It's a difficult reality in any profession, but especially for CPA firms: employees eventually leave. It can be disruptive, have financial implications, and generally cause anxiety within your team. But there are ways to respond to this disruption by strategically looking at the positives of resignations and approaching them with an open mind. If you're a leader of a CPA firm coming to terms with one or more employee departures during the Great Recession, here's how to face this change head-on by capitalizing on present opportunities and preparing your firm for future success.
Opportunity for new blood, new ideas, and new growth
Employee turnover can be an opportunity for new blood, new ideas, and new growth if approached in the right way. Use turnover as a chance to bring fresh perspectives into your organization. New employees might have creative ideas to refresh stagnant processes, improve productivity, offer additional services or deliver an even better client experience. They often bring valuable knowledge and experience to the table, so look for ways to tap into it and open up exciting growth opportunities.
Weeding out employees who aren't the right fit
Unfortunately, many firms have people on their teams who aren't the right fit. They might be actively disengaged, have a negative attitude or refuse to use certain technologies or follow processes.
Turnover can be an opportunity to weed out these non-right-fit employees who don't fit the company culture.
A chance for internal employee development
Employee turnover can also be a time for personal growth within the company. When someone leaves, other employees often have to take on additional work. With an open position available, you may have an opportunity to develop existing team members by offering promotions or lateral moves that can help stimulate job satisfaction and career development.
This allows people to learn new skills, boost their credentials, build new relationships with colleagues and get better acquainted with the firm—all of which can be extremely rewarding and beneficial for future success.
Improve morale within the firm
We tend to focus on the negative impact on morale when someone leaves, but employee turnover can also positively impact morale. Employees who are disengaged or dissatisfied in their roles can bring others down. Maybe their performance has taken a nosedive, and other team members have had to pick up the slack. Maybe their negative attitude is dragging others down.
Either way, when someone like that leaves, the remaining employees may feel a sense of relief and a renewed passion for doing their best work.
An opportunity to learn from your former employees and improve your business
Employee turnover can also be an opportunity to learn from former employees and improve the business. With the departure of a team member, you have a chance to take a step back and evaluate what your team could have done better. By reflecting on where things went wrong, you can gain valuable insight into how to improve retention in the future and improve your firm’s technology, processes or business model.
Embrace the challenge of finding new talent and training them to fit into your company culture
Employee turnover can be viewed as a positive opportunity for you to bring in new talent and train them to fit into the company culture. If your employee recruitment, onboarding, training or development processes left something to be desired in the past, now is a chance to make a change and do a better job.
While it can be difficult to lose valued team members, employee turnover can give your firm a unique chance to improve and grow. By approaching employee turnover in a positive light, you can use it as an opportunity to bring new people and opportunities into the firm, incentivize existing employees and ultimately make strides toward long-term success. With thoughtful planning and execution of these strategies, you'll be better equipped to attract and retain talent that comes your way in the future.
Are you ready to upskill your team and transform your firm?
The Boomer Learning & Development Circle is a peer group of learning and development professionals in the accounting profession who share tools and resources to properly support their firms' learning and development goals. Apply now to ensure you're focusing on the right skills, engaging learners and demonstrating value to other firm leaders.
Sandra Wiley, Shareholder, President of Boomer Consulting, Inc., is a leader in the accounting profession with a passion for helping firms grow, adapt and thrive. She is regularly recognized by Accounting Today as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting as a result of her expertise in leadership, management, collaboration, culture building, talent and training.
Sandra’s role at Boomer Consulting, Inc. includes serving as co-director of the Boomer Leadership Academy as well as the Boomer Managing Partner Circle, the Boomer Talent Circle and the Boomer Learning & Development Circle. Her years of experience and influence as a management and strategic planning consultant make her a sought-after resource among the best and brightest firms in the country.