Closing out another busy season? Chances are your Accounting and Finance teams have been working around the clock. While they’ve endured months of long days and stress, burnout at the end of April is a common theme across the industry. If your company experienced a particularly rough season because of high turnover and other factors, be mindful of employees who stayed through the busy season but might be looking for new opportunities now.
Here are five healthy habits to restore morale, company culture and work-life balance to reward your hard workers and retain top talent.
1) Offer flexible work options. During the past two years your company may have piloted remote or hybrid work. But as you plan for longer-term arrangements, which might include full-time in-office, give your team some flex work options following the busy season. One of the most highly valued perks in 2022 is a flexible work schedule that blends time in the office with time at home. Compressed workweeks are another theme. If your team has been grinding for 60+ hours over the past several months, recognize that effort and reward them with options of working remotely and with shorter days.
2) Keep reinforcements. Many Accounting and Finance teams hire contract support during the busy season and year-end close. Keep temporary help beyond the end of April as your core team recalibrates, takes well-earned time-off, and as you plan for special projects throughout the year. After the busy season the last thing you want to do is overload your top talent with extra projects that aren’t staffed with sufficient support to succeed.
3) Leverage tech for stronger collaboration. Virtual collaboration platforms are required for flexible work arrangements. Invest in technology that helps employees maintain smooth communication while driving innovation and empowering collaboration — regardless of being in the office, at home, or elsewhere remotely. And ensure everyone has received proper training to use the platforms efficiently and effectively.
4) Incentivize wellness programs. Many Accounting and Finance organizations implemented wellness programs during COVID and maintained them as expanded benefits to build more resilient teams and attract and retain talent. These include mental and physical health programs, such as gym memberships or onsite fitness equipment, meditation and yoga packages, mood trackers, fitness stipends and healthy food options. The problem is, during the busy season, very few employees leveraged these perks. Starting in May, incentivize wellness programs and encourage everyone to participate by creating campaigns, promotions, challenges (with prizes), leaderboards and adventures. Increasing physical and mental wellness recharges your teams and restores positive corporate culture.
5) Model good work habits. One of the easiest and most effective ways to lower stress and build healthy work habits is to embrace them yourself and model them for your team. If you’ve been sending late-night and weekend emails, stop that. Are you online at 6 a.m. and messaging your team? Hold those texts until the office opens. If you are constantly working, reassess your schedule and bring balance to your personal and family time. When you prioritize work and life, it sets a good example for those you hire and those you lead.