and Retention: Kicking It Up a Notch!
By Demetrice Branch
eaver employs more than 400 team members at ofﬁces in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Midland, Odessa, and San Antonio, Texas. Operating ofﬁces in disparate geographical areas presents challenges in establishing uniﬁed practices across all locations. Moreover, business expansion fueled by acquisitions and organic growth presents
challenges in maintaining an atmosphere where employees feel connected and accessible to partners and senior managers.
While a larger workforce may equate to more expansive capabilities for serving clients, it also presents challenges for recognizing and rewarding the aspirations and contributions of individuals. Weaver is not immune, either, from economic pressures affecting the
United States, in general, and the geographic regions
the ﬁrm serves.
While each CPA ﬁrm faces speciﬁc human resources
concerns, the variety of employee motivation, recognition, rewards, and retention steps Weaver has taken may be adapted to address varying circumstances.
Evaluate compensation rates. Compensation is a motivating factor for employees, and addressing that factor in difﬁcult economic times is not easy. Conducting a
market analysis twice a year, however, ensures that compensation levels remain within a competitive range. Select office locations that promote greater
work/life balance. Having offices located near restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, and other outlets for refreshment and relaxation makes it easier for employees to maintain a balance between professional and personal fulfillment.
Deﬁne career paths for advancement. While not
every individual aspires to reach the partner or seniormanager level, employees want to know that opportunities exist for career advancement. Sharing career path knowledge with interns, associates, and others during
recruitment and employment interviews provides that
direction and the awareness that advancement is possible within the ﬁrm.
Supply ample feedback. Employees want to know
their work meets expectations. Engagement reviews
provide feedback for speciﬁc assignments. Semi-annual
and annual performance reviews provide feedback on
more expansive levels and help employees to identify
and attain tangible goals for improvement. Opportunities for employees to provide feedback regarding partner performance also enable individuals to aid in partner
leadership development efforts.
Plan employee activities for outside of the ofﬁce.
Employees spend considerable time with their coworkers and may only know them as professional colleagues, and not as individuals. Charitable and recreational activities outside the ofﬁce provide opportunities for camaraderie and mutual respect to develop among coworkers. Such feelings nurture greater cooperation and teamwork within the ofﬁce.
Maintain regular communication among ﬁrm
leaders and employees. In a larger ﬁrm with ofﬁces in
multiple cities, employees should be familiar with other
employees and their responsibilities. They should also
feel connected to the ﬁrm’s leadership.
With ofﬁces in separate regions, it is likely that feelings of physical and organizational distance will develop between employees and senior management. Thus, it helps to have an accessible partner in each location.
That partner’s presence enables individuals to have
someone in a leadership position they can talk with,
who is familiar with their contributions.
Supplementing that partner access with regular communication from the ﬁrm’s CEO and other leaders and employees enhances that sense of connection. Employees are aware then of the ﬁrm’s critical issues, signiﬁcant accomplishments, and the activities of their peers. Employees feel a greater sense of commitment when such information is freely shared.
Publicize events that matter to an individual. Publicizing employee milestones (e.g., birthdays...