“The wrong way to run a company…”
That’s what I usually hear about in the news.
The story about the CEO who laid off 900 employees over Zoom surely didn’t escape your notice either. And we all know something about the notorious work environments over at Uber and Amazon.
Because “if it bleeds, it leads.”
But what about the companies who do better? By better, I mean those who create an office culture that impacts employees more deeply than the ability to bring your dog to work. (Though, don’t get me wrong — we’re all about having our best friends at the office too.)
Dog treats in the breakroom and complimentary gym memberships are nice perks, no doubt, but the office next door offers that PLUS a free lunch every third Friday.
Luring employees with perks is like differentiating your services based on price, which I’ve talked about NOT doing so many times. There is no loyalty in that game because their hourly commitment is easily transferred when they find better benefits elsewhere. There will always be an “elsewhere” to compete with.
I could easily make an argument for a positive company culture based solely on the painful hiring environment that firm owners are facing nationwide. It’s brutal for employers right now, and you don’t need me to tell you that.
But putting qualified faces behind computers is not all that’s at stake here.
What would happen if you didn’t settle for positivity at work and aimed instead for a working atmosphere that gives life and joy to the people in its purview?
Including you … because I’m not actually just talking about the happiness of your staff in your accounting or tax practice. I’m also stating that joy at work is possible for YOU. For me.
You might not be able to take that at face value, and for various reasons that I completely understand. It may be that you’ve only ever experienced work life as tolerable at best, or you view all of this “coddling” of employees as yet another sign of a frivolous generation.
Just do the job you’re getting paid to do.
Humor me for a moment and consider these benefits to YOU that come with a life-giving company culture:
- A better work product
- Less time spent managing/disciplining/coercing staff
- Retention of quality employees
- And that little thing I brought up before that’s actually pretty big: JOY
That’s a pretty compelling list of perks — not just for your staff, but for you.
I can speak from experience here and say that it doesn’t happen by chance. There is no Magic Bullet Theory of the happy workplace.
Like any other created thing, it’s birthed from intention.
If you could name what would bring life to you in your workplace, what would produce joy at work, what would it be? More practically:
- Where are we going? That’s vision.
- How are we going to get there? That’s values.
- What is it going to feel like to be part of that team? That’s culture.
These three ways to look at your practice can guide your hiring and firing, how you manage people, and how you lead your business.
We work hard at this at TaxProMarketer. It’s the culture I swam in before my recent title change, and I’m very motivated to maintain for others what so shaped my own development. Our founders Nate and Troy made life-giving work a reality for me, and I want to carry on that legacy for my team and yours.
You likely have a written statement of vision and values connected to the founding of your firm. You should also have a culture statement as part of those guiding principles. And they should actually guide your business in practice, not just in word.
TaxProMarketer co-founder Troy Lakey offers a few foundational questions to help you do that in this 3-minute video. (And more on that to come, so hit subscribe there to keep going in this exercise.)
It might be time to dig those vision and values files out from the recesses of your computer and revisit them with time and intention. And add a piece about culture while you’re at it.
Because it matters, for your happiness… and mine.