Tax & Accounting Blog

5 Steps to a More Engaged Staff

Accounting Firms, Business Practices February 11, 2014

An enthusiastic, dedicated staff is vital to any company’s success. In fact, research shows that firms with engaged employees enjoy higher profitability, better shareholder return, lower staff turnover, and fewer employee absences than those with disengaged ones. What’s the secret to employee engagement?

“The real key is organizational health,” says Doug Claffey, CEO at WorkplaceDynamics, the country’s largest human resources research company. “What motivates people is feeling that they’re part of a company that’s going places. This means the company sets a clear direction for its future and how it conducts itself in terms of ethics. It creates a strong connection with employees, and it executes well by showing appreciation for them and bringing meaning to work.”

Claffey bases his conclusions on extensive research. Each year, WorkplaceDynamics surveys more than a million people at 5,000 workplaces to create a new list of Top Workplaces.

To keep your firm healthy and your employees engaged, he offers the following tips:

  1. Chart a clear course for your company’s future and its core values. Get senior management’s buy-in and then convey it to all employees. Adhere to the principles you’ve set.
  2. Require your team to be well-informed at all levels. Leadership needs to know what’s happening at the lower levels, and staff must be updated on important decisions that impact them and the firm’s future.
  3. Encourage employees to contribute new ideas through brainstorming sessions or suggestion boxes on the wall or website. Follow up on the ideas, thanking employees for their contributions and explaining which ideas you will implement – and why others are not feasible – in order to show that every suggestion was considered seriously.
  4. Show appreciation for your team. Gestures could include an Innovation Award for the best new idea, time off after tax season, or a company Olympics day to relieve stress.
  5. Eliminate inefficiencies and sources of frustration, whether it’s an archaic database or a lack of adequate parking.

What creative methods have you used to engage employees? Share your successes – and your challenges – with other readers.