Tips to Keep Accounting Professionals Engaged and Inspired

A businessman walks with a spring in his step as the sun rises above a skyline

Engagement is key to satisfying and retaining top talent. Sixty-one percent of workers would leave their current jobs if they felt bored, unappreciated or a general sense of disengagement, according to a survey from Robert Half. More than one-quarter (26 percent) of professionals polled said they felt unmotivated in their current organizations. Even accounting professionals with coveted jobs in dynamic organizations sometimes need an extra boost.

Here are 10 tips for keeping workers happy and engaged:

1. Training and ongoing education

By investing in the development of your accounting professionals, not only do you add value to your organization, but you also increase employee loyalty, raise skill levels and boost productivity. Many accounting designations, such as certified public accountant (CPA), require continued professional development each year. If you support your employees' training, you ensure your accounting professionals stay current with the latest industry trends.

2. Mentoring

Thirty-three percent of HR managers polled in another Robert Half survey said their company is offering (or will soon offer) employee mentoring programs. Mentors can help accounting professionals hone their interpersonal skills and better define their career paths.

3. Flexibility

Alternative work arrangements allow your accounting professionals to better balance work with their personal lives. Entrusting your staff with this freedom and control fosters job satisfaction.

4. Praise

When accounting professionals do their job well, managers should never overlook the motivating power of acknowledging their efforts publicly or privately, depending on the individual's personality. Employee recognition doesn't need to be flowery or falsely ebullient. Say thanks in a few words or a simple email. As long as it's genuine, it'll have the desired effect.

5. Compensation and incentives

While money isn't everything, it can certainly have an effect on an employee's job satisfaction. Are you offering a competitive wage? If it's been a while since you checked, refer to Robert Half's Salary Guide for accounting professionals. Saying thank you in dollars may be the most obvious way to keep accounting professionals on the job. Consider writing merit bonuses into employee contracts and creating a fund to give unexpected cash rewards for exceptional work. If you prefer something more personal, you can offer rewards such as a gift certificate.

6. Perks

If you can't afford on-site child care or a cafeteria for your employees, there are a number of low-cost employee perks you might consider. Examples include buying a foosball table for the break room or having Friday lunches catered.

7. Fun

Fun team-building activities increase morale. Encourage teamwork by getting your staff together for projects or events outside their regular work duties. A monthly social event is a good bonding activity.

8. Good communication

Keeping your employees in the loop goes a long way toward keeping them engaged. One of the biggest morale killers is lack of workplace communication. Give employees news — good or bad — to the maximum extent possible to prevent news being spread through the grapevine. Admit it when you don't know something, commit to getting the information as soon as possible and deliver on it. This cuts down on speculation and gossip.

9. Community connections

Involve your accounting professionals in corporate social responsibility initiatives such as corporate giving programs or community involvement.

10. Fortifications

Consider bringing in reinforcements during especially busy periods or if you notice your staff is burning out. Engage temporary staffing accounting professionals to help lighten the burden.

You've got a great team, and you want to keep them together. Try one or more of these tips to improve workplace engagement — and boost your retention rates.

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