Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

There’s No Secret Solution To Employee Engagement

In the CPA profession, retaining top talent is critical. Sure, the pressure was off for a few years during the recent economic downturn but now the CPA firm talent wars are back on the front burner.

During my presentations and workshops, I always share with CPA partners, managers and firm administrators, that you must do (what I call) the “warm and fuzzy” stuff. Provide free soft drinks, a popcorn cart, a cappuccino machine, weekly chair massages, ugly sweater contests and so on. Many, many CPA firms try very, very hard to be a “fun-tastic” firm.

But that’s not what keeps great talent. You have to do more. It begins with communication. You must clearly articulate goals and expectations. You must be inclusive! Ask for their opinions. Provide a forum for continually sharing where the firm is going, why the firm exists, and what the owners are thinking. For some reason this is often very difficult for CPA firm partners.

I recently read a blog post on Switch & Shift that outlines Five Employee Questions Every Company Should Answer. They are written from an employee’s point of view.

  1. Why am I here? – How can you expect an employee to “get it” if you don’t communicate a shared sense of purpose?
  2. Why should I trust your leadership? – Open communication builds trust, which is essential to employee engagement.
  3. Why should I be loyal to your company? – Engaged employees know why they are loyal – they are treated with respect.
  4. Why don’t you communicate your company values? – Want to drive people away? Talk about values and then behave in a vastly different way.
  5. Why aren’t you clear about the rewards of working here? – It is amazing how few companies are open about their approach to compensation.

Be sure to follow the link, above, to read the entire article – then practice what you’ve learned.

  • "Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth."
  • Henry David Thoreau

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