How do accounting firms manage employee retention

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employee retention


Speaker 1: How do you approach this topic of retaining your staff, and then I’m very curious of some tactical things that you’ve implemented, as a firm, to reinforce the retention of your team?

Speaker 2: Yeah, no. It is something we do spend and me in particular spend a ton of time thinking about and caring about. I think Joe said it best. You know, he and I in our cultures are very similar. It’s kind of neat to share with like-minded folks. We can always look toward Biblical principles, just look at it and say you know what, treating people how you want to be treated is incredibly important. A lot of times people will turn to comp, and say, “Well, comp is the issue.” Maslow, several decades ago, put together his hierarchy of needs. Once people’s base needs are met, it’s more than that.

We believe fundamentally in a couple of things. One is really caring about people. Not just caring about them. I could care a lot about, for example my assistant [Caitlyn 00:01:09]. I could care a lot about her, but if I don’t ever spend any time with her, how does she know? It’s not what I think in my head, and what I read about and study in theory; it’s actually more about what I do. There’s no better way … From a client’s point of view, if you want to grow clients, in your client relationships, you want your organization to grow; spending time with your clients is huge.

Then, most importantly from a cultural standpoint, spending time with our team on an individual basis, getting to know them better, what makes them tick; and everybody’s going to be a little bit different. What motivates [Chet 00:01:47] isn’t what’s going to motivate Caitlyn. The only way I know that is if I spend time with her one-on-one, and I listen. I ask good questions, I show that I care, I build that trusting relationship. Then once I do that, then I can figure out what drives her. What does she want to be in life?

The other core thing that we look at inside of our firm, as a foundational element, is ultimately we’re trying to help our clients, our community, and each other get from where we are to where we want to be. We think a lot about we’re at point A, and we’re heading towards point B; and we’re never going to get to point B, because it’s going to keep changing. The only way I know what someone really wants is to spend time with them, and ask, and then listen. Once we develop that relationship, they know that I truly care about them and their success in life more than I care about my own. They know that if there’s something I can do to help them, and they bring it up, I’m going to do everything I can to help them get to their path.

We spend a lot of time talking about that. We really … Once their base needs and [comps 00:02:53], and we treat everybody fair, and we … It’s funny here in [Jose 00:02:56] about competing with the rates in which we pay our people in the CPA world. It truly becomes more about that. You know, money only takes you so far. High quality work/life balance is really important, and it’s an issue for us; but I think most importantly is really taking the time, investing the time, and truly demonstrating that you care. I can’t emphasize that enough. It’s so, so important. From a leadership standpoint, I have to do that first. If I do that and I demonstrate it, then there’s a trickle down effect throughout our firm.

If I get really busy, I’m closed off, people don’t see me spending time and investing in our team; they’re going to struggle to do that throughout our whole firm. We don’t always like to look at it this way, but it truly is a function; us and how we behave and what we demonstrate to other people. From a leadership standpoint,culture,motivating folks, retaining talent; fundamentally we believe that it starts with spending time with them, and listening, and demonstrating that you care. Then when they say or they need help, or they’re struggling with something; do what you can to make it happen for them.

Speaker 1:
Yeah.

Speaker 2: That’s just been a big part of our culture.

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