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Sandra Has a New Book!

Posted By Administration, Thursday, November 19, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, November 18, 2015

In the past few years, employees lucky enough to find interesting work with a growing firm have been challenged by the escalating number of hours they must work in order to accomplish the tasks they have been assigned. This increase in number of hours is mostly due to the fact that there are less experienced people to do the same amount of work—or more—than ever before.

Mergers and acquisitions, along with organic growth, are on the upswing. Acquisition of experienced staff is on the decline. These two factors working in concert together produced a perfect storm for creating the war on talent that our profession is right in the middle of today. An ever-increasing strategy, and in some people’s minds, a buzzword, to combat this war to retain and motivate our team is employee engagement.

Employees in our profession typically spend anywhere from 2,080 to 2,500 hours at work every year. Because this is more time than they spend with their families, we must admit to ourselves that engagement should be a very important strategy in any firm of any size.

In a recent Gallup poll, it is reported that only 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at work, a pretty paltry number by anyone’s standards. In that same report, definitions are given of the types of employees in today’s workforce. They are as follows:

  • Engaged employees—Those who work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward.
  • Non-Engaged—Those who are essentially “checked out.” They’re sleepwalking through their workday, putting time—but not energy or passion—into their work.
  • Actively Disengaged—Those who are not just unhappy at work; they are busy acting out their unhappiness every day. These workers undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.

The challenge is that we don’t really think deeply about what employee engagement is, why it is so important, or where to start in the strategic development of engagement to improve firm culture. What we do understand is that we need and want our emerging leaders to make the choice to stay with the firm. The keys to making that choice are in retention and motivation. Employee retention is accomplished by creating strategies to keep the best and the brightest. It is the ability to connect the firm’s needs with the passion of the individual. Firm leaders must put the time into identifying the unique abilities (and personal desires) of each person and then develop strategies to allow individuals to practice those abilities. Motivating employees is accomplished by creating strategies to ensure each person is inspired to use his or her internal drive to take action and feel emotionally fulfilled. Oh, and by the way, the firm leaders need to ensure this is done with a limited amount of time and dollars to invest.

Top-performing firms recognize that employee engagement can drive business outcomes. The theory that engaged employees are more productive, more profitable, more client-focused, and more likely to stay is a powerful message that firm leaders are interested in hearing more about. Highly engaged firms will grow faster, adapt quicker, and innovate more. Firms won’t just benefit from employee engagement; they will come to depend on it over time.

Read Sandra’s new book, The Engaged Employee, to learn 10 initiatives that your firm can put into place now to ensure that you will have the best chance at retaining the best and the brightest.

Tags:  2015  Blog  culture  recruiting  Retention 

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Cloud Learning or Face-to-Face?

Posted By Tom Hood, Thursday, November 12, 2015

"So we’re seeing them kind of change the mix of how they're doing it. Will face-to-face ever go away? I don't think so. We're all humans; that still is the most effective training there is. But I think you can leverage it now and say, what would be the best impact, with my team in person, and what stuff could they actually learn on their own?"

Tom Hood answers questions from the audience in this excerpt from his presentation "Preparing for the Shift Change in Accounting," recorded August 19, 2014 at the 2014 Boomer Technology Circles™ Summit in Kansas City, MO.

2 minutes


Tags:  2014  BTC Summit  Keynote address  learning 

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Cyber Security and Insurance

Posted By Administration, Thursday, November 05, 2015

" look at many of these large companies that are getting hacked and it's not because they're unsophisticated in terms of their security and they're not paying attention to it. I think we have to face the realities of the world we live in today; that it’s very real risk and since we only have limited resources, we really have to kind of balance..."

Our Senior consultants answer questions in this excerpt from The Boomer Briefing at the 2015 Boomer Technology Circle Summit.

6 minutes


Tags:  2015  BTC Summit  Data Security 

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Accountability and Motivation

Posted By Adelaide Ness, Thursday, October 22, 2015

"Behavioral change, instituting change, focusing on a vision; without accountability is useless. We know that only two percent of the population can hold themselves accountable without some kind of tool, without some kind of accountability partner, some kind of tool whether it's their CRM system, their Outlook calendar, whatever it is, a tool to hold them accountable. And true accountability must be planned in advance. If you're going to make change you need to..."

Adelaide Ness, Executive Vice President, The Rainmaker Companies, stresses the importance of accountability in this excerpt from her keynote presentation at the 2015 Boomer Technology Circles™ Summit in Kansas City, Missouri.

4 minutes


Tags:  2015  BTC Summit  Keynote address 

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How Firms Use Lean Six Sigma

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 08, 2015

"We encourage firms to also start looking at some new, what we call Lean metrics, such as turnaround times. If you’re focused on client service, part of that needs to be not be sitting on their work for months and months at a time. What are you actually getting done? Looking at throughput and output. How much capacity did you create? Did you free up time at a busy season? Did you get your team a bit of a break?

"Our industry, you know every firm I go in to, as a general industry statement, there are a lot of people burnt out in our firms. And to give them some hope that we don’t have to keep working harder and harder each year to get the same work done, that is a big objective of a lot of the project teams I work with. So finding ways of, I know it’s cliché, work smarter, be able to get more done by working smarter without working crazy hours to get that same work done."

Our Senior consultants answer questions about Lean Six Sigma at the 2015 Boomer Technology Circle Summit. Current members can access video recordings of Summit presentations at Videos for All Circle Members (must be signed in).

7 minutes


Tags:  2015  BTC Summit  Lean Six Sigma  processes 

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Accountability Starts at the Top

Posted By Jim Boomer, Thursday, September 17, 2015

"...creating that peer accountability can be very powerful. After all, it’s a lot easier to let ourselves down than it is to let our peers and others down. But ultimately, accountability is not going to be an integral part of your culture if the tone doesn't start at the top so it’s important that leaders truly live by accountability and hold each other accountable."

Jim Boomer discusses three steps to improve accountability.

3 minutes


Tags:  2015  blog  Jim Boomer  leadership 

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Accountability is Not a Four Letter Word

Posted By Sandra Wiley, Thursday, September 03, 2015

"The reason this is scary for people is that they haven't ever done it before. They hear 'accountability' and think ought-oh, I'm going to get in trouble for something. It's actually absolutely the opposite of that. If you understand what you're going to be held accountable to do, then you know what you have to do and you know how to be successful..."

Sandra Wiley talks about one of the keys to productivity in this 5 minute video blog. Click on the logo to access a free Guide to Strategic Planning and learn about additional paths to growth:

5 minutes


Tags:  2015  accountability  Blog  leadership  Sandra Wiley  Strategic Planning 

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What is the Flowtivity Process™?

Posted By Dustin Hostetler, Friday, August 28, 2015

"I’m going to be answering one of the questions that we often get from prospects and firms in the industry which is, tell me more about the Flowtivity Process; what is it that you do and what is the Flowtivity Process all about?"

Dustin Hostetler's 60-second definition of The Flowtivity Process™, Lean Six Sigma process improvement. Click on the logo for the rest of the story:

1 minute


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Becoming Indispensable, Part Three

Posted By Arianna Campbell, Thursday, August 20, 2015

"In the wise words of Henry Ford, 'If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.' Developing your skills requires a willingness to explore new areas and to welcome change. Look for the appropriate opportunities..."

Arianna Campbell lists three strategies to ensure that you are indispensable in part three from her article on "Becoming Indispensable."

4 minutes


Tags:  2015  Arianna Campbell  blog  personal development  Talent 

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How to Account for Security

Posted By Jim Boomer, Thursday, August 06, 2015

"...Gartner’s 2015 top technology trends touched on security and ultimately what they said is it's impossible to be a hundred percent secure. So what do we do with that? Well, we start to approach security from a risk management perspective and also from a balanced perspective. There's a lot of talk about the increased risk that you take in going to the cloud but..."

Jim Boomer points out the conundrum of digital security.

3 minutes


Tags:  2015  Blog  Cloud Computing  Data Security  Jim Boomer  technology 

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