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The 6 things your staff want from your firm, to stay and thrive (Part 1)

by Feb 13, 2019Attracting, developing and retaining staff, Growth Vision

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. people with families will want flexible working hours), but there are a few common needs that you can make sure that you’re meeting to satisfy as many of your employees as possible and also people in the job market who haven’t joined your firm yet.

Here are 6 things that people generally want from their employers:

  1. Supportive management
  2. Opportunities for development
  3. Flexible working
  4. Benefits and perks
  5. Social conscience
  6. Ethical business

In part 1 of this blog series, we will be looking at the first 3 wants in more detail.

6 things your staff wants from your firm

  • 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, appreciate their efforts and achievements, and who take the time to 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 result in them looking out for other opportunities that do provide the support that they need.

To recruit and retain accounting staff in your firm, take a look at your supportive management. Don’t forget the power of positive reinforcement either!

  • Opportunities for development

Talented employees will want to climb the ranks in your firm, so providing opportunities for development is a great way to recruit and retain accounting staff.

Look at providing:

  • Opportunities to enhance existing skills and abilities
  • Opportunities to develop new skills and abilities
  • Opportunities to gain professional qualifications
  • Opportunities to grow by providing advisory roles, specialist roles, manager roles, marketing roles etc

People, in general, want growth, so naturally, your employees and even 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, but rather it will open doors to help them grow within your firm (which ultimately helps your firm grow too!).

  • 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.

A quick take-home message

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.

From supportive management to providing opportunities for development and flexible working, find out the next 3 things that staff want from your firm in order to stay and thrive.