In an ever-changing business climate, it’s essential for leaders in all industries to keep up with the latest trends in human resources and be aware of global issues that affect employees.
As the manager of our firm's membership in an international network of independent accounting and consulting firms called Nexia, I frequently connect with leaders from organizations around the globe. Many of the challenges — and opportunities — we face are the same, particularly when it comes to keeping employees engaged.
With the influx of millennials in the workplace, there are a mounting number of studies demonstrating the unique priorities of this growing group of employees. As a result, employers around the world are beginning to focus on the entire employee experience, encompassing every aspect of the workplace that impacts success.
Ideas proving to be effective range from employee recognition programs to building a welcoming work culture and effective mentoring from upper management. To learn from past mistakes, many companies also implement surveys, which help to identify current strengths and areas for improvement.
Our firm has welcomed these new trends in a variety of ways — most recently, by implementing a program titled iDress for Success. The iDress for Success program empowers our employees to choose a look that aligns with their scheduled activities for the day. It’s a simple, cost-effective program that demonstrates our trust in our employees. Our associates know to dress in professional clothing if they have client meetings or to dress more comfortably for days without.
Through our affiliation with Nexia, our firm is also able to offer employees the opportunity to participate in overseas exchange opportunities, called Secondments. Secondments allow our staff to experience life in another office and time zone. Our employees learn how other teams in the Nexia network operate and how member firms can work together to advise a client. This can lead to strong business and social relationships from across the network.
At the same time, we are keenly focused on embracing diversity, creating a workplace where people of all backgrounds feel included and valued. One important element of diversity, particularly important in a male-dominated field like accounting, is a focus on gender equality. Our firm has two robust leadership development programs that pair female employee sponsors with protégés, allowing for development at both the individual and firm levels. We also rank above average in the number of women partners, principals and management committee members.
It is important that company leaders create tools to foster the entire workplace experience to avoid falling behind in the global market. If organizations are complacent in the race to employee satisfaction, they run the risk of losing employees and failing to gain new, skilled hires.
There is no time to waste in offering employees the experience they not only deserve, but now expect.