Motivation

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Employee Motivation, Recognition, Rewards,
and Retention: Kicking It Up a Notch!
By Demetrice Branch

W

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.

Motivation
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.

Recognition
Publicize events that matter to an individual. Publicizing employee milestones (e.g., birthdays...
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