Making the work day exciting is more than just fooling around – it’s good business. A University of Warwick study found that workplace happiness leads to a 12% increase in productivity; contrastingly, less happy individuals experienced a 10% dip in productivity. Who knew putting a little pep in your step could go such a long way for productivity and efficiency in the workplace?
In accounting, this is no exception, because let’s face it – crunching numbers can be taxing (pun… slightly intended). With current-day automation, an accountant’s role has diversified and become more multifaceted than ever before. You’re not just looking at numbers, but also the short and long-term impacts of KPIs on the business’s bottom line. This added on responsibility provides room for growth and excitement.That said, let’s explore a few ways you can bring excitement to your day – and watch yours (and others’) morale and employee participation rise:
Tip #1: Encourage Employee Feedback!
It can be difficult for a strict work environment to transform overnight, but getting employee feedback is a great way to slowly implement changes.
One of the challenges accounting firms and other businesses often face is the disparity of communication between managers and implementers. If you’re a manager, have a meeting with your team once or twice a month and let the team voice suggestions on what could make the work day better.
Voicing these opinions not only relieves tension, but it also shows there’s a clear commitment from leadership to helping employees succeed. Closing that gap alone will open the floodgates for fun.
Tip #2: Brighten up Your Space
Changing up the office atmosphere can spice things up and make coming to work more exciting for your team. Here are a few ideas on improving your office’s atmosphere:
- Paint the walls and rethink the floorplan: having subtle color in the office can increase productivity and reduce stress. Be careful about what color you use, though, as reds can make you feel distracted or cause worry/negative alertness. Check out this infographic on how colors affect the workplace. It’s usually safe to stick to low-wavelength colors for efficiency, focus, and happiness. Also, consider furniture or the ability for employees to customize their space.
- Adjust your lighting and add as much natural lighting as possible (if applicable): vision is responsible for 80-85% of our perception, so making an ideal atmosphere can put your employees at ease and reduce eyestrain.
- Have collaboration spaces: being stuck in a cubicle all day can stunt creativity and happiness. Offer spaces with conference rooms that encourage meetings with others they’ll be excited to have.
- Add plants: small desk plants or other indoor plants help increase employee satisfaction and happiness, and contribute to overall well-being. We all know if you feel better, you’ll be more likely to feel happy and excited at work! Also, greenery can increase reaction time and productivity by 12% according to research from Texas A&M University.
Tip #3: Add Opportunity to the Work Culture
Accountants, especially those in the millennial workforce, want to be challenged and feel like their contribution matters. In fact, many millennials’ average tenure at a job is 2 years, because they won’t stick around if they don’t feel personal growth or benefit.
Any opportunity you can provide for ongoing education, including seminars and workshops, can get your employees pumped about adding to their skillset and repertoire. Motivating them for self betterment is a huge driver for excitement, even if it’s just an hour of training a week on something new. This is especially pertinent with state and federal laws constantly changing, so it’s important to stay up-to-date to avoid an expensive oversight.
There are tons of training courses and workshops you can look into for accountants. A few we suggest are AMA’s finance and accounting training courses – Pryor also has a robust library of classes, audio conferences and webinars available to begin with. Search what’s in your area, and what works best for your firm.
Tip #4: Rewards & Recognition
Celebrating victories – even if they’re small – goes a long way for excitement in the workplace. Whether you’re an in-house accounting firm or if you work with clients, reaching a company-wide goal of 95% retention in a 6 month period, for example, deserves a celebratory lunch.
If it’s an employee’s birthday, reward them with an in-office party, or even let them leave early that day. It’s these benefits that can make your employee excited to be a part of the culture and work at your firm.
Positive and negative reinforcement is equally important, but it’s how you leverage this that’s significant in fostering a great place to work (and one that’s exciting).
Tip #5: Up-to-Date Technology
Nothing’s worse than feeling inhibited by your slow work computer or outdated software. There’s a lot to be said about having a system that works with you, and not against you. You can make employees excited by reducing the paper shuffle in the office, and making work an intuitive and painless process for them.
Sure, you can’t eliminate all stressors in the office, but having a software solution that has robust workflow systems and automatically notifies other employees of work being done can provide extra time to complete other, higher level tasks.
Consider your current technology and how you can improve these processes for your workers, and you’ll get some guaranteed buzz and excitement.
Tip #6: Breaks
The most productive workers aren’t working for 8 hours straight; it’s just not realistic with current-day attention spans and distractions. You’ve probably heard of the Rule of 52 and 17 – working for 52 minutes, and breaking for 17 – studies have shown this is one way productive workers function.
Sometimes walking away from something, or having the freedom to turn off for a few minutes, can be an exciting factor. This lets employees not feel pressured to sit at their desks all day.
I don’t know about you, but the idea of being able to talk with an employee or take a walk is pretty exciting. This is even more relevant if you’ve been staring into a spreadsheet of numbers for 2 hours straight.
Take Charge of Your Excitement
We left out the obvious factors of increased excitement – the Happy Hours, work events, and providing snacks. In accounting, since the industry is changing to be more business advisors than anything else, you need a way to have your employees feel excited about coming in.
We hope you found these accounting tips helpful for your work day excitement. If you want to learn more about improving accounting happiness, consider how Robotic Accounting Automation, or RAA, can accomplish this: