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    Motivating Employees During the Busy Season (it's not just about pizza parties)
    The Vault

    Motivating Employees During the Busy Season (it's not just about pizza parties)

    February 2017

    It’s tax season, which means the BGW office resembles something of a beehive: It’s loud, people are moving fast, and if you make a wrong move, you could get stung (tempers often run short under stress).  Thankfully, we’ve been through this enough times to get through it well -- to stay positive and productive through the process, and even still like each other after April.

    Every business has peak seasons.  And during those times of long hours, impatient clients, and seemingly insurmountable expectations, it’s easy for morale to fall.  How do you overcome it?  Here are five tried and true tips from our team:

    • Build strength 

      The NFL conducts a draft in April, well before the first regular season kickoff, because it knows strong teams are built in the off-season.   Follow that example by making sure you have the right talent on board before the storm hits. Work to create a dynamic mix of professionals that can meet the demands of your business all year long, but particularly during your busy season. 

    • Delegate Effectively 

      As a manager, part of your responsibility is to delegate tasks in a way that best addresses the needs of your busy periods. Assess the abilities and experience of your staff members to determine the best candidates for tasks you feel are appropriate for delegating. Then make sure the people you’ve identified are able — and willing — to absorb the work.

      Pro tip:  Tackle delegation in the off-season also.  Crunch time is not the best time to test an employee’s skills in a new area.


    • Stay focused on the mission 

      Your team will work harder and go the extra mile if members understand the “why” of your business. Continually remind your team of your organization’s mission and why it matters, particularly during peak season.  This practice also reminds employees that “we’re all in this together”, which can be incredibly powerful when it seems like there aren’t enough hands to get it all it all done.

    • Lead by example 

      This is vital every day, but working hard alongside your team is especially important during the busy season. Employees look to you for motivation, and they don’t like being told to do something that their leader doesn’t appear to do themselves.  Your leadership has has the ability to influence both positively and negatively. Choose wisely.

      Also, make it a point to model a work-life balance during the busy times (yes, it’s possible even for accountants to maintain one during tax season!).  Take your lunch outside or go for a quick walk, and don’t burn the midnight oil in front of employees, especially the young recruits.  Model hard, but smart, work -- dedication but not to the point of burnout.

    • Reward and recognize often

      This is another important habit year-round, but becomes even more critical during busy times.  Practicing gratitude, not only when someone goes above and beyond, but also when they simply do their job, has an incredibly powerful effect on morale.  Gift cards, extra days off, parties and celebrations, bonuses...they’re all great, but sometimes difficult to execute when you’re busy.  Resolve to thank your employees daily -- privately and in front of others.  Just say it! Let them know you appreciate them and all that they do.  Simple acts of gratitude will carry employees through even the toughest days.  

    Don't let the busy season bring you down.  Take a proactive approach, and don't forget to take the time to appreciate it.  It's a sign your business is doing well!

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