessary skills, from technology usage to leadership techniques.
You and your business aren’t the only ones facing workforce uncertainties. Recent survey results report that nearly 40% of employees are concerned about layoffs, and over half worry about the economy and its effect on their job.
Fortunately, one solution that addresses employer and employee concerns is increasing leadership development.
Developing Leaders and Building a Leadership Pipeline in FinServ
Developing leaders is the only way to bring consistency to your business. Just as you must account for a sales churn rate, you must actively build a leadership pipeline in anticipation of employee churn, using many of the same tactics as you would use for succession planning.
Although ongoing leadership development to democratize knowledge across the team and maintain consistency of communications and processes is important for all industries, it is critical for FinServ businesses.
As your industry continues to evolve, the labor pool stays constricted and you and your team face uncertainty, you need to build a leadership pipeline. This pipeline should consist of people who understand your business, can adapt to changes and can contribute to continuity and team collaboration.
The ultimate question is: How do you develop leaders?
3 Tips for Leaders Developing Leaders
1. Assess Your Team
During the hiring process, you look for the right people for your team, but as you develop your leadership pipeline, you need to start thinking about where each team member is on their path to becoming a leader. Using a ranking from one to ten, consider these things for each person:
- This person independently identifies goals, visualizes the outcomes and works intentionally toward achieving them.
- They have strong communication skills.
- Do they have high emotional intelligence or are they actively working to improve it?
- They take ownership of their results.
- They naturally motivate and inspire others around them.
Remember that these answers won’t necessarily disqualify anyone on your team from leadership development. Instead, it would help if you used your assessment to determine how to best develop leadership skills for each person.
2. Leaders Lead Leaders
As a sales team leader, you have knowledge that can be passed down to your team. Additionally, while assessing your team, you identified your strongest team members. You can use both of those to nurture new leaders in your organization.
Communicate With Your Team
Open communications are critical. Ask open-ended questions to each person about topics ranging from how they are adapting to the changes and managing industry uncertainties to their interests in developing leadership skills. In addition, provide constructive feedback regularly.
Assign a Mentor
Internal mentorships are essential for passing on internal knowledge and processes. Pair your strongest team members with ones who don’t have as much knowledge about technical skills or leadership abilities. Schedule weekly or bi-weekly time for each pair to discuss what is going well, determine how to best address things that aren’t going well and make an improvement plan.
Provide Other Development Opportunities
Networking meetings, local training programs and online training sites all offer other development opportunities. You can select appropriate opportunities for each team member to aid their leadership development.
Assessing your team and deploying internal leadership training is useful, but it comes with additional time demands on what may already be a time-challenged team.
Ultimately, you may save time, improve effectiveness and enjoy a higher ROI with a professional training program.
3. Leverage a Professional Development Program
The best professional programs will offer a different experience than you might expect. You will get the greatest return when you leverage a program that customizes training for each team member’s individual needs, includes workshops led by expert performance specialists and engages your sales team with experiential learning.
Team members can benefit from different types of leadership management and performance development training, such as:
- Transforming leaders
- Empowering managers
- Recruiting your A-team
- Building a culture of excellence
- Managing through change
- Sharpening skills
Why Invest in Leadership Development
A transformational leadership training program is a smart investment for developing leaders who can withstand today’s difficulties in the industry. It allows you to build your leadership pipeline, improve employee retention and drive operational success.
At XINNIX®, The Academy of Excellence, we offer a variety of resources to help you transform your sales team. Whether you are ready to launch robust training programs or are looking for helpful toolkits, we are here to help.
Download our 12 Reasons Why Sales Training Fails today for exclusive access to learn how to find the right resources to support the development of a successful sales team.