There’s one aspect of running a successful accounting firm that keeps all its moving parts working together: team alignment.
Aligning every member of your team to a common cause keeps everyone in stride together, motivated by each other and working towards the same goal, confident in how their day-to-day impacts the big picture.
And this alignment doesn’t happen by accident.
The magic lies in rallying your team around a common cause that they believe in.
Think about any sporting team. As a team, their goal might be to win this year’s championship—that’s their common cause. Individually, they each play a role in getting to the playoffs, and eventually winning the championship.
In every match they play, they’re motivated by each other because they each know how their own role plays a part in achieving their common cause, and they can see their teammates kicking goals—literally and figuratively.
Similarly, when your employees feel like they’re on the same team, fighting for the same end-goal, they will feel motivated, encouraged and empowered by each other.
For example, at Karbon, we’re on a mission to build the world’s best practice management software for accounting firms, because, for too long, the accounting industry has been underserved by tech vendors.
Our common cause is clear and passionate (‘to build the world’s best practice management software for accounting firms’), and meaningful (‘because, for too long, the accounting industry has been underserved by tech vendors’).
And each member of the team knows exactly what they (and their colleagues) are doing every day to achieve that goal.
The benefits of aligning your team to a common cause are three-fold:
1. Current employees have a stronger sense of satisfaction and engagement
When employees can see their direct impacts to your firm’s common cause, they’re likely to be more motivated, satisfied and engaged day-to-day (improving productivity and reducing turnover).
2. Attract top talent
The Great Resignation has meant that attracting (and retaining) top talent has become increasingly challenging. If candidates can clearly see that working at your firm means being a part of something bigger and driven by a purpose, they’re more likely to connect with your brand. In particular, millennial accountants have a deep desire to work for companies that have a larger purpose.
3. Increased focused on achieving business goal/s
When your team is aligned, they’re all walking to the same beat. This results in efficiency and productivity, and a laser-focus on your firm’s goals.
Be sure your firm’s end-goal is easy to articulate and is understood by every single member of your organization. It should not be news to anyone. Keep it front of mind by reiterating it at your team and departmental meetings.
Words on paper or spoken during a meeting are just that. Unless you provide actual examples and context. Make it clear how your employees’ day-to-day work contributes to the common cause. Setting out your company's ORKs and making them transparent firm-wide is a great way to provide clarity.
At the same time, empower your leaders to share success stories along the way. Celebrate the wins, share the failures, and turn everything into a lesson.
Bringing the experience to life will help your team members connect the dots between their work, their department and the firm overall.
At the end of the day, your employees are the only ones who can confirm if they feel aligned and engaged. So, empower them to share their experiences and input, and bring them into the conversation so they are more likely to be invested in the journey.
Consider setting up a regular meeting with each employee that is specifically focused on touching base with them about this.
In business, it’s not uncommon for people to reminisce over the ‘dark days’—when times were so hard, the team was bound together by struggle.
But what if these shared memories and experiences were positive? What if teams aren’t just aligned because they overcame difficulties on the journey so far, but because they’re excited and motivated by the road ahead?
What if instead of looking at the rearview mirror, they’re all looking at the destination in front?