What would you say if I asked you, “What matters most in your firm?”
The bottom line, perhaps? Or maybe it’s the services you provide, or the technology you use.
While these are all important pieces of the puzzle, there’s really just one thing that matters most: your people.
People matter most.
And that’s why your accounting firm culture has to be rock solid—because your people are central to your firm’s success. While that may not have always been an accepted truism, in today’s world, culture weaves its way through every aspect of your business. Whether it’s the way you treat your employees, the colors you’ve chosen for your logo or the applications you use, culture is ever-present.
Your company culture can not only determine your revenue growth, but it can also have a huge impact on employee retention. If you don’t put the time and effort into your firm’s culture, chances are you’ll end up with an unhealthy environment…and staff looking for a way out.
But the good news is that even if your firm culture may be teetering on unhealthy, you can fix it. What’s the solution? In addition to committing time, energy and money, you can implement a concept we call Smart Team Management. So, let’s dive in.
You may be wondering, “What is Smart Team Management, and what does it have to do with my firm’s culture?” Don’t worry—I’m going to explain it all.
Smart Team Management enables today’s accounting firms to build a healthy and sustainable work environment, ensures teams are working at optimal effectiveness and reduces staffing challenges. It helps firms execute their business model, keep their staff engaged and happy, and offer clients an unparalleled experience.
Let’s break down the three main points a bit further. With Smart Team Management, you can:
Implementing Smart Team Management is the first step in creating a healthy accounting firm culture. It creates the building blocks that help support your people, which is what matters most in your firm. But it can’t exist without the Four Cs. So, let’s talk about those next.
If you’ve wondered how you can determine whether your accounting firm culture is healthy, Rootworks has a solution: Apply the Four Cs—Clarity, Candor, Connection and Consistency. The Four Cs are at the heart of Smart Team Management, so let’s take a closer look at each one.
As you begin applying the Four Cs, remember that an incredible firm culture doesn’t just happen overnight. Don’t get discouraged if you try something one day and your culture doesn’t magically become healthy the next. Be proactive and intentional in creating a rhythm within your firm, doing small things consistently. Because consistency adds up…and eventually, your culture will begin to thrive.
I’m going to be frank with you: When you decide to create a healthy culture, it has to be organic. You must make an effort—because your team will sniff out a manufactured culture from a mile away. What do I mean by that?
If you tell your team, “We have a healthy culture!” but don’t do anything to back it up, they’ll know. If you say you have a healthy work-life balance but expect butts in seats from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, with no exceptions? You’re saying you have it, but you’re not doing it. That’s not a healthy culture.
You have to grow a great culture organically—it’s the one thing your people crave.
I want you to picture an apple tree. You have no control over what will pop out of that tree. Maybe just leaves, or maybe, if you’re lucky, it will bear fruit. Either way, that’s out of your hands.
What you do control, however, is what’s going into that tree. You can’t force an apple to grow, but you can certainly control the nutrients and the water to promote that growth.
Think of your firm’s culture as this apple tree. When you provide the proper nutrients (e.g., Smart Team Management, the Four Cs), the fruit will grow.
There’s no timeline on when it will happen, but when you do the work, and you consistently provide the nutrients, the fruit will come. And when that fruit comes, you’ll hear your staff say, “I love it here!”
A healthy culture doesn’t just appear out of thin air—it takes consistent time and effort. When you focus on what matters most…and you implement Smart Team Management, apply the Four Cs, and make an organic effort, a healthy culture will come.
To learn more about creating a stellar accounting firm culture, join the Rootworks team and me at Empower, May 1-3, 2023. Register now!
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Rootworks members can now use an early access version of Insights, which delivers customer segmentation and pricing data as well as reports for your firm and clients. Connection to QuickBooks Online is required for firms and/or clients.