Are CPA Firm Managers in a Crisis?

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I don’t know…are they? Interesting topic from Rita Keller at the Forum for Women in Accounting conference last month. It makes you stop and think of the managers in your organization. Are your managers really managing?

Today, we are seeing four generations working side by side. We know from countless studies that the Millennial generation will not let a job get in the way of their life. They will simply go elsewhere. This is a stark contrast to the Boomer generation, which had their nose to the grindstone, and did as they were told.

According to the definition of Manager, this person should have the ability:
 To handle or direct with a degree of skill
 To exercise executive, administrative and supervisory direction
 To direct a team

In today’s fast paced environment, firms are challenged to build a culture where people stay. Firms want to be the “Employer of Choice”, and the fight to bring in talent continues.

Why is this important? With Millennials entering the workforce, it is important to understand them and their needs. They want to be challenged, to work with friends, to have fun. The look for respect and flexibility. They look for positive people to interact with, develop new skills, and expect to be paid well.

Managers can share their knowledge with this group – or any group – and provide direction, training, support, coaching and the most important…

It’s ok for Managers to take charge of their team, track performance, correct mistakes and reward successes. Everyone likes to be rewarded for their success. “Nice job” or “job well done” all go a long way. People like to hear that they did a good job, and it helps build confidence.

Managers should communicate with their teams. Communication is very important, as it keeps everyone on track. Train your people and let them be involved.

Hold them accountable. Without accountability, it becomes a free for all. Believe it or not, most people want to be held accountable, and as a Manager, it is acceptable to relay this to your direct reports.

It takes time and effort from Managers, and the rewards of building a top staff is worth its weight any day.


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