Motivated and talented employees are absolutely essential to the growth and success of a business. Without them, productivity and overall levels of output could suffer greatly. Are you thinking about how you can retain accounting staff in your firm? If not, you need to be. Here are 6 things that your staff want from your firm in order to stay and thrive.
Retain accounting staff: What do people want most from an employer?
To retain accounting staff in your firm, you first need to think about what they may want from you and your practice. What makes them take or leave a job? Can you provide this to them?
Thinking about this can be difficult, especially as we all have a natural tendency to generalise and categorise (e.g. all people with families will want flexible working hours). There are a few common needs that you can make sure that you’re meeting to satisfy as many of your employees as possible. This will also help you to attract people in the job market who haven’t joined your firm yet.
Here are 6 things that people generally want from their employers:
- Supportive management
- Opportunities for development
- Flexible working
- Benefits and perks
- Social conscience
- Ethical business
6 things your staff wants from your firm
1. Supportive management
You might think that you’re providing sufficient support for your staff as you have the necessary channels in place if they need them, but are you providing consistent support?
Many people want to work for leaders and managers who support them in their jobs. They want their efforts and achievements to be appreciated and to work for someone who will coach and mentor them to help them grow.
Although a lack of a supportive environment might not cause people to leave your firm straight away, it may mean they look out for other opportunities that do provide the support they need.
2. Opportunities for development
Talented employees will want to climb the ranks in your firm, so providing development opportunities is a great way to recruit and retain accounting staff.
Look at providing opportunities to:
- Enhance existing skills and abilities
- Develop new skills and abilities
- Gain professional qualifications
- Grow by providing advisory roles, specialist roles, manager roles, marketing roles etc
People, in general, want to grow, so naturally, your employees and potential employees will be looking for opportunities to develop both personally and in their career. If there are no opportunities to develop, many people will go elsewhere.
Providing growth and development opportunities for your staff won’t necessarily lead to them gaining new skills and leaving your firm. Developing your team can actually open doors to help them grow within your firm; which ultimately helps your firm grow too.
3. Flexible working
Technology is developing at such a rate that more and more people are looking for opportunities to work flexibly. Whether that is flexible hours or being location independent, flexible working can be a deal-breaker (or deal-maker) when it comes to accepting a new job or deciding to leave one.
Firms that are open to considering flexible working options are able to compete in today’s market and often attract and retain accounting staff that are highly motivated and loyal employees. Surely this alone is worth it?
Make sure you think about how you could provide opportunities for your staff to work flexibly as you could lose a very good employee or employees if you don’t. If you’re struggling, get ideas from your staff about what may work for them and discuss them.
4. Benefits and perks
People look for employee benefits and perks that will enhance their life, so it is absolutely essential that you bear this in mind when looking to recruit and retain accounting staff.
Free stuff and extra services can be the difference between someone choosing a position with you or your competitor (even if you offer a higher salary!), so look at what you can offer them.
Consider benefits (a form of non-wage compensation) such as:
- Health and dental insurance
- Income protection insurance
- Pension contributions
- Childcare vouchers
- Gym membership
- Travel assistance
- Extra holiday time
Consider perks (nice-to-have additions to a salary and benefits package) such as:
- Flexible working
- Free food
- Wellbeing workshops
- Social events
- In-house yoga
- Bring your dog to work
- An extra day off for your birthday
- An annual Christmas party where you can bring your children and grandchildren
- Cycle to work scheme (employees get a bike tax free and your firm saves up to 13.8% in National Insurance contributions)
Perks are the above-and-beyond offerings that may sway a great employee to place more value on you over another employer. Think of them as the icing on the cake. Take time to consider how you can make your employees' day-to-day lives better and you’ll be sure to attract some of the best.
5. Social conscience
More and more people are wanting to work for employers who demonstrate a social conscience, especially one that aligns with their own values, so think about ways you can give back to the community or foster an environmentally sustainable environment.
Giving back could be:
- Supporting charity fundraising
- Donating money
- Paying employees to volunteer their time
- Signing up to Pledge 1% (a global movement where companies donate 1% of their staff time, product, profit, and/or equity to ANY charity of their choosing)
However you can set aside time to encourage and support your employees to work as a team within the community, the better. Not only will you be viewed more positively by job seekers and your current staff, but you will also enhance your firm’s local reputation and will become much more competitive in the market.
6. Ethical business
When they can, people look for firms that align with their own values, firms that have high ethical standards, firms that hold people accountable for their conduct and performance.
Ethical business is a very common want among job seekers as people want an employer who has a good reputation for integrity, quality, and who runs their business responsibly. After all, if your reputation will be reflected on them in the working world, wouldn’t you choose someone with a positive one?
Recruit and retain accounting staff with these 6 concepts
If you take anything away from this article, it needs to be that in order to recruit and retain accounting staff, you need to know what they value most from you as an employer and your firm. Only then can you provide opportunities to meet these needs!
Employees will place different weights on what they most value from an employer, but if you satisfy these 6 areas within your firm, you can cover wants that many people are looking for. The result? Your firm remains competitive in the market and you recruit and retain accounting staff that will be highly motivated, productive, and loyal.
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