Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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I am fortunate to work with financial advisors and those that serve them such as asset managers, custodians and insurance providers. I have clients in retail and investment banking, commercial and retail insurance, retirement and benefits planning. I hear about dreams, goals and the challenges and obstacles to reach those goals.

I work in partnership to solve for positive outcomes.

To celebrate another great year of doing the work I do with my firm’s valued clients, this week’s column is devoted to resolutions I hope you are able to make and keep in your businesses. As a successful entrepreneur and business owner, I respect the challenge of doing all of the right things while keeping a focus on clients. I hope you find some of these ideas useful as you kick off 2020!

  1. Focus on your people – consider things like quality of life in the office, deepening team relationships and listening to ideas and allowing your team to be who they are and show their best self to you each day. Your people truly are your most important asset. I work with leaders who allow their ego (i.e., “I am the boss!”) get in the way. For example, instead of faulting the younger generation and their unique needs, embrace the differences and learn from them. Instead of pushing back against time off or the desire your team might have for work-life balance, offer it to them. Instead of allowing an environment where gossip is acceptable and people feel undervalued and ignored, seek their input and look for ways to honor their ideas and their different viewpoints. This can be very challenging for leaders who have a top-down attitude and even the smallest advisory firm can fail in this way. If your team is unhappy, it will impact your business in subtle and large ways. Commit to figuring out what they need in order to thrive and enjoy coming in to work every day.