Want to survive? Educate your people.
It’s a simple matter of succession, really. Do you want to ensure the future success of your organization? Train your future leaders to grab the baton when you’re ready to leave.
And still, too many of today’s leaders are paranoid about personal development. “What happens if I train my people and they leave?” they ask.
A better question is this: “What happens if I don’t train them and they stay?”
Time and time again, CPA leaders have told us their top priority is to educate their future leaders, and with good reason: The future of their organization depends on it.
Then, when it’s time to back up those words, they lock up those future leaders and throw away the key. “We’re too busy to train them,” they claim.
What a crock. You’ll busy yourselves right out of existence if you’re not careful.
When you think about it, you’ve got no choice BUT to turn your leaders loose to learn. If you help your people grow, they’ll kill or die for you, and that will strengthen your organization in the process.
And what does your team need to learn? They’ll happily tell you … if you’ll only take the time to listen.
We did a LOT of listening at the 2016 Winning Is Everything Conference in Las Vegas. A panel discussion there featured words of wisdom from both current and future leaders, and the consensus was clear: Get your people out there. Connect them with the profession. Teach them to lead. And remember: You can’t do any of those things by locking your young leaders in their offices.
The panel included Allison Harrell, a CPA and shareholder with Thomas Howell Ferguson, P.A.; Justin O’Horo, a partner with WithumSmith+Brown; Jim Boomer, chief information officer for Boomer Consulting; and Gary Boomer, Boomer Consulting’s founder and CEO.
Here’s a taste of what they had to say.
- Allison Harrell: The key to future success? ”I got out there … into the profession and the community. And I spoke my mind. Building relationships is key. Learning people skills is hard, but it’s absolutely essential.”
- Jim Boomer: “Get outside of your four walls and learn from others. … You are much more at risk if you don’t invest in your people.”
- Gary Boomer: Exposing our team to others outside of our profession helps them grow as CPAs, advisors and people.
- Justin O’Horo: Connecting to the profession and the people in it gives you insights that you can bring back to your firm.
- Gary Boomer: Professional development is about more than personal growth. It’s tied directly to succession planning. His advice to current leaders: Identify young stars early and get them introduced to the right people. Seed their growth.
- Gary Boomer: Firms recognize the need for personal growth but often are still reluctant to send young pros to leadership events. If you don’t give good, young people a growth path, they’ll get stuck, and that leads to cynicism … or departure.
- Gary Boomer, channeling Charlie “Tremendous” Jones: “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
The bottom line? Educate your people. Make them smarter. Help them grow by introducing them to people who are committed to growth.
If you do that, they’ll stick around. If they stick around, a couple of things will happen: (a) They’ll strengthen your organization, and (b) they’ll strengthen themselves in the process.
Making your future leaders smarter and more loyal? That’s gold … for you AND them.
What are you doing to make that happen?
Want to keep your team on their A-game? These three business stars share their best-practices.
Consult Next Chapter Solutions for help training your staff!
Even if you’re not in a heavily regulated industry there are plenty of scenarios where the loss of records can put your business at serious risk. You may need them for tax purposes, or to defend your business against litigation from a disgruntled employee or customer. The onus is on you to maintain this information, so “the dog ate my payroll records” is not an excuse that will fly with a Sarbanes-Oxley auditor.
Of course, the easiest way to ensure that you don’t need to worry about physical records is to implement systems that digitize them as they come in or use digital workflows to begin with. Transitioning paper-heavy processes such as employee onboarding to digital forms can improve record integrity and save time for both end users and HR.
Mitigating risk and increasing efficiency can obviously have financial benefits for your business, but digitizing records can save you money in more direct ways as well. Between reducing paper and print costs, eliminating storage expenses and freeing up office space for other uses, digitization can have an immediate impact on your bottom line.
If you are ready to go digital with your records, contact us!
FastCompany includes understanding the relationship between technology, the physical environment and work flow as a top challenge for businesses in 2016. Next Chapter Solution provides consulting on precisely that. Adilas is a great choice for companies who have a lot of remote employees.
As the word “employee” has become harder to define, so too has the word “workplace,” thanks in part to those contingent workers, remote employees, and a slew of new technologies that have made physical distance less of a factor.
“One of the changes that I’m seeing is more of a virtual workforce, and a workforce that’s more adaptable and more global,” says Harry Osle, the global HR solutions practice leader for The Hackett Group. “What does that mean for HR? They need to be more adaptable, and they need to be more focused on driving innovation from a technology perspective to support that workforce.”
“What’s happening in companies is they’re trying to figure out how to radically redesign their entire workplace to adapt to the always-on worker, and that’s why there’s a massive growth of open offices and companies that offer temporary work locations,” he says. “It’s really becoming mainstream, and most companies are confused as to how to do it, so design firms are playing a big part in this.”
Read the full article from the Source: These Will Be The Top 5 Business Challenges Of 2016
The team at weekdone came up with this great list of traits the strongest teams and businesses maintain. Managing the people and the process can be difficult in any organization. Refer to this list regularly to help you stay focused on your businesses growth.
Checkout the summary below or visit the source for the full article and infograph.
1. Talent Magnet
To spot a strong team you simply have to look for the team everybody wants to be on. For example, Google recruits on the basis of having passion, intelligence and a “learning animal mindset”. The insight here is to look for potential stars who are looking for challenges and a place where they can demonstrate their skills.
2. Healthy Heated Debates
The difference between HPT and LPT is that a heated debate doesn’t cause HPTs to fragment. Instead of becoming more isolated during tough times, these teams actually gain strength and develop cohesion. According to Gallup, HPTs contributed more equally to team’s discussions, rather than letting 1 or 2 people dominate the group. As a team leader you should make sure that everybody talks in equal measure and keep their contributions short. Team members should face one another keeping conversations and gestures energetic.
Diversity unlocks innovation and drives market growth. Most engaged teams welcome diversity of age, gender, and race, while disengaged teams may do the opposite. Apple has made diversity a priority by hiring 65% more women, 50% more Black and 66% more Hispanic employees. In the process of putting together your team make sure you have people with different backgrounds, gender and strengths.
4. Mind Reading
Researchers from M.I.T. found that HPT members scored higher on a test called Reading the Mind in the Eyes. It measures how well people read complex emotional states from images of faces with only the eyes visible. It is also known that people with high emotional IQ work well with others and are effective in leading change. For instance, Google relies more on recruits with emotional intelligence rather than the grades they received in school. Therefore, find a suitable test or interview format to find people with higher emotional IQ.
5. More Women
In this case it is not “diversity” that matters for a team’s intelligence, but simply having more women. Teams with more women outperformed teams with more men. Coming back to the previous point, it’s partly explained by the fact that women, on average, are better at “mindreading” than men. In order to have a HPT, recruit more women on your team or company who also have other “high-performing” qualities.
6. Laser-like Focus on Goals
HPTs are able to keep the larger goal in view. They are consistently able to put what’s best for the organization ahead of their own egos. In addition, they seek out evidence and try to remain as objective as possible. Once a decision is made, these teams are remarkably quick to rally around it. As a team leader, you should establish an overall goal and make it visible for the whole team and set key metrics to measure them. The most popular method for that is Objectives and Key Results, which is used by the likes of LinkedIn, Google and Intel.
7. Doing Your Best Every Day
Deloitte used the Gallup 1.4 million employee study to see what are the similarities between high and low performing teams. Most powerful commonality between HPTs is the belief that they are doing their best every day. In order to capitalize on that knowledge, team leaders should help team members to define their strengths and give tasks accordingly. For instance, Deloitte set out a clear goal: “We want to spend more time helping people use their strengths”.
8. Work-life balance
Most successful teams have members who are equally engaged to their personal lives as they are to their work. Mervyn Davies, former chairman of Standard Chartered’s, said that he took as much pride in the amount of time he spent with his family as he did in his bank’s extraordinary performance. Therefore, you should look for people who are equally committed to work and their free time.
9. Group Engagement Outside Formal Meetings
According to M.I.T. Human Dynamics Laboratory, the best predictors of productivity are team’s energy and engagement outside formal meetings. These two factors explained ⅓ of the variations in dollar productivity among groups. The laboratory used a call center for their study and asked the manager to make the employees have a coffee break at the same time. That little tweak increased the overall efficiency by 8% and 20% in worst-performing teams. As a team leader, make sure you create communication opportunities for your team outside the formal environment.
We spend an average of 90,000 hours of our lives at work – meaning you probably spend more time with your team than you do with your own family. Despite this huge time commitment, many companies neglect to focus on personality or cultural fit when they’re hiring.
As I started to rebuild my team, I realized that the recruiting process should be focused less on ticking off a checklist and more about trusting your gut. Once potential candidates were in the door, I started thinking, “Do I like this person? Do I find them interesting, and interested? Do they have a passion for something in life?”
From this, I developed what I call the Beer Test, narrowing those questions down to one: “Would I enjoy grabbing a beer with this person?” It’s a hypothetical (most of the time), but it’s incredibly powerful.
If the answer is yes, it’s likely the start of a great working relationship. Having the right qualifications for the gig is essential, but the Beer Test determines if the candidate is culturally compatible. Sure, it’s simple, but it cuts right to the chase, and it’s been invaluable in helping me put together a team at O2E Brands that I love working with every day.
While I got a great first impression, I learned the hard way it wasn’t enough. In a bad case of tunnel vision, I failed to consider how this person would mesh with the rest of the team and the larger culture we had developed. From that oversight, I came up with another critical hiring hack: the BBQ Test.
The BBQ Test is all about the group dynamic. It’s a matter of asking, “Would this person fit in at a backyard barbecue with my corporate ‘family’?” If you threw the candidate into a group social situation with other employees, would she be able to hold her own, or find someone to connect with? A Beer Test is singular (do I like this person?), while the BBQ Test asks, “Does he or she fit into our community?”
Filling your office with staff who get along makes for a pleasant environment, of course, but your business will benefit from cultural alignment, too.
My friend Tony Hseish shares this laser-focus on culture. At his company Zappos, they hire specifically to ensure new people fit (one of their three core values is to “create a little fun and weirdness”). They even offer a $4,000 quitting bonus to weed out weak hires. With this culture-first staffing principle, bringing in people that mesh with each other and with the company’s goals, they’ve flourished.
Not every company cares about the same cultural values. What’s important to us at O2E Brands wouldn’t necessarily be important to a high-end commercial law firm. But even if you’re a tough, suit-and-tie place that takes pride in driving people to tears, you’ve still got to find people who have the same values or you’ll scare them away.
The bottom line? A culturally aligned team that gets along and genuinely enjoys each others’ company is a more engaged team – and a more productive one.
Read the full story from the Source: Why Hiring Great Employees Starts With A Beer And A BBQ – Forbes