Low-cost strategies to retain talent

Featuring Jacquelyn H. Tracy, CPA, CGMA

Video transcript:

There are different strategies that we can use to retain our top talent. There are some really easy lower-cost ones. And some of it is [as] simple as writing a thank-you note to tell the staff person good job, to let them know that you appreciate the fact that they came in on a Saturday and that helped the job be done on budget and on time.

It might be acknowledging something that their family has done or family milestones. Perhaps there was a birth of a child or a child is off to college, sending a note or acknowledging the fact that they have had some sort of life change there as well. Some of it can be easy as just doing fun things. I know that there is a list of neat things that the AICPA posts on some cool things to do during busy season, kind of goofy, fun things — wear your slippers to work day or doughnut day, where doughnuts are brought in, food truck Friday, or an ice-cream sundae, or cookies and milk.

It might be something easy as we had staff that had turn-the-calendar day on April 1 and they made a big deal about it and brought in a chocolate cake and they sang a little song and they just supported that to, you know, have a little fun, work as part of a team, and also to relieve some of the stress during busy season. It might be having some perks and benefits on something going on outside — maybe tickets to a museum, or maybe you have a partner or someone on staff who is on the board of that museum. Maybe you can get a discount for the people to attend that museum and do something with their family.

Some medium-cost things that can be done — allowing people to maybe choose their own CPE. Maybe you allow them a certain budget for each person, and they get to pick what they are going to take for training that year. Maybe it’s a year that they feel like they need some soft skills versus some technical skills, or you might have someone who is really great with clients but needs to build their technical skills so they can put that together.

You might have something where perhaps you have a gym or an ability to put some gym or some workout equipment on-site so that they can use that as well. Or maybe you do Saturday day care during busy season or during a time when it’s really busy, so you offer those. And you just have to make sure that if your firm does offer those items that you allow people to use them, that you don’t roll your eyes if someone goes at 12:30 to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with their kid on a Saturday because that kid is in day care. Or if you do have a gym on site that if you have a high-performing employee that if they go in to use it at 2 o’clock in the afternoon because that’s the time that works for them, that you support that use of it as well.

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