Is your staff unhappy? Poor workplace culture at your accounting firm might be causing dips in your team’s productivity, quality of work, and overall enjoyment of their jobs. 

Have you ever reread a book you were assigned in high school and developed a new appreciation for it? We’ve all heard variations of: “I like reading, but not when I’m being told to do it.” Work can be pretty similar. Sometimes it’s more difficult to find motivation when the pressure is high and the deadlines are pressing. By minimizing the stress employees experience in the workplace, you can make your team more productive

Work occupies a large percentage of our lives, and when that work makes us unhappy, that unhappiness bleeds into the rest of our lives. Luckily, if you’re noticing a problem in your workplace culture, there are plenty of steps you can take to increase workplace satisfaction at the office. 

Are you noticing the side effects of a poor work culture? 

Side effects may include higher error rates, lack of motivation, lack of job satisfaction, high employee turnover, reduced productivity, loss of profits, and burnout. Obviously, none of these symptoms are suitable for the workplace. If you’re starting to feel negativity at the firm or noticing a dip in productivity, that might mean it’s time to make some changes. 

If you aren’t sure, ask your team. Send surveys around the office and ask your staff directly if there are things about their work that aren’t working. Figure out if they feel comfortable and valued. Ask them whether or not they feel encouraged to bring up problems or issues with management. Once you have your answers, you can start working to enhance the company culture. 

Fostering a positive environment

Your accounting staff wants to feel valued and trust that you have their best interests in mind. It’s your job to show them that you do. Here are some ways you might be able to improve. 

  • Focus on relationships: Good leadership is the key to good workplace culture. Employees want their bosses to be mentors. They want guidance and connection. The more connected staff feels to their leaders, the more connected they will feel to the firm overall. 
  • Recognize achievements: People need to be rewarded for their hard work. Openly recognizing a job well done is a great way to show your team that you see what they’re accomplishing and value their contributions. 
  • Communicate and be transparent: Being upfront with your employees about goals and complications is important. It helps instill trust in your staff. This is a two-way street: when your employees trust that you’re being honest with them, they can feel comfortable being honest with you. 
  • Define your purpose: We long for work that is fulfilling. To make sure your staff feels like their work is meaningful, you must start by defining your firm’s purpose. 
  • Listen to your staff: It’s important for your accounting staff to feel as though they have a say in the decisions and direction of the team. Don’t be afraid to hand over the reins every now and then and be open to their input. 

Transforming your workplace culture will take time, energy, and creativity. A good way to start is by taking a step back and thinking about how much you value your employees. Sometimes we fail to see the forest for the trees. Your team has value and experience, and you want to keep them around. Pay them back for all their hard work by ensuring that the office isn’t something they want to avoid.