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Company: Advisor Group, Phoenix, AZ USA

Nomination Category: Best Leadership Development Program


Nomination Title: Entire Leadership Program


Achievement Essay

Advisor Group is one of the largest networks in the U.S. of independent financial advisors, overseeing more than $268 billion in client assets. The company’s 1,000+ employees, stationed at offices in 5 states, serve more than 7,000 customers in a fast-paced, dynamic industry. The past 18 months have been a time of growth and vitality: the business added 2,000 customers (+35%), launched multiple new services, integrated 3 major acquisitions, and addressed changing regulatory requirements. The efforts of the 17-member HR team were key to the culture change and employee engagement required to support the needs of the business.


To support this growth, the HR Leadership Team developed a comprehensive leadership talent development strategy to support and enhance skills of all leaders at Advisor Group, whether new or experienced.


The program consists of several components:


Leadership Growth Summit --talent development event established to upskill leaders and engage them in our mission, vision, values while developing these leaders more fully. This annual 3-day summit provides a cutting-edge learning experience, identifies business solutions, and creates leader as ambassadors for the organization.

Leadership Foundations --designed for all leaders to learn about tools, processes, and techniques for supporting the entire employment lifecycle of an employee. The first talent development initiative for the organization, it brought leaders together for 8-hours of training coupled with a networking reception. Program resulted in more consistent and more highly skilled leaders.

Bi-Annual 360 Assessments provide insight on leadership strengths, opportunities for development, and blind-spots thereby informing development goals for leaders.

Speed Mentoring connects executives with high performing and potential employees to enable personal-touch mentoring on industry knowledge, career progression, and career advice. This program offers a series of short, focused conversations about top-of-mind questions during one-on-one interactions between an executive and employee.

Leadership Corner: an in-house developed, on-demand set of resources and online courses for leaders. Materials include checklists, templates, leadership courses, and reference materials available to leaders just-in-time, based on their level.

Executive development: a 6-month hands-on program facilitated through an external consultant available to executives and the next level-down managers.


Program Design


Programming design addressed the needs of emerging, new, advanced, and executive leaders with level-specific opportunities. Content is available in-person, online, and instructor-led webinar. Blended learning methods provide an engaging learning experience through active learning, class and small group discussions, team building, project-based learning, learning by teaching, lecture, game-based learning, and leadership assessments. A combination of custom-developed and purchased content is used to ensure our business needs are met as efficiently as possible.


Lasting Outcomes


-Designed to enhance skills, the leadership program delivers significant and lasting outcomes for both participants and the organization. These include:

-Leadership and talent development that includes networking, building relationships, collaboration, and enhancing partnerships with other leaders and more value-added interactions with HR

-Skills improvement in managing the life cycle of an employee, networking, our industry and organization, presentation, time management, problem solving, analytical thinking, and creative thinking

-Benefits from on-demand resources and toolkits available 24/7

-Building personal connections and learning from executives such as practical skills in networking, communicating succinctly, and preparing personal bios.

-Learning about our industry, organization, and gaining career advice.

-Participants become champions and sponsors that share learnings with the rest of the organization, implementing new solutions, and incorporating what they have learned into their daily behavior.


Becoming a Learning Organization


As the HR team continues to focus on talent development, our leaders are engaging in their own leadership development. Leaders give the programs high satisfaction ratings of 4.8/5 and a net promoter score of 83. The leadership programs have raving fans that creates more demand to attend courses and use on-demand resources. Some of our programs are so popular, the seats fill within 30-minutes.


Achievement Summary

1. Talent development: Designed a customized leadership program with a variety of topics and delivery methods

2. Develop skills: Managing employees from hire to next role, networking, presentation, collaboration, problem solving, analytical thinking, and creative thinking

3. Business impact: 23 business solutions implemented from proposals made by participants during a business challenge segment.

4. Leader/Employee engagement: with improved leadership skills, the 2019 employee survey indicates leaders are +10% more engaged, employee’s connection with the values and culture by +11% and that +21% of employees say there are more opportunities for career growth and they receive more feedback from managers as compared to 2017

5. Attendee career movement: 53 promotions after participating in program

6. World Class Satisfaction ratings: 4.8/5 and NPS of 83

7. Program reach: programs touch leaders across the organization, and subsequently a ripple effect across their organizations