It can be easy for the owners and staff of an accounting firm to keep their heads down while they grind out their work daily. You could say our responsibility is to grab our lone paddle and paddle the best we can for eight hours a day – but everyone at the firm is in the same canoe. If no one lifts their heads while paddling, how will they know they’re not just paddling in circles, and the team isn’t moving forward?
At Provision, we invest in team and leadership development so that everyone is paddling in the same direction to move our clients and ourselves forward. Everyone on the team knows they’re moving in the same direction toward shared values and goals, and they feel heard.
Our firm does things differently, from value alignment, and leadership development, to going fully remote, and it works for us. Here are some examples of how we have recently invested in team and leadership development, why we did it, and the impact we’ve seen.
Creating shared values as a team promotes buy-in and long-term brand adoption
What we did: We brought a leadership consulting firm on board to take us through company culture and values exercise that involved all of our core staff. We engaged in sessions that promoted transparent dialogue about our employee experience and the executive team’s vision. Together, we articulated the values of the company that we’re building.
Why we did it: We had observed a disconnect between the culture of entrepreneurship that our executive team envisioned and the day-to-day workings of the company. This came down to a team leadership issue, and it was the partners’ responsibility to rectify it.
The result: By investing in leadership consulting and making visible efforts to hear from the team and incorporate their feedback, we have begun to bridge the gaps in our company culture. Everyone is aware of our core values and takes the initiative to infuse them into their daily behaviour. For example, unbeknownst to our partners, one of Provision’s senior accountants started offering weekly mentorship sessions to our junior staff. This is one of the many ways that our team works together to win.
We increased autonomy and recognized talent, ambition, and passion on the team
What we did: We made it a priority to always recognize talent, ambition and passion on our team, no matter your background or seniority, you are valued, and leadership is shown and experienced at all levels. Most Accounting firms follow a typical leadership structure. At the top, you have the owners of the firm, then middle management, and at the lowest rung, accounting students, newly minted CPAs, and administrative staff- but we felt that this hierarchy doesn’t support interaction between groups at different levels. We offer equal opportunity for professional development, no matter what your title is.
How we did it: After lots of research and observation, we performed a full restructuring of our org chart to allow increased autonomy and empowerment for our team.
The result: Since we transitioned to this organizational structure of increased autonomy, our employees feel empowered and are encouraged to show and develop their leadership by exploring and sharing opportunities for the firm; helping others who are facing challenges; looking for ways to provide further value to clients; owning and fixing mistakes; and doing the right thing when nobody’s watching. We believe in the value and dignity of all team members regardless of position to years with the firm.
We improved team connectivity when working remotely
What we did: We quickly realized after switching to remote work during the early stages of the pandemic that we could still effectively and efficiently deliver the same, if not greater, value to our clients while working in our virtual setting. Our team has families and children, and we were able to offer a better work-life balance that could allow for flexibility while promoting productivity. While working remotely increased productivity, we did see a decrease in connectivity. To keep employee morale high, maintain the team’s connection to our company’s vision and values, and stay connected to the pulse of our team’s professional goals, we invested more in building social connection and community amongst our dispersed team.
How we did it: With connectivity on top of our minds, we encourage connectivity and collaboration, when necessary, on projects, and we set time to “play” after hours. We increased our social budget to celebrate milestones, holidays, and any opportunity to go out for team bowling or curling. We’re mindful that in a remote work setting, we need to consciously seek out opportunities to see the team and find ways to celebrate them.
The result: We have a team that, while working remotely, feels the team spirit through after-hour events, celebrations, and opportunities for collaboration. Resulting in an increase in both productivity and connectivity.
The Short of It
According to Zippia, 83% of businesses understand the importance of investing in leadership development, yet only 5% of organizations have done it. Everything you read above is important for the growth and development, and trust of our team.
We believe that by continuously investing in team and leadership development, in turn, our employees invest more in themselves and in the company. The benefits are monumental for both the employees and the employer.
Want to read more about Provision CPA’s point of view from our founders? Check out more of our blog content here.