Employee morale is a critical factor in most organizations and firms, especially in a profession like accounting, where the work process is mostly deadline-driven. It might be easy to push through hard and challenging times, but it is always better to recognize the problems and take relevant action towards it.
Organizations should always pay attention to the way they handle the workplace and the employees if they want them to be more productive and proactive. But, creating a positive work environment can be a challenging task, specifically if you don’t understand what exactly motivates the employees to work efficiently and prosper in the first place.
Here are some ways or strategies that can help you reach your goal of making your accounting firm a better place for working and achieve a positive working environment:
1. Acknowledge Performance
Everyone likes a little pat on the back for a job well done.
Employee recognition can be done by a number of ways like a simple shout-out, celebrating milestones with a cup of coffee, rewarding work completed on time with once a week happy hour, short and simple thank you acknowledgments for extra efforts and long hours spent during tax season, or any other challenging project.
It is a really inexpensive way to say thank you to someone deserving, which makes them feel valued and also sets standards for others.
2. Get Out of The Office as a Team
Getting out of office is an important way to relax for CPAs. It is not just for fun, but it also serves the purpose of making it easier for the team members to communicate openly. It boosts confidence and makes the environment friendly enough for the exchange of constructive feedback.
Teambuilding can be achieved in many ways like a full day out of office, watching sports matches on the TV together, a monthly team lunch or dinner or even travelling as a team, and social gatherings. It gives the employees a chance to overcome shyness and get to know people from different processes as well.
3. Make Office Environment Fun
Making the environment fun and relaxed to work in can boost morale, especially if you work in formal workplaces like accounting firms.
A simple way would be to set up theme days for holidays or events in the calendar. You can also decorate your bay according to the occasion, have meals together, and involve the employees in small duration activities like quizzes or riddles just to jog up their minds.
4. Cut Back Long Hours
Deadlines and big projects may let long working hours become a norm for accountants. While most employees are ready to take extra work and stay for long hours, it is not sustainable in the longer run.
Encourage your employees to work normal hours, talk about life outside the office. More importantly, try leaving on-time yourself. You might be surprised to know the number of people who stay in office for long hours just because their manager is still in office.
5. Help Staff Get Fit
Accountants deal with numbers, and they need to be healthy and active all the time in order to be accurate. You cannot expect to change the lifestyle of employees, but you can always do what you can to make them aware of healthy and better living.
You could offer health club/fitness club memberships, sponsor sports teams for employees, introduce the concept of standing desks, or acknowledge employees who improve their daily step count. Set modest goals and encourage employees for small increases. Fit employees are healthier, more productive, and less likely to call in sick.
6. Provide the Right Tools
Slow or unreliable technology, whether it is the internet going down or the jamming of printers causes trouble, especially during busy hours.
Let the employees bring their own devices to work if it makes them comfortable and makes the work smoother. Providing access to real-time resources with the help of cloud accounting solutions is also an option to make their work easier, especially for accounting firms, as the exchange of client files and data becomes easier and efficient.
7. Upskill and Promote
Employees who gain knowledge, experience, and get promoted tend to stay longer in the firm. Try balancing work between employees.
Assigning senior tasks to newcomers can be considered a risky business; however, you get an opportunity to see how they would handle the extra pressure and make them learn new things at the same time. Busy times could turn out to be a great opportunity to find a new star on the team.
8. Ask for Opinions and Feedbacks
Feedback and ideas from all the employees help in the improvement of an accounting firm. Occasionally gather your team and discuss important matters. Ask them what went well and what needs improvement. Anonymous reviews and skip level meets can get you some of the most candid answers. You can learn a lot about your firm and your people through these discussions and eventually pull together the team for a better working environment.
9. Enjoy Good Amount of Natural Daylight
According to Harvard Business Review, a research poll of 1,614 North American employees found that access to natural light and outdoors views are the number one attribute of the workplace environment, outranking on-site cafeterias, fitness centers, and premium perks including on-site childcare.
Providing seating arrangements with natural sunlight for employees and an environment that contains plants and views to look at help in refreshing the mind, lets them focus, and affects the mood and behavior of employees during working hours, which is necessary since most of the work time involves dealing with accounts and numbers.
10. Conduct Process Walk-Throughs
Opportunity to earn the rewards we talked about before comes from investing in the education of your employees so that they can grow both inside and outside the company.
Conduct process walkthroughs or meetings from time to time so that the employees can uncover more opportunities for their improvement and get rid of all the confusions by discussing them during the same.
To Wrap It Up!
Work satisfaction is the key to the success of not just an accounting firm but, any business. You can always ensure that your accountants work happily by improving the work environment.