America’s unemployment rate is as low as it’s been in over 17 years. Employers are scrambling to find qualified and talented workers in many industries, including mortgage businesses.
What are the chances of your staff being tempted by offers – especially those from a direct competitor?
As a branch manager, you must face that possibility. If you don’t want anyone to steal your best employees, make sure that you put sufficient resources into retaining them.
1. Evaluate Your Staff
You can’t retain your top talent if you can’t identify them. Productivity is an obvious metric, but there are several other factors to consider.
Do they not just meet but exceed your goals? Are they reliable and consistent in their work? Can you count on your sales staff to handle a steady pipeline of quality mortgage leads? Which staff members are capable of handling more leads, increasing your scalability? Is their follow-up sufficient to yield a superior closing rate?
Give your staff regular reviews to identify top talent – and provide guidance to help other staff members develop into their full potential.
2. Set Goals Wisely
Talented employees love challenging but attainable goals. High targets allow them to shine. However, it’s important that your goals meet both criteria.
Goals that are unattainable are demoralizing. At best, your staff just stops caring about goals and sets their own targets. At worst, your staff will look elsewhere – and might be willing to take a short-term pay cut to do so.
Goals that are too easily attainable promote laziness and underachievement. You aren’t getting the most out of your staff in that case, and the company suffers as a result. Top talent will look elsewhere to find the challenges they crave.
Strike the correct balance with your goals, and your employees will rise to the challenge. Why would they look anywhere else?
There is one simple reason they could still be tempted – money.
3. Know Employee Market Value
How much is your competition paying? Do some research to find the market rate in your area. Sites like Glassdoor serve as a good starting point, but you may have to tap local sources to get a true feel for the going rate.
Adjust your compensation as needed to retain talent, and use perks and incentive programs in creative ways if you have to – but be careful to keep your cost structure fair and equitable. Establish straightforward and consistent criteria to reward top performers, and give lesser performers a clear path to improve their standing.
4. Be Proactive
To keep their best employees, branch managers must be excellent evaluators. They should be keenly aware of the capabilities and the market value of their staff, and make sure that they are treated and compensated fairly. Regular feedback is important to keep employees content and focused on their goals. Understand what motivates them and empower them.
Be proactive in your efforts to retain your best lead generators and support staff. Give them the tools and support that they need. Talented employees are difficult to find, but they are really difficult – and expensive – to replace.