Tax season is a mountain in and of itself, but the reliance practitioners have on their employees is a serious one. One change that we will make during the next year is to work with our team to discuss their personal goals and passions in order to ensure that everyone remains on the same page with regards to availability and commitment to the company.
I have found, interestingly enough, that the amount of money you pay your staff is not the biggest reason why they work with you. Rather, the flexibility, teamwork, fun, and passion to feel that they are part of a team and working their hardest to accomplish their work for the client. Everyone wants to feel appreciated and valuable, regardless of their role or their paycheck at the end of the week.
Consider taking a new approach to your team. Maybe take them to lunch one time during the busy season and ask them the following questions:
- How do you think tax season is going so far?
- Do you feel like you are meeting your own personal expectations for output?
- Are you struggling at all with time management?
- What can we, as a team, do better to support you?
- Are there any personal things going on now or in the future that you want to share so we can support you in those areas?
Your team are people too. They have stuff, everyone has stuff. The more we can be aware of the team members around us, the more of a cohesive unit your team will be.
As a leader, you have the responsibility to ask those questions. I don’t recall any team member coming to me on their own throughout the year and just spilling their guts, their thoughts around how they think everything is going, including their work load and certainly never their personal life. I am not saying you should stick your nose where it doesn’t belong, but rather I am saying be more present and open with your team.
A true leader acts with integrity, value their people creating loyalty, and encouraging their team to realize their full potential and inspire excellence. These characteristics reveal one common thing. Leaders can make or break a company, period. The team that follows a great leader will win the majority of the time. Now, we are talking taxes and accounting in this article, not a ball field. But the concepts are exactly the same. If everyone on the team takes care of their part in the office, asks for help when they need it, and works together, everyone has success. Our team will enjoy no-day Fridays again after tax season. Why do we do that? It is a benefit that they earn doing the extra work during the heavy season!
Consider having this conversation with your team, sooner than later. The last thing you want to happen is to have a team member having second thoughts about being part of your team because you are not doing the things that a leader should do. There are many great books out there about leadership. A few of my favorites are:
Author Bio: Dawn W. Brolin is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, and CEO of Powerful Accounting, LLC, a nationally recognized accounting, tax, forensic and fraud, IRS Representation as well as a QuickBooks consulting firm. Dawn’s list of professional accomplishments is extensive and includes speaking and consulting for prestigious companies. Named “Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting” 2012-2017 by CPA Practice Advisor, a “Top 10 Managing Partner Elite – Great Accounting Firm Leader” in 2017 by Accounting Today, and selected as a “Top 40 Under 40” by CPA Technology Magazine.