Posted on: November 22, 2012 Uncategorized

Every now and then I’ll be meeting with a client and I’ll spring this question on them: “What’s the most valuable asset in your business?”

I hear all kinds of things.  “My equipment.” “My accounts receiveable.” “My customer base.” “My intellectual property.”

Almost no one ever says, “My employees”.

What a missed opportunity that is for my clients – and I let them know it.

And if you’re not viewing your staff as your most valuable asset, what a missed opportunity for your CPA practice!

Herbert D. Kelleher, former CEO and founder of Southwest Airlines, used to tell reporters that the secret to Southwest’s success – and its most powerful competitive weapon – was that it treated its employees like customers.

Kelleher said that when you treat employees right, they will in turn treat your customers right.

Makes sense to me.  In fact, I see it at work in my practice all the time.

When Kelleher announced he was stepping down at Southwest, his employees wept.  Can you imagine your team weeping for you?

If not, try these:

  1. Focus on the relationship. When your clients call, you’re there to answer their questions and address their concerns, right?  Well, be there for your employees, too.  That means being accessible, patient, a good listener, and open to seeing things from their point of view.
  2. Reward employees for a job well done. Sometimes you need to point to an exceptional employee as an example for other employees to follow.  Therefore, recognize a hard-working employee for his or her accomplishments.  Make other employees want to strive for the same kind of recognition.
  3. Create a great place to work. We’re not living in the 1950s anymore – employees don’t automatically stay with the same employer for 30 or 40 years.  In fact, most people take it for granted that they’ll have several jobs – even several careers – in their lifetime.  To keep your best people from jumping ship and taking their talents to the competition (or just as bad, taking your clients), cultivate a workplace so great, that word will get out and people will compete to work for you.  Make sure you meet as many of the employees’ needs as possible.  See that they have the tools they need to do their best.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of recognition for a job well done?  What did you receive?  Do you think it inspired others around you?

Learn even more about growing and strengthening your practice! Check out my book The Ultimate CPA Practice in the New Economy: 10 Secrets to Attract More Clients, Boost Profits and Live Your Ideal Lifestyle.

Best wishes,

Salim

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