How to motivate and retain talent

Featuring Jacquelyn H. Tracy, CPA, CGMA

Video transcript:

The biggest mistakes that firms make in their retention, in recruitment of staff, is first of all, not knowing what they need. What level of staff they need and what skills that they need. If they have a hole in their staffing, they need to know what they need to fill before they go out and try to fill it. So that’s one of the most important things that they need to understand.

Also, it’s not training the people who are going out to look for these staff, that if you have managers, you need to make sure they know what kind of questions to ask and how to evaluate the staff, the potential staff that are going to come work with them. And also get their staffing involved as well because they know what the work is, they know what’s expected, they know what the culture of the firm is. So you want to make sure that you are hiring people to fit that, and your staff is your best bet in making sure that you fill those right needs.

The six key motivators that impact employee retention and recruitment is

(1) acknowledgment and respect. We want to make sure that people know that you know the work that they are putting in and that everybody on the team is respected for what they provide and what they bring to the team.

(2) Camaraderie and fun. People want to make sure and want to feel like they are part of a team and that they are enjoying their work and also enjoying the people that they work with.

(3) Also compensation. Compensation, when we do surveys, is the most important thing that people think of, because I can love my job but if I can’t pay my bills, that’s not going to help me at all.

(4) Flexibility and time off in that I can work the schedule that I need to get the work done, but also to accomplish and to fit in what I need to do to integrate my life as well. And also, if I have the time off, if I am awarded the time off, that I actually get to take it. It doesn’t help if I have 20 days off as part of my compensation package, but I never get to take it. So that’s an important thing to remember as well.

(5) Also, increased responsibility and challenges, that I am not going to be doing the same work over and over again, that as a staff person I am going to build my skills and then move on to the next level and that I am always going to be challenged and continue to grow.

(6) And the last one is personal development, that I am going to get the skills, that I am going to go to training so that I can build my skills, whether it’s technical skills or it’s soft skills, that I am getting what I need in my toolbox so I can move up in my career.


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