Employee Surveys can Bridge the Communication Gap.

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Have you ever wondered exactly what your employees' commitment level is to your firm? Do staff members stay just long enough to get their audit hours in and then move on? Do you worry that the clients may hire away your most talented staff? If these thoughts nag at you then it may be time to try an employee survey.

Begin by preparing to hear answers to questions that you'd really rather not hear. Get past your own desires of what you'd like staff to require from you and accept what is really happening within the industry as well as your own firm.

Next, work with your human resources and marketing director to develop the actual survey questions. Address quality of life issues outside of work as well as at the office. Find out what other firms are offering for their employees and decide whether or not these are options you are prepared to offer. Obviously, a small regional firm won't be able to boast the same benefits of a Big 5, so be sure to research what potential competitors are offering.

Be willing to provide your employees with the time to fill out a survey. If a company doesn't assure staff that the surveys don't need to be completed on their own time, you run the risk of having fewer responses. Be sure to schedule a survey when staff is the least busy, but still remember to mention your deadline. Deadlines attach importance and allow you the ability to get results back to the staff quickly.

Be sure to share results with staff. Alert them to what new changes may or may not be taking place due to their participation. For example, if your firm decides not to implement an on-site child-care facility be prepared to explain exactly why. Also remember that the expense of implementing a new benefit to your staff may seem costly at the time but in the long run can end up saving money in recruiting and re-training new staff.

It is a competitive world out there and accounting jobs are abundant. What are you willing to do to create an environment where staff is willing to create career commitments? Remember that staff commitment is often fostered by the commitment of the employer.

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