It’s all about the people!
Jim Kaufman put it best at this morning’s How to be a Best Place to Work seminar when he used the words “caring” and “culture” to describe what makes Kaufman, Rossin & Co. a perennial winner of Best Place to Work awards. He should know — he’s the real architect behind the employee-focused CPA firm that keeps clients satisfied by putting their people first. For nearly 50 years he’s made sure that the firm never loses sight of Joy at Work, one of its core values.
Marketing principal Janet Kyle Altman, HR Director Joy Batteen and the firm’s benefits broker, Sean Dugan from the Hays Companies, gave some tips that other companies could learn from.
- Compensation is not the only factor that motivates employees. It’s important, but only to the extent that you’re competitive in the marketplace. Use salary guides for your industry (staffing companies often provide them) or www.salary.com to see where you stand.
- Traditional Benefits should be customized to employees’ needs as much as possible. Some benefits brokers provide Total Compensation Reports that help employees recognize the value of the benefits you’re offering. If you have a cafeteria plan, make sure you educate employees well — some are afraid they’ll lose their money — and consider offering a debit card that helps make it easy to use.
- Non-traditional benefits are where you can create a really special workplace. At Kaufman, Rossin these include everything from our annual Weight Loss Contest and on-site gym to the firm’s fully stocked kitchen and subsidized yoga and massage. Go to a Kaufman, Rossin party and you’ll see all levels – from managing partner to administrative staff – truly enjoying themselves together. These special features create real camaraderie.
- Community involvement helps build good feelings within the company and outside. Kaufman, Rossin believes it should extend to all levels, and encourages all employees to get involved in causes they care about. The firm demonstrates its support by budgeting an annual community contribution fund, and lets employees at all levels submit requests. And of course big community events like the Corporate Run are fun, healthy, and good for the community.
- Professional Development is an area where we get a lot of positive feedback. Since 2006, Kaufman Rossin University has provided employees with opportunities to learn technical skills, technology, management techniques and even “life” skills. We’ve taught everything from PowerPoint to Poker, Management to Music Appreciation, and much more. For several summers the firm has offered voluntary Leadership programs for employees at all levels who want to be future firm leaders. One year our Innovation Challenge (modeled on The Apprentice) created buzz, teamwork, and great new ideas for the firm.
- Leadership is at the core of a Best Place. This isn’t something you can fake, or drive solely through HR. Through open communication daily and semi-annual seminars that show all staff how the firm’s future is unfolding, Kaufman, Rossin keeps our leaders in touch with employees, and our employees looped into the vision.
Janet Altman is a Marketing Principal at Kaufman Rossin, one of the Top 100 CPA and advisory firms in the U.S.