Posts Tagged ‘recognition’

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Your Top Talent Needs Recognition

Recognition is a huge motivator.

People do what feels good and avoid what feels bad. Simple, right?

Accountants are often type-cast as critical, finding-fault, looking for errors. It’s that auditor behavior… finding out what is wrong. It’s that manager behavior…. ┬átelling people what they did wrong.

As kids grow up, especially the millennials, they get lots of applause, encouraging words and recognition. Your job as a CPA firm leader is to keep it coming.

Here’s a 3-minute video that was part of my last newsletter.

  • I praise loudly, I blame softly.
  • Catherine the Great

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Lack of Communication In An Accounting Firm

It’s summer. Hopefully, inside your CPA firm, people are more relaxed. Many might be away from the office for vacation and continuing education sessions. It’s only natural that you might not be communicating with your team (and with your clients) as much as you do during the first four months of the year.

In the spring, Accountemps released a survey that documented that lack of communication is the TOP management mistake. I hate to say it (not really), but I told you so!

Need some summer reading? Look at the right-side of this blog page at the categories. Click on Communication and scan through all of the blog posts I’ve done that involve communication in CPA firms.

Almost every time I survey a firm’s team members prior to a partner retreat, communication is at the root of most of the problems. Almost every time I get a call from a managing partner who wants to talk about their firm and some challenges they are facing, it involves communication.

Per the Accountemps survey, CFOs were asked, “What one mistake do companies make most in managing their employees?” The response:

  • Lack of communication between staff and management – 41%
  • Lack of recognition and praise – 28%
  • Lack of training, development and other educational opportunities – 11%
  • Lack of flexibility in work schedules – 8%
  • Lack of authority given to employees – 6%
  • Don’t know/No answer – 6%

Many CPA firm team members feel like they are kept in the dark. This causes them to wonder, worry and fret when they see a lot of closed-door activity among the partner group. Partners, when you close your door, the team thinks that you are talking about them. Staff members, when the partners close their door it usually means that they need to talk on the phone to a client or simply need some uninterrupted time.

Proactive communication with your people can take so much of the mystery out of an accounting firm culture. Look at the top two responses, above. Team members simply want to be kept in the loop and feel appreciated.

Firm leaders (see today’s quote below), you can do it! – It’s easy, it’s cheap and it’s also fun.

By the way, this also applies to your clients. Don’t drop the communication ball during the summer months.

  • The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.
  • General Colin Powell