Giving staff an enhanced voice and a sense of security has had surprisingly positive effects on the firm, said DeLynn Zell, co-founder and CEO of Bridgeworth Wealth Management.
In 2018, the company added a support staff liaison to the management team.
“It was the best thing we have done,” Zell said. “It’s critical – it’s a communication piece. Staff will talk more candidly to their peers than to management.”
Downward communications from management improved dramatically as the liaison provided context and insight on management directives to her peers. Upward communications improved “tremendously” as support staff appreciated having someone to speak to management on their behalf.
As part of an organizational restructuring in 2019, partners contributed their individual practices in exchange for shares of the business. All employees now work for the firm as a whole, instead of individual advisers. As a result, young advisers and support staff felt excited and more secure about their futures at Bridgeworth.
“Now they feel they have a career path with the firm because they’re not dependent on one practice,” Zell said.
Due to the pandemic, the operations team at Bridgeworth compiled a re-entry protocol sheet that outlined guiding principles and factors critical for working safely. These procedures included adding safety plexiglass to the reception area, masks to be worn at all times and sanitization stations.