How to Engage Staff By Assisting them to Grow – On the surface, RLB LLP has all the trappings of a tech startup: a broad open work area, floor-to-ceiling windows, healthy treats, an “enjoyable space” total with Nintendo Wii and Settlers of Catan, and a mentor program to help staff recognise their private career paths.
However, the business, which was called one of the Small and Medium-Size Enterprises on Aaron’s Best Employers in Canada 2016 list, isn’t toiling over the next hot app or wearable gadget. RLB LLP staff crunch numbers and submit tax returns.
The Guelph, Ont.-based public accounting company works mostly with owner-managed companies and nonprofit companies, offering everything from accounting to organisation and personnel seeking advice from. While the services RLB’s 120 workers throughout three southern Ontario offices supply may be basic, how they work is unique.
” a lot of companies in this market focus on making certain their individuals are ‘in production,'” says Crystal Dunlop, director of HR. “They’re focused on your billable hours.” Throughout tax season, for example, most accounting companies require staff to put in 60– 70 hours weekly to remain on top of the heavy work. But because CPAs are exempt from overtime pay, they rarely see a dime for that additional work.
RLB’s partners staff up throughout the hectic season to make sure accounting professionals aren’t working more than 55 hours weekly. Any overtime– throughout tax time or otherwise– gets paid out to staff in getaway days. “We want to avoid burnout and make certain people are happy,” says Dunlop, noting that the company has an internal masseuse during April and May to help staff de-stress. “Instead of ‘Head down, make it through the deadline,’ we still want to make sure individuals are finding out.”
That continuous knowing viewpoint is a big part of RLB’s culture. Every brand-new hire– whether accounting professional or administrator– is paired with a coach within the business who helps them establish a profession plan. “The profession plan reveals exactly what their strengths and weaknesses are,” Dunlop describes. “What they like and dislike doing, what their existing management opportunities are and exactly what their future leadership chances are.” The mentor routinely checks in to how their mentee’s strategy is going and works to tailor it and include new aspirations as goals are met.
Mentors likewise assist staff members to determine something within the company that they alone are responsible for. “Everyone gets to own something,” states Dunlop, whether it’s an accountant who manages the customer list and their records, or an administration staff who’s responsible for the customer service experience. “We find that’s so essential, because when you have a sense of ownership over something, not only are you more accountable to it, but it just increases the sensation of belonging and engagement on the team.”
Such strong focus on team effort and growth is difficult to find in the market. However, RLB has refined it to an art. “Not a lot of people remain in their workplace alone knocking out numbers as you would imagine when you consider accounting,” states Dunlop.
While the company encourages interaction and cooperation, staff have the option to work from another location or part-time. “I would guess there’s anywhere from 15 to 20 various work arrangements,” states Dunlop. Employees can even take an entire month off with pay, thanks to overtime hours. That’s on top of their three-to-five weeks of vacation and one week of person time, all paid. “Its practically endless paid time off.”
RLB’s most basic HR initiative, but the one that staff members value most, is the sense of equality amongst staff. “At some firms, there are rules: Junior staff talk to the manager, the manager talk with the senior supervisor, and they speak with the partner,” states Dunlop. “That is not the case here.” Junior and senior staff are encouraged to sit, work and socialise together. Dunlop stresses that there is a place for hierarchy when it comes to organisation and customer needs, however not among employees in day-to-day interactions. “We do feel that the strongest element of growing in your profession focuses on experiential learning,” she adds. “People discover best through these natural exchanges, and building connections on the job.”