It was a dark and stormy day at the office. Papers are strewn across the floor, scattering in the draft that blows in through a cracked window. A single light flickers overhead. “Hello?” You hear no answer as you make your way past abandoned desks and piles of unfinished paperwork. “Is anybody here?” Still no answer. “Where is everyone?” Was it zombies? Was some Michael Meyers wannabe on the loose? Or… no… it couldn’t be… STAFF TURNOVER AT YOUR BOOKKEEPING FIRM!

Okay, so maybe it’s not as bad as a zombie apocalypse or a slasher film, but half-empty office buildings at the end of the year due to staff turnover can be pretty scary. You’re busy enough as it is — and you need all the extra hands you can get. To prevent having too much work and not enough workers, it’s important to have backup plans ready. It’s time to take some of the scare factor away from staff turnover in bookkeeping. 

Cross-training is your friend

We talked about cross-training in a previous post, but we definitely recommend giving it a try if you’re concerned about staff turnover. Losing a valuable team member can be tough; replacing them can be even harder. It’s best to make sure other members of your team are equipped to handle tasks outside of their usual duties in case priorities need to be shifted around. Try implementing this training occasionally throughout the year to prevent piling too much on your team at once and to give them the confidence they need to conquer new obstacles with ease. 

Smooth out your onboarding process

If you find yourself making a new hire (or multiple hires) after losing staff members, you’ll want that process to be smooth and pain-free…. Especially during the busy season! Make sure onboarding procedures are standardized ahead of time. You can do this through creating step-by-step checklists you and your team can use over and over again. Speaking of which… 

Write your procedures down!

Mary Shelly didn’t keep Frankenstein to herself, did she? When you’ve got good ideas and valuable knowledge capital, it’s best to write that stuff down. You should document every process and procedure, even if the steps seem like common sense. Having thorough checklists is a great way to make sure other members of your team know exactly how to complete new tasks that might be assigned to them when other staff members are absent. 

Preventing staff turnover in bookkeeping

Perhaps the best way you can handle staff turnover in your bookkeeping firm is by preventing it. Staff turnover happens for lots of reasons; being overworked, lack of opportunities for growth, poor work culture, and feeling unrecognized in their work are all reasons a team member might decide to leave. This is why it’s important to pay attention and check in with your team throughout the year. Send out surveys to get feedback from your team and find areas that need improvement. Be vigilant. When you notice a staff member seeming less productive, less engaged, or less willing to take on commitments at work, it might be time to check up on them. Communication is always key. Fixing the problem might be as simple as delegating work a little differently, rewarding your team for their hard work, or improving work culture through team building exercises. 

To ensure your bookkeeping firm’s success, it’s important to make sure your team is happy — and always have a backup plan. Sometimes things just can’t be helped, after all. When the office starts looking a little less full, you can rest easy knowing you planned ahead.