Industry Views

Employee Engagement 2.0

July 19, 2017

We all want our employees to be happy. An engaged, satisfied workforce results in a productive and profitable company. Yet research reveals only 15% of UK employees consider themselves as ‘highly motivated’, with low engagement negatively impacting productivity, resulting in a combined £340bn in missed output per year.

Finance and accountancy professionals are now among the most in-demand across sectors, in part due to economic uncertainty following recent political events. These employees have more bargaining power than ever before, meaning there’s added pressure for companies to attract and retain top talent in a competitive industry. So how can firms restrategise internal policies to keep staff engaged for the long term?  

Provide opportunities for growth

Offer a clear roadmap for career advancement. Employees need to feel challenged, however hitting targets may seem futile if there isn’t a reward scheme in place, or the possibility of promotion in the long run. Be transparent about available opportunities within the organisation to keep staff on track to reach the next rung of the ladder.

Invest in training  

By doing this you’ll add value to your practice by increasing the skill of your employees and boosting productivity. Many accounting qualifications such as the ACCA, require continued professional development, so by supporting these initiatives you’ll ensure staff are staying up to date with the latest industry developments in order to better serve clients.

Show appreciation

Everyone wants to feel valued and effective communication can build trust and positively impact morale in the office. Whether it’s a new joiner or a more established member of the team, ensure that you’re sharing constructive feedback and praise when it’s due.  

Google it

Google has been voted the best company to work for eight years running. It’s famous for its quirky perks including toastie wagons and office scooters, in addition to generous benefit packages and feedback forums. It may not be possible to emulate the tech giant in every way, however it’s worthwhile to take a more creative approach to employee engagement where possible. For instance, provide opportunities for teams to socialise via off-site team building activities or Friday lunches. Introduce flexible working schemes and set up a suggestions box.

Simplify processes

As part of research from Deloitte into what makes companies ‘irresistible’ to work for, it found simplicity is key. Workers who feel less empowered are more prone to poor performance. Therefore, streamline bureaucratic and overly complex processes and replace them with a culture of increased autonomy and trust.  

Reduce stress  

Almost half (44%) of workers in the UK know someone who has given up their position due to stress. Whilst intermittent, healthy levels of stress is inevitable, relieving staff of certain processes, such as admin heavy tasks and unnecessary paperwork is a good place to start when tackling this issue.

Technology is rapidly changing the workplace, and management should implement smart solutions to help ease these pressures in addition to driving heightened operating efficiencies. For instance, when it comes to manual data entry, many accountants and bookkeepers are adopting automated data entry solutions like AutoEntry. AutoEntry works by capturing and analysing scanned and photographed purchase and sales invoices, receipts, bank and card statements, securely automating data entry into accounting solutions including Xero, QuickBooks, Sage, etc.

Developed to drive next level operating efficiencies, its features help to significantly streamline the accounts preparation process. For instance, AutoEntry captures tax summaries by default and if requested, full line item details including description, quantity and unit price. AutoEntry also remembers how you categorise your expenses such as the relevant supplier account, nominal account and tax code without ever creating duplicate supplier accounts or posting duplicate invoices into your accounting solution. AutoEntry even matches invoices to purchase orders.

With the myriad of pressures involved in running a business, it’s tough to give all workplace issues the same care and attention. However employee engagement is paramount. Restrategising how you can help staff to work smarter and more harmoniously must be a top priority to ensure your business performs to the best of its ability for the long-term.