The True Value in Listening to (and Understanding) Employee Feedback

August 30th, 2016

Requesting feedback from your staff is great, but if you’re not really listening to what they’re saying, you’re missing the point. For employees, it’s beyond frustrating to be asked to share your opinions, but ultimately never see any changes.

As the boss, your prospective is limited, because you’re only able to see things from the top down. If you want to run your company in the most efficient manner, you need a well-rounded view from every aspect of the company — which why you need to pay attention to the feedback given by your employees.

4 Benefits of Really Listening to Employee Feedback

Raise Retention Rates

Employee feedback highlights both positive and negative aspects of working at the company, so use it to find common trends. If your retention rates are lower than you’d like, this is your chance to identify the problem and turn things around. This is also a fantastic way to spot future issues, allowing you to come up with a solution before things spiral out of hand.

Boost Productivity

No one can provide insights on roadblocks impacting productivity better than the people actually doing the work. Use feedback to learn how your company can better support employees, so they can be more productive. Whether outdated software constantly crashes or they’re spending too much time in unnecessary, yet mandatory meetings, this information can help you make some long overdue changes.

Make Employees Feel Valued

When employees know you truly care what they think, they feel respected and appreciated. Not only does this inspire them to work harder, it also helps increase employee satisfaction levels, because everyone wants to work for an organization where they’re more than just a number. This helps build a collaborative company culture, filled with employees who take pride in their work.

Provide Better Customer Service

Happy employees truly enjoy their jobs — and it shows. Expect customer satisfaction rates to soar when your staffers have the tools they need to reach their potential and the respect they deserve. Higher customer satisfaction scores translate to a healthier bottom line, so enjoy watching the ripple effect of listening to employee feedback brighten up every aspect of your company.

Partner with Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing to fill your accounting and finance openings with top Northwest talent.

Since 1994, our expert recruiting managers have been helping leading organizations find the best-fit accounting and finance, audit and taxation, cost accounting, analytics and reporting, and accounting support professionals.

Nervous in Meetings? Conquer Stage Fright with THESE Tips

August 23rd, 2016

Many people thrive in front of a group. For these individuals, no audience is too large or intimidating to get under their skin, but you’re not like that. Stage fright — even in front of a small group — is an incredibly common source of anxiety, so you’re certainly not alone.

Whether you’re giving a budget update to your team or helping sales staff pitch a client, the mere thought of speaking in front of a group draws a flock of butterflies to your stomach. If you’re ready to make this feeling of dread a thing of the past, use these four tips to finally overcome it.

Prepare Remarks for the Meeting

One of the main reasons you’re probably afraid to speak up in meetings is you’re afraid you’ll say something to embarrass yourself. Combat this fear by jotting a few discussion points down before the meeting. You’ll feel much more at ease when you know you have something of value to add to the conversation.

Practice Your Delivery

If you’re slated to take the floor at the meeting, spend a few minutes prior to its start practicing your delivery. This gives you the chance to work out the kinks and really familiarize yourself with the content you’re about to share. You’re bound to feel more confident when you’ve gone through the speech a few times before facing your audience.

Give Yourself a Pep Talk

You’re a smart, engaging financial professional who brings a lot to the table, so remind yourself of this. Take a quick walk before the meeting to clear your head and give yourself a pep talk to boost your confidence. Eliminate the negative fears holding you back and envision your public speaking stint as an overwhelming success.

Stop Fearing Your Audience

The people listening to you speak truly want to hear what you have to say. Whether they’re your colleagues or clients, they know you were invited to the meeting because you have valuable insights to share. Instead of being intimidated by your audience, feel inspired that these people are sitting quietly listening to you speak.

If you’re ready to climb the ladder to the next step in your accounting or finance career, you can count on Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing to help you every step of the way. Whether you’re searching for a temporary/contract, temp-to-hire, or direct hire opportunity, we won’t stop working until we find the right fit for your career. Contact us today to get started!

How to Start Better Screening Candidates to Minimize the Risk of a Bad Hire

August 16th, 2016

Choosing a new finance or accounting professional to add to your team is a huge responsibility. You probably get dozens of applications every time you post a job, so you’re tasked with screening resumes, interviewing candidates and hoping your final hiring decision is a good one. If this process hasn’t been working as well as you’d like, it’s time to add a few more screening steps into the mix.

Reduce the risk of a bad hire by incorporating these four techniques into your vetting strategy.

Conduct a Background Check

Hire a third-party service to conduct a background check, revealing things you won’t be able to find in a standard Google search. This may include a wide-variety of information, such as criminal records, credit records, past employers, education records, and state licensing records. A background check will add an extra expense to the hiring process, but it’s money well spent.

Call References

Many employers ask candidates for references, then never call them, which is simply irresponsible. Professional references include former bosses, colleagues, clients, and teachers who can personally speak to the person’s skill level, work ethic, and ability to get along with others. Taking an hour out of your day to make these calls can save you from making a huge hiring mistake.

Perform a Social Media Search

These days, most people have a presence on multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Search for the candidate on these sites to see what type of information they’re sharing publicly. This approach can be a savvy way to determine if the person would be a good fit for your company culture.

Give a Skills Test

The last thing you want is to hire an accountant who claims to be proficient in QuickBooks — or another software solution your company uses — but find out on their first day these talents were greatly exaggerated. Eliminate this risk by giving candidates a skills test to make sure they can perform the basic competencies associated with the job.

Tired of Inadvertently Hiring the Wrong Person for the Job?

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Three Questions to Ask Yourself Sunday Night to Prepare for the Week Ahead

August 8th, 2016

If you’re like many people, you dread Sunday nights, because their arrival means it’s almost time to head back to the grind. After a fun weekend, getting up early on Monday and heading into the office for a day of work can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Instead of viewing Sunday evenings as the end of your good times for another five days, consider them a fresh start by taking time to mentally prepare for the week ahead. Wind down doing something you enjoy and take a few minutes to ask yourself these three questions.

What do I need to accomplish?

Get ready for the workweek by thinking about what’s on your to-do list. Whether you have a meeting with a prospective client or a deadline for a big project, organizing your thoughts can help you feel focused and ready to tackle everything on your plate when you walk through the office door on Monday.

What hurdles will I face?

Hopefully, work will be smooth sailing for you this week, but most of the time, a few obstacles are inevitable. Procrastinating dealing with these issues will only make things worse, so create a plan to tackle them head-on. Instead of starting your week filled with anxiety about potential roadblocks, you can feel confident in knowing you can handle anything that comes your way.

What am I grateful for?

Stop treating work like a chore and remind yourself why you accepted the job in the first place. Conjure up a few reasons why you entered the field and what about it makes you feel fulfilled. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget why you work so hard. Sometimes you need to take a pause to rekindle your passion for the job.

In addition to mentally preparing for the week on Sundays, there’s plenty of other actions you can take to ease the stress of your work week. Plan your meals for the week and stock up on groceries, get your work clothes washed and ironed, and set a mid-week date with friends or family to relax and unwind.

Find a job that makes you excited to go into the office on Monday mornings

Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing is here to connect you with the most rewarding temporary/contract, contract-to-hire, and direct hire accounting and finance job opportunities in the Seattle area. Contact us today to get started!