Hiring and keeping employees seems to be a hot topic in the minds of not only accountants, but all business owners these days. I have worked in several different fields ranging from event services to working in a hospital and it’s the same story everywhere. It’s hard to find good people and when you do, how do you keep them? Besides the obvious, good pay, benefits, etc., here are 8 thoughts on recruitment and retention that may help.
1 – Look for leaders to champion tasks. Brannon recently collaborated on a podcast with Ryan Lazanis about cloud based accounting and how he is changing up the accounting industry. Ryan made an interesting comment that stuck with me, “look for leaders to champion tasks.” Are you looking for leadership qualities in your prospects? Don’t just hire for the tasks of the job. Hire the individual that has the ability to champion that task. Not only will they be able to perform the accounting or bookkeeping services you are looking for but they may be able to take on more roles further down the road or offer new strategies to benefit your company.
2 – Communicate with your team. Before you post that job posting to Indeed, have you talked to your team? Check in with them. Is everyone confident in their current role? Is someone needing a change or would they perform at a higher level with different duties? HINT: this is a big step to keeping those great employees you do have happy – we like when we know what is going on and when you talk to us. Maybe you have someone at the reception desk who is actually handling most of your bookkeeping tasks. That person may be happier switching to a new and more challenging role, and you may be looking to fill an entirely different position.
3 – What is needed for a new position? You need more staff…but, to do what exactly? If you are hiring for a position that you already have, talk to your people in that position. What skills would they like in a new hire? Your current employees can also give more insight to the day-to-day tasks and help you paint a clear job description.
4 – How do employees want to be treated? This seems like a no-brainer. We all want to be treated with respect, appreciated and to be part of a team. Accounting is brutal during busy season! Buy your staff lunch once in a while, bring in coffee and snacks on deadline days, and recognize birthdays or big events in their lives. Small tokens of appreciation and just saying “thank you” can go a really really long way.
5 – Communicate about job expectations. There is nothing like being reprimanded for not doing a task that you were unclear on or didn’t know you had to do! Again, communicate, make sure everyone knows what is expected of them by setting clear goals. Create job descriptions for each position and go over that with employees. They should sign a copy as well as a non-compete agreement.
6 – Safe Working Environment. This seems like it does not need mentioning but somehow a new story arises every day in this day of #metoo. We want a safe working environment. We want to come to work and do our job. Clear guidelines and open communication channels are a necessity. If you have questions or need some direction in this area please visit the US Department of Labor Civil Rights Center.
7 – Be a role model. You are the boss and you’ve earned it. I have worked for employers that are working as hard if not harder than the day they started their business and, I have worked for one that was pretty much just enjoying life on his boat. However, he still felt the need to come to the occasional staff meeting and walk through the office to input on what everyone was doing and how they were doing it. It was really hard to work for someone like that. As employees, we didn’t feel a great deal of respect or take in his recommendations. He had no clue what was going on day to day and that new procedures had already been implemented. If you want respect and honesty from your employees, respect and be honest to them. If you expect them to put in overtime and go above and beyond for you and your clients, don’t go to the golf course 5 days a week. (By the way, if you want to go to the golf course 5 days a week, it’s time to call us to discuss a sale!) We really do want to be a part of a team and we are in it for you, but we want to be in it together. Check out the Seven Traits of a Role Model blog by Cayenne Consulting.
8 – Are the goals for the company clear? We realize you can’t tell employees every inner working of the company details but if there are areas that employees can help, we need to know. Do you want to implement a new referral program? Do we need training for new skills and services to offer clients? Do you want to grow the business 20% each year? If we know where you want the company to go, we can help you take it there.
Teamwork is the best kind of work, really. ~Sigrid