Combatting issues of staff retention

Tyler Wren recently participated in a Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s (CAANZ) CCP Community Connect session. The purpose of the event was around the topics of staff retention, attraction, returning kiwis and immigration changes. Ben Holloway of Tyler Wren joined to discuss what he has seen in the market. He also shared some useful tips on these topics. Below are some of the points discussed and recordings from the event.

What can public practice firms do to improve staff retention?

The best way to improve staff retention is to assess why staff are leaving in the first place. And then work back. Below are some of the reasons Chartered Accountants give Tyler Wren for looking at new opportunities. More importantly however, how public practice firms can combat this.

  • Salaries – Not everybody is driven by money, but it is important. Consequently, paying more can help, but look at other benefits, such as bonuses, parking/travel allowances, insurance and possibly even equity for top performers.
  • Boredom – Compliance can be repetitive. So, can you provide more complex and exciting work to keep your staff engaged? It stands to reason that a staff member who is still learning is less likely to leave. 
  • Six monthly reviews – Twelve months is long, and somebody can quickly become disengaged. Instead increase the frequency and provide progression plans with clear KPIs.
  • Work Flexibility – Covid has, in most cases, shown that public practice firms can adapt. Have you embraced this and kept some of those changes? Flexible start and finish times (glide time) and work from home are now commonplace in public practice and are an expectation of most accountants.
  • Unsatisfactory Leadership – People work for people. Are you approachable? Do you have an open-door policy? Make sure you deliver on promises given. What might be a throwaway comment in a review could be extremely important to an employee.

The key factors as we see them:

Please get in touch for more information on retention, attraction and attracting Kiwis overseas.

Ben Holloway | bholloway@tylerwren.co.nz | 03 244 0258

If you would like more information on the Chartered Accountants CPP Community Connect Sessions, please reach out to Tony Douglas

Further videos from the event are available below:

How to improve your candidate attraction

How to attract Kiwi returners