It’s an established business fact: checklists help minimize errors and increase accuracy when performing complex tasks.
For financial advisors, checklists ensure that best practice is followed in a range of activities from onboarding clients to handling market beta and arranging conferences with investors.
Using checklists effectively begins by knowing exactly when they should be employed. One expert calls this the ‘pause point’ – a moment that signals when the checklist should be reviewed – for example, when you sign up a new client or receive an unsolicited referral.
Checklists are not instruction sheets. Rather, they identify key actions to take in their correct order, without detailed explanation of how each step should be completed – from experience, you already know how to carry out the tasks. Remember that the longer any form, instruction or list, the less likely people are to use them.
Be sure your checklists are formatted so they are easy to read, understand and use. Most companies have competent IT experts who can create any manner of form desired. Use their talents but don’t let them get carried away – anyone who’s ever filled in an online form knows how frustrating they can be if they’re overly complex. Keep things simple and clear.
There are a few pitfalls to avoid. Don’t create a checklist for every little process or event in your business. That would drive your employees – particularly the best-motivated and active ones – to distraction. It’s a good idea to discuss the introduction of any checklist with the affected staff first to ensure it will help them do their jobs more effectively. Again, if they don’t benefit from it, they simply won’t use it.
For more information, please read:
The Case for Advisor Checklists | Wealth Management