Posted by Robert Half Management Resources on Monday, September 22, 2014 - 00:00 | Follow me
Increased workloads and looming deadlines make tax season extra stressful for many accounting employees. But keeping your staff motivated during crunch time doesn’t have to be a full-time job itself. With a little advance planning and organized staff management on your part, you can keep your employees focused and driven to reach their deadlines.
Here are five tips to help get you started.
1. Show your appreciation.
Consider offering your staff a few extra perks that aren’t in the employee handbook. Having breakfast or lunch catered for the office or sponsoring an office social hour are great ways to build camaraderie and remind your employees you are all in this together.
Even if you have to wait until after tax season to give your employees these perks, it will give them something to look forward to. Don’t underestimate the value of other benefits such as flex time and additional vacation time.
2. Stay flexible.
Nothing saps an employee’s motivation faster than being asked to take on more work than he or she can comfortably handle. Make sure you can identify staffing shortages and address them quickly.
Be open to hiring new staff or bringing in experienced tax professionals on a consulting basis as necessary. Your employees will appreciate you providing additional support and be more productive if they don’t have unexpected duties thrown their way.
3. Recognize good work.
A heartfelt thank-you note and public acknowledgment of a job well done are very powerful. Recognizing an employee’s hard work, whether it’s in your firm’s newsletter or a handwritten note, can go a long way toward keeping him or her motivated to continue pushing forward.
4. Provide a clear career path.
With so much stress during tax season, it can be easy for employees to lose track of the reasons they enjoy their job. Make sure they are aware of opportunities for advancement and understand how their hard work will pay off. While promotions aren’t possible for all employees, everyone should have opportunities to take on expanded roles and stretch assignments that build their skills.
5. Keep your door open.
Let your employees know you are there for them if they have questions or concerns or just want to share ideas. In order to be productive, employees need to know they have someone to turn to if they begin to feel overwhelmed. For good staff management, it’s crucial they feel comfortable keeping you updated on any potential problems.
As our company’s founder, Robert Half, noted, “Giving people a little more than they expect is a good way to get back a lot more than you’d expect.” Give your employees the extra boost they need this tax season to stay motivated and productive, and you’ll find you get a lot back.
How do you keep your employees motivated during tax season? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments section.