Once the norm, commuting, face-to-face meetings, and 9-5 workdays are no longer typical. Employees expect to work in any environment, on any device, and on their schedule. They want to be able to work anywhere while enjoying the freedom to attend family commitments, doctor’s appointments, and more, without sacrificing their work or ability to grow. With the right approach to attraction, retention, and technology, growing or managing your firm remotely can be a win-win-win for your business, employees, and clients.
When attracting remote employees, your offering should clearly indicate key attributes required to be successful, including organizational skills, time management, excellent communication, and the ability to work without direct supervision. In addition, being specific on how your firm handles remote work gives potential employees a sense of what to expect and makes it more likely to attract the employees you are trying to hire. Who wouldn’t want the best and brightest?
Elizabeth Manso, CPA, founder of Brigade, has found great value in providing potential employees the freedom to work how and when it works best for them—as long as they produce.
“We are results-oriented, and we make that clear to our candidates,” she says. “This means that we understand the need for flexibility, so as long as you get your work done and available for team meetings, you can take care of your personal, as well as your professional, responsibilities.”
With Hosting for Intuit® Lacerte® Tax and Intuit ProSeries® Tax, you create an “always-on” business with the flexibility to delegate, review, and collaborate, anywhere and anytime. With Hosting, you can work together with teammates on a return, using the same data at the same time, allowing your team to do their best work and maximizing the ability of your distributed team to produce results.
Of course, your firm must offer what job seekers are looking for, so how do you ensure they are a good fit for your organization, and what do you do when you realize they are not? Some time-tested rules for in-person hiring should be emphasized when it comes to remote employee attraction and management.
“The most important principle in any hiring situation is even more critical when it comes to remote staff,” said Manso. “Hire slow and fire fast! While this might sound harsh, it is reality. You need to be willing to accept when things aren’t working out, and take action to reduce the negative impact for your firm and all individuals involved.”
By engaging in the hiring process deliberately and interviewing thoroughly, you can better minimize risk to your business. Focus on your core values, mission statement, and expectations. Know who you are, who you serve, and how you serve. Be clear on what is important, find people who share the same values, then leverage technology and Hosting solutions to make the most of your remote team.
Without solid technology in place that allows you to manage work effectively across a distributed team, you invite risk in the form of unhappy or chronically frustrated employees who can be tempted to venture back into the remote hiring pool. Prioritizing the needs of remote workers, especially the ability to easily access and collaborate on the same projects, helps retain the top talent you work hard to acquire.
At Brigade, a results-oriented, incentivized culture embraces the power of technology to give remote associates freedom and flexibility, while the business strategy rewards performance. “Brigade also incentivizes our team,” said Manso. “For example, we offer a commission on clean-up projects and a new client bonus, so team members have the incentive to fit a new client into their roster and meeting timelines efficiently.” Brigade also awards quarterly bonuses based on team performance and provides annual bonuses based on tenure.
In addition to monetary rewards and flexibility, top talent is often seeking something more from their employer: growth, which Manso leverages as another incentive at Brigade.
“One of the key selling points we have for remote team members is that they really have no limit to their growth if they are willing to do the work necessary to excel. For high performing talent, the opportunity to work remotely and also have growth opportunities is a big plus.”
Hosting features automated backups and updates, and seamlessly integrates with your software for uninterrupted workflow. For you, that means less time spent managing software and IT issues, and more time to focus on your business. And it is secure. Hosting tax software in the cloud provides protection beyond the limits of your computer or local server. With Hosting for Intuit Lacerte and ProSeries, you gain layers of security measures, including data encryption, an enterprise firewall, no vulnerability of physical data storage, and the added confidence that it meets all IRS “Security Six” requirements.
By addressing the reality of a remote or hybrid workforce, the cloud allows firms to grow and optimize their business in new ways, while simultaneously prioritizing the needs of the team, customers, and business. When firms spend less time on IT management, they have more time to prioritize the things that are most impactful for their business to survive, such as growth, managing client relationships, and empowering employees to do their best work.
The Intuit® Accountants team provides ProConnect™ Tax, Lacerte® Tax, ProSeries® Tax, and add-on software and services to enable workflow for its customers. Visit us at https://proconnect.intuit.com, or follow us on Twitter @IntuitAccts. More from Intuit Accountants Team
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