Have you ever been in a situation where you probably felt underappreciated or overworked? A couple of things are a direct result. First, you start to hate your job. As a result of hating your job, you become less productive. By becoming less productive, you distract others and convince them to feel the same way. By distracting others, more people are less productive. When your team becomes less productive, they start to question their abilities as professionals and do not live up to their potential. Pretty crazy how this can happen huh?
I’m sure you’ve seen those Direct TV commercials that explain a similar slippery slope and the person’s eventual absurd downfall! But take a second and think about this scenario. Has it happened? Is it happening?
These scenarios happen in the tax industry every day. The question you need to ask yourself as a business owner is: How do I prevent this from happening less? I say less because it’s bound to happen, but by building an environment that celebrates true success and helps employees excel, you will diminish these sentiments.
Here are some great ways to manage your employees relationship in your tax business.
Get to know your employees:
As an employee, have you ever felt good about your boss saying “hello” each morning or perhaps engage in the occasional happy hour? Is it weird to question your existence within the office? It may come as a surprise, but these are normal feelings, depending on the size of your company. The tax industry is notorious for temporary positions. So it’s safe to assume that turnover can happen often. Right?
That said, by knowing more than just their name or where they sit, you build genuine rapport. First, it will create employee loyalty. You’ll have someone that will enjoy working for you next tax season (secure spot) and not have to train someone new (increased efficiency). Second, because employees are more familiar with the process and are coming back to work for you, you can give them more responsibilities. This will help improve productivity year over year. Along with becoming more familiar with the process, your customers will feel more comfortable with people they’ve already worked with. Your employees will understand their concerns, customs, and be more equipped to handle their account. More importantly, they understand their story. Familiarity is key in building an honest relationship.
Actively Manage Staff Workloads:
As owners or bosses, the common perception is to think “Well, that’s what you’re getting paid for… to work”. Although true, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It’s important to be cognizant of what’s being distributed amongst your workers. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm someone to the point of dissatisfaction or anxiety. I know what you’re probably thinking. That’s probably someone I wouldn’t want to hire. Hmmmm…how can I sound politically correct? At this point I’m actually questioning if you read my first point. Being part of the process and setting the right expectations are essential to helping the employee grow as an individual and professional. By allocating time and breaking down how to achieve each goal, the employee feels more capable and less overwhelmed. It’s very different to throw an arbitrary number and expect them to reach that goal. You’ve been in the tax business longer and should provide a path of success. Remember this reflects on how well you interact with your employee.
Rewarding Staff Throughout The Season:
Does rewarding your staff actually work? Well, that depends on how you reward them. The goal, like I mentioned before, is to celebrate true success. What does that mean? At the beginning of tax season make sure to establish your goals for each month. This will determine how well you’ve improved year over year. Then, introduce both team and individual goals for the month. Incentivizing your team will do two things. First, you motivate and condition them to work hard and collectively towards a common goal. Once they do reach their goal, you’ve made it clear in their mind that it can be done (you’ve conditioned a more capable mindset). Second, you foster team building, which is essential in any business, big or small. This is also an opportunity to see who is capable of displaying leadership characteristics. Some ways to reward your staff can include bonuses, dinners, tickets etc. Like I’ve said before, you know your staff best, so utilize what you know to show your appreciation for their efforts.
Let’s Be Different…
If you’re office lacks energy, drive, or commitment, give these methods a try and you will start to see a change. Even if your tax office is doing well, why not do better? Remember, if we fight for our limitations, that’s what we’ll end up keeping. Let’s be different and encourage others to do the same.