Culture is a big deal if you want to attract talent and keep it.
My passion is helping small businesses achieve their financial goals. After all, small businesses are the backbone of America. So, how do you create an environment people enjoy working in? And, how do you create a team as passionate about your clients as you are?
Eleven years ago, I left working for public accounting firms to start my own. My vision included two things:
- I wanted to build a firm with a unique culture that would attract and retain top talent despite a shrinking talent pool in the public accounting sector.
- I wanted to provide the ‘big firm’ quality of work with the personalized service that is the hallmark of a boutique firm.
Fast forward to 2021.
We’ve built a boutique firm with minimal turnover and a consistent pool of great candidates to fuel our growth. Most importantly, our entire team is passionate about providing stellar value to our clients.
What makes a great culture in a small business? In the past eleven years, here’s what I’ve learned.
- Culture is a big deal.
- Everyone matters. Simon Sinek: We work smart and we play always. Every person in the business needs to feel that they have a vision for their own role and that they have a real contribution to the business’ vision. Ownership and accountability is important. We let people be in charge of things who have been out of school for a year. There is no better way to develop than to have the opportunity to fail forward. I might know what the solution is, but I want to know what YOU think the solution is. That’s how we collaborate and grow. And, that’s how we always offer the best of the best ideas and solutions to our clients.
- Create new leaders. It’s hard to grow a business if you are the only one taking care of clients. Identifying rising leaders in our firm and supporting their development has been advantageous for our firm and for our clients.
- Everyone should take time off. Life is short and balance is critical.
- An hour a day keeps the doctor away. During tax season, each team member in our firm is encouraged to spend 1 “admin” hour per day on their physical health. Whether it’s a workout, a walk, whatever they need- exercise is important for a mental break and sharpness. When it’s busy season in any business, encouraging regular physical activity is a win/win.
- Support your cause. We encourage all team members to get involved in something that matters to them, and we give the time they need to make a difference.
Values are not aspirations. They are who you are when you’re at your natural best. We want our team to always be at their best and to enjoy what they are doing to help our clients achieve their financial goals.
Best said by Zoey, one of Thousand.CPA’s employees…
“Culture is more than happy hours after work. Culture is creating a workplace where everybody feels accepted, comfortable asking for help, and an environment that we genuinely look forward to going into every day. Nicole has created a culture that most people spend their entire working lives looking for.”