what-firms-did-for-their-staff-during-busy-season-mks&h-wnde

Since Busy Season is over, we wanted to take some time to show you how Busy Season isn't always just about 60 hour work weeks and endless cups of coffee. As we end our series titled "What Firms Did For Their Staff During Busy Season," we'd like to feature two more firms whose company culture and core values made Busy Season for their staff a happy and healthy one.

This past week, we featured RSM US LLP, Mountjoy Chilton Medley, and Wiss & Company. Today, we'd like to highlight MKS&H as well as WNDE. We spoke to Mark Howells, Digital Marketing Manager from MKS&H  and Scott Krueger, CFO from WNDE who told us about why it’s important to keep morale high during this intense time of the year.

 

MKS&H

MKS&H prides itself on bringing deep meaning to the business of accounting. We develop an understanding for our clients' culture and business goals, transforming complex financial data into meaningful contexts that enables them to achieve their greatest potential.

Why do you think it’s important to keep up morale during Busy Season?

The most important thing we need to do is keep our staff engaged in their work and with our clients, especially during busy season.  This means they need to enjoy their work in order to be fully engaged, so they can accurately finish complex projects and come in the next day fresh and ready for the next challenge.  Fun activities and positive reinforcement go a long way to boosting morale during this intense time of year (and food of course)!

mksh-st-paddys-day-potluck

Top: Having a St. Patrick's Day potluck to celebrate this festive holiday!

Bottom: Playing a game where staff had to use the suction of their straws to transfer M&Ms from one bowl to another!

 

What other activities do you and your staff do during this time?

In addition to the Ultimate Survivor Challenge and Minute to Win It Games, we have Fruity Friday, with tons of healthy fruit for everyone, pizza lunches, other potlucks throughout the time period, in-office happy hours (which definitely help boost morale and comradery), and a post-season off-site celebration event with dinner, drinks, and dancing for everyone and their families, as it truly takes everyone including families to get through busy season.

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Top: We had some fun with one of our Minute to Win It games, Separation Anxiety. See video here!

Bottom: Our last Busy Season game, Donut Give Up, challenges players to master their dexterity as well as gastric prowess! See video here!

 

What is your best advice for other firms/accountants/CPAs going through Busy Season?

Continually reinforce the importance of providing high levels of service through being responsive to clients but also be mindful of balancing the needs of clients with the needs of staff. The old adage of ‘under promise and over deliver’ goes a long way during busy season when you consider how best to service clients and avoid overworking staff. The clients will be in far more pain later if we can’t retain our staff (and so will we). Try putting the staff in the drivers’ seat by enabling them to own the job of meeting the clients’ expectations, which works well with millennials who want responsibility to create their own career paths. 

 

 

WNDE

Thanks to our “Connectedness Committee” established over a year ago, White Nelson Diehl Evans (WNDE) has a group of dedicated employees who ensure that we have monthly activities all year long, but especially during busy season to help alleviate stress, keep employees engaged and keep our departments connected.

This has become an important part of the culture here at White Nelson Diehl Evans and everyone has been great about their participation and commitment to bring some “fun” to work – during what can be an extremely stressful time of year. 

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wnde-pancake-breakfast

Top: Crazy Hat Day! We got to see people's personalities and sense of humor shine with this fun event.

Bottom: Our tax partner, Candy Huie, comes into the office bright and early on Saturday morning to make pancakes for all the employees.

 

Why do you think it’s important to keep up morale during Busy Season?

Morale is important all year long, but in our busiest time of year, when people are tired and there are deadlines to meet it is even more important.  A higher level of employee engagement through brief breaks, activities and fun gets everyone through the busy season a bit easier.

 

What other activities do you and your staff do during this time?

  • *Eleven weeks of catered dinners from local restaurants (Wahoo’s, Flame Broiler, Daphne’s, Togo’s, Corner Bakery, Macaroni Grill, etc.)
  • Give employees a paid holiday the [day after] tax day
  • Football Jersey Day
  • Ice Cream Social
  • Daily Bingo
  • Walking groups
  • Bagels

*Our dinners [and monthly activities] are rated as one of the top things employees love about working here!

 

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wnde-food-truck-dinner

Top: Administrative staff, interns, partners, managers...just about everyone participated in St. Patrick's Day "Wear Your Green" event!

Bottom: Family dinner night (and dessert)! Parents, children, and significant others show up to support their loved ones during this time of year. And of course enjoy a nice meal. 

 

What is your best advice for other firms/accountants/CPAs going through Busy Season?

Keep it fun without cutting into client time.  Activities don’t need to be extravagant, expensive or time consuming.  Engage with your staff, understanding that they are making sacrifices in their lives through long hours to service your clients.  Saying “thank you” and meaning it goes a long way.                                                                                                               

 

We'd like to thank MKS & H and WNDE for their participation in this blog series! 

 

 

 

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