Satisfied Staff Support Strong Branding Efforts in a Competitive Marketplace
Published in Accounting Today on January 28, 2013
by Sarah Warlick, copywriter and editor
Keeping your clients happy is one key aspect of positive marketing. Although it’s often overlooked, keeping your employees happy is another.
High employee turnover costs businesses in every industry money, time and productivity. The resource drain from staff churn can be even higher in accounting, where it can take significant time for new hires to become fully contributing team members.
Integrating additional employees with the firm’s systems, software and processes takes patience, and your clients also need time to build trusting relationships after personnel changes. What’s more, financial services employees often form working groups that create efficiency and ensure quality by their seamless sharing of information and automatic peer review. The firm loses a lot in terms of both performance and morale when one cog bolts for a better machine.
Besides the hit to your bottom line, have you ever stopped to consider the effect on your firm’s branding caused by team members who don’t want to stick around for the long term? Most people don’t, but the satisfaction and longevity of your partners and associates play a big role in the overall brand message you convey to clients as well as potential new hires.
When your entire team feels happy, stimulated and appreciated, they’re not going anywhere else unless there’s a very good reason, like life changes or exceptional circumstances. They’re also sharing the message that your firm is fantastic, in ways both subtle and overt . That message reaches their entire circle of friends, associates and social media contacts. In the digital age, our individual feelings permeate a much larger portion of the community than they used to, and a surprisingly large number of potential clients and employees are going to view your firm through the eyes of your employees.
Unsatisfied staff members hurt your firm’s reputation even if they’re not intentionally maligning it or being unprofessional. Content and challenged ones, however, are communicating that your firm is a great place to be. That’s an encouraging message for anyone considering your firm, whether as a service provider, a continued professional partner or a place to try for a job.
Job satisfaction, or the lack of it, is contagious too. Employees who feel respected and happy are far more likely to go the extra mile, smooth out or overlook minor conflicts, and do their best to make things go well for everyone at the firm. Those who don’t will create headaches for the rest, either inadvertently or on purpose, because after a point they lack the motivation to make it work. The less engaged a single employee becomes, the more strife and mistakes you’ll see across the entire firm.
Focusing on employee satisfaction through regular feedback, competitive compensation and opportunities for growth is always smart. As the economy continues to improve and people feel there are plentiful options if they don’t like the current situation, ensuring your team is well cared for becomes more important than ever. It’s not just a matter of good business and good ethics—it’s also good marketing.