Retain Your Key Employees; or Suffer the Consequences of not Doing so!

It is important to retain your staff to ensure your organizations success. This is the staff that is positive, motivated; and work hard and smart to achieve their goals and in turn the company’s.

If they are not; is it time to replace them.

Organizations cannot become complacent with their employees. Employees are their strength. They should be treated well and provided with the correct tools including opportunities to continually learn. They should be encouraged to do so and provided with a budget for books, webinars, seminars, courses and alike. The organization could also bring in a speaker or hold a workshop in house.

If the organization does have the budget (or does not; however this becomes that more important);

I circulate:

  • an informative online or hard copy article that I’ve read that I believe may benefit the group,
  • accounting or business magazines
  • books that I’ve read that could provide valuable information
  • etc.

I also dedicate a portion of my regular department meetings to education. It may be as little as 10 to 15 minutes, however in that time I have been able to present a short overview of the success of a well planned year end for instance; piqued the interest of department members who have had little involvement and received positive comments when I’ve encouraged participation. I believe that everyone in the Accounting department is entitled to learn as much about the subject as is possible in this setting and then attempt to put what they learn to practice use.

I had worked in one organization as Controller and my staff was made up of individuals with no formal training and had been employed there for upwards of 18 years. I employed the regular meetings to discuss accounting topics and emphasized year ends as we had another one coming up and I wanted to provide an opportunity for them to get involved and they did and they did a great job and they were quite thankful for the opportunity. This group went on to contribute significantly for our department and the organization. In fact over the years I had seen a raw talent in them for Accounting and Business; that is rare but is seen at times. I encouraged all three to take the CPA program as they would be a great example of the calibre of professional that the CPA program develops.

Have respect for the people in your organization. In one organization I worked at; I inherited an executive assistant; while I understand that many Directors of Finance/ Directors of Accounting/ CFO’s /Accounting Mangers / Controllers / etc. require one; I did not in this position. I was told that her one weakness was math; “you can’t give her anything to do with numbers”. Well; what to do? My obvious solution would have been to let her go, however I never let anyone go unless every other option has been taken first. I never have or ever will take letting someone go as a first step. Time and time again; I have found a better way and have been rewarded by having a grateful/loyal team that did anything required to fulfil their responsibilities and to enrich their company’s well being as well. We were extremely busy and I started asking the team members to begin to delegate those responsibilities that they had mastered and that had little or no math to our new member. Little by little we all gave her something and it was turning into a position.

Accounts receivable, accounts payable, general accounting, cost accounting etc was being supported by her. I kept on eye on how she was developing and made note that she was good at what she was doing. In fact she was also doing well on the small portions of math that was involved in the responsibilities that she was given.

She had reached about two months and doing well, but the majority of her responsibilities; were junior, and not justifying her pay grade. Based on performance I gave her a responsibility that would take couple of days a week and was in the higher intermediate category. In this case there was a lot of math involved because that’s all there was left that we could give her. She took care of it admirably. She found a new love and started taking accounting courses. A few years later she received a diploma in accounting. She was very good at what she did and I strongly recommended that she study for her the CPA designation.

Another important aspect for retaining an employee is the time to and cost to source, hire, and retrain a new individual; when one leaves.

Excerpt from Paul J. Calleri’s up and coming book on Management Excellence. Paul J. Calleri is a CPA, CMA of Paul J. Calleri, Chartered Professional Accounting, founder of and entrepreneur.



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