Prioritizing Mental Health in the Workplace

Many people still are dealing with the psychological and emotional effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Add to this discouraging news about the economy and other world issues, employees are experiencing instability in significant areas of their professional and personal lives like never before.

The Conference Board conducted a 2022 mental health survey of over 1,100 workers. Fifty percent of the respondents reported deteriorating mental health since the coronavirus pandemic began. Only 38% of the workers felt their manager adequately addressed their mental health concerns. Merely 29% of respondents whose companies offered mental health support found the resources helpful.

In response to what employers can do to help, 82% of the workers mentioned offering managers training on how to address mental health concerns. Sixty-one percent of respondents said increased manager trust would improve their mental health.

As a result, managers must actively listen to and provide support for their employees for their teams to succeed. This involves managers advocating for their employees’ needs to create caring, empathetic work cultures.

Follow these guidelines to prioritize mental health throughout your organization.

Embrace Change

Being comfortable with change positively impacts employee engagement, morale, and leadership styles. This includes modeling behavior that is open to and accepting of the transforming work world.

  • Regularly talk with your employees about what they need to feel safe at work and excel in their roles.
  • Determine how your team members feel about their workloads.
  • Talk about potential feelings of disengagement or burnout.
  • Find out how you can more effectively support your employees.
  • Ask for constructive feedback on how you handle situations.
  • Encourage your employees to ask for what they need.

Update Work Practices

Assess the policies, processes, and systems that no longer serve your employees. Examples include set work hours, limited leave policies, and not feeling comfortable providing or receiving feedback.

  • Educate your team on the resources available for mental health support.
  • Advocate for flexible work hours, more comprehensive leave policies, and psychological safety for employees to give and receive constructive feedback.
  • Actively seek new information on employee-first work cultures.
  • Use data to support your decisions.

Advocate for Mental Health Support

Talk with your employees about your own mental health issues. Include how you seek and receive support both inside and outside the organization.

  • Share your methods for coping with workplace stress.
  • Discuss your feelings of safety when sharing your thoughts with your team or manager.
  • Be honest about how you are feeling and when you are having a bad day.
  • Encourage your employees to take time for self-care throughout the day and at night.
  • Emphasize why building a culture of mental health support matters.
  • Demonstrate how everyone needs to be invested in building a culture of mental health support.

Need More Ideas?

Embracing change, updating your work practices, and advocating for mental health support are ways to prioritize mental wellness in your workplace. Modeling these behaviors helps reduce the risk of burnout. This increases employee engagement, productivity, and retention.

If you’d like other ideas, check out our previous blog from Mental Health Awareness Month in April.

We’re here to offer more support to your team. Make Casey Accounting & Finance Resources part of your talent acquisition process. Find out more today.

 

What Employers Can Do to Better Support Their Working Parents

Employers always are looking for ways to support their employees. This improves productivity, performance, and retention.

One key area of support is for working parents. Because most employees have families, they make up a significant part of the workforce.

Working parents often deal with issues that affect their professional performance. Examples include taking time off to care for a sick child and needing to finish work early to handle family responsibilities.

As a result, employers who provide accommodations for working parents are more attractive to employees and job seekers. Taking small steps can result in a substantial impact on your organization with little impact on the bottom line.

Choose among these methods to provide support for your working parents.

Talk About Working Parents’ Needs

Find out more about what your working parents want help with most. You may want to begin with a survey to understand their issues, concerns, and suggestions for help. Then, you can use this information to begin discussions between working parents and management about methods to increase support.

You may want to identify a specific issue that many working parents face. Then, you could encourage managers to speak with their employees for more details. The managers could meet with HR and leadership to share feedback and discuss implementation methods.

Create a Parents’ Network

Encourage working parents to share ideas, provide support, and organize family-friendly activities. This may include creating an email chain for parents to swap out gently used children’s clothing. Or, parents might provide tips to ease the stress of raising children while working full-time.

Having this network helps fill working parents’ wants and needs by connecting them with the right individuals at the right time. You may want to create a dedicated intranet page or Slack channel to encourage working parents to join the network.

Provide Flexibility

Offer employees a flexible schedule and options for how they work. Examples include working remotely, hybrid, flextime, part-time, or having a compressed workweek.

You may want to make accommodations for when working parents’ children start school or change their childcare routines. This reduces the stress of fitting in work around childcare. It also increases productivity and retention.

Looking for Additional Advice?

Working parents appreciate help supporting their personal and professional needs. Talking about and accommodating working parents’ needs, creating a working parents’ network, and providing flexibility are effective methods to provide this support. This increases employee engagement, productivity, and performance. It also increases employee attraction and retention.

For additional advice to better support your team’s working parents, reach out to the professionals at Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Contact us today.

 

Are You Offering Enough PTO to Your Finance Employees?

As the manager of a finance team, how much paid time off (PTO), you offer your employees matters. Providing a fair amount of PTO with opportunities for more helps you attract and retain the best talent. It shows you prioritize work-life balance and want your employees to have as much flexibility as possible.

Determination of how much PTO to offer can be difficult. The following suggestions can help.

Use these tips to determine whether you are offering enough PTO to your finance employees.

Defining PTO  

PTO consists of a block of time that employees can draw from throughout the year. Rather than creating categories and assigning a number of days for each, such as 7 paid holidays, 6 vacation days, 5 personal days, and 4 sick days, all of the days can be used however the employee sees fit.

For instance, most companies offer 30 days of PTO that each employee can divide up as needed. So, one of your employees might decide to take 12 days of paid sick leave, 12 days of paid personal leave, and 6 days of paid vacation. Another employee could decide on 5 days of paid sick leave, 12 days of paid personal leave, and 13 days of paid vacation.

Determining the Amount of PTO

Certain variables should be considered to decide which amount of PTO is right for your employees. For instance, you may want to offer different amounts of PTO to different types of employees. You also need to determine whether your employees should be required to use all of their PTO each year, be able to roll it over to the next year or get paid extra for the unused days.

You may want to start your new hires with less PTO and award more PTO based on the number of years your employees remain with your company. You also might want to let your employees roll over their unused days as a reward for good attendance.

Deciding How Much PTO Is Right for Your Employees

The amount of PTO you provide your finance employees depends on your business needs. It may be best to start each new hire with 30 days of PTO and provide opportunities to increase over time. This might be linked to job performance, years of loyalty, or other criteria.

Ensure your standards for awarding PTO are fair, clear, and included in the employee handbook. This helps your employees understand how much PTO they start out with and how they can earn more.

You can change your program over time to remain aligned with changing employee needs. This helps your finance team attract and retain top talent.

Want Help with Hiring?

The amount of PTO you provide your finance employees impacts how long they remain with your organization. Starting your new hires off with a fair amount of PTO and opportunities to increase helps attract and retain the best talent. This can help lower your recruitment costs.

When the time comes to hire additional employees, turn to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources for help. Find out more today.

What College Graduates Are Looking for in Their Job Search

It’s the time of year again for college graduations! This means more accounting and finance candidates are entering the workforce.

You want to take advantage of the knowledge, skills, and ideas this new group of talent has to offer. One of the best ways to attract these job seekers is through your benefits and perks. The more your benefits and perks fill these graduates’ needs, the more likely the graduates are to want to work for you.

Offering any of the following can encourage new college graduates to apply for your jobs.

Diversity and Inclusion

New college graduates prioritize joining a company that celebrates and values the differences among its employees. These companies tend to excel at innovation and problem-solving, making them highly attractive to job seekers.

Make sure your company has employees of different cultures, ethnicities, genders, ages, and backgrounds at all levels. Showcase your employee resource groups (ERGs), cultural holiday celebrations, and other commitments to diversity and inclusion as well.

Work-Life Balance

The ability to control their time is important for recent college graduates. This is especially important for stress relief as these graduates transition from an academic setting into a professional setting.

Ensure you emphasize whether your company offers remote or hybrid work, a flexible schedule, generous paid time off, and mental health services. These benefits and perks help make your organization attractive to job seekers.

Tailored Benefits Package

Recent college graduates seek benefits that fit their current career and personal interests. These benefits may include student loan repayment, paid family or personal leave, or financial planning education.

Consider offering one or more of these benefits. The more you cater to recent graduates’ needs, the more inclined they will be to apply for your jobs.

Professional Development Opportunities

Recent college graduates want to work for an employer that provides opportunities for professional development. Because their first job serves as a stepping stone for their career, these graduates want to know what the future within an organization may hold for them.

Consider offering opportunities for mentorship, skill-building, and leadership development. The more opportunities for professional development new graduates see, the more likely they are to want to work for you.

Attractive Company Culture

New college graduates seek a company culture that blends with their personality and interests. The more these graduates feel that the culture is a good fit, the more likely they are to remain long-term.

Be sure your culture actively supports learning and growth. This should include ongoing employee recognition for their contributions and results.

Need Help Adding to Your Accounting and Finance Team?

New college graduates typically look for diversity and inclusion, work-life balance, tailored benefits, professional development opportunities, and attractive company culture when deciding where they want to work. Offering these increases the number of new graduates who apply to work for your company.

If you need help adding members to your Chicagoland accounting and finance team, turn to the experts at Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Learn more today.

How Setting Short and Long-Term Goals Can Improve Employee Experience

Employee experience involves how and why things get done at work. This includes every touchpoint your employees have throughout their time working for your company.

A positive work environment, meaningful work, and supportive management contribute to a great employee experience. Trust in leadership and growth opportunities are important as well.

One way to elevate employee experience is through collaborative goal-setting. This provides your employees a say in what they work toward and the targets they aim for.

Collaborative goal setting encompasses the aspects mentioned above that contribute to an attractive employee experience. These are reasons why you should begin setting goals with your employees today.

Discover how collaborative goal-setting helps improve the employee experience.

Goal Setting Impacts Career Success

Helping your employees understand what they are working toward and why it matters impacts job satisfaction.

  • Having clear reasons to reach their goals gives your employees motivation, especially during difficult times.
  • Establishing the steps needed to reach their goals maps out which actions employees should take and when.
  • Setting milestones lets your employees know how successful they are in making progress toward their goals.
  • Celebrating your employees’ successes provides encouragement to continue moving forward.

Achievement of Short- and Long-Term Goals Improves Retention

Employees usually need to achieve a series of short-term goals in order to reach their long-term goals.

  • Short-term goals typically take 6 months to 3 years to attain.
  • Long-term goals typically take 3 to 5 years to achieve.
  • The more short-term goals your employees reach, the more encouraged they are to build on their successes.
  • The more long-term goals your employees reach, the more likely they are to remain with your organization.

Creation of SMART Goals Impacts Accomplishments

Work with your employees to develop specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound (SMART) goals.

  • Clarify exactly what each employee is working toward, so they know when they successfully reach it.
  • Include numbers or other hard data to measure success.
  • Make sure each goal can be obtained through the steps created and within the given timeframe.
  • Tie each goal to your company goals.
  • Ensure each goal can be achieved in the established time period.
  • Schedule regular check-ins with your employees to determine their progress. Talk about where they are at and where they should be.
  • Give praise when appropriate. Provide guidance to get back on track when necessary.

Looking for Accounting and Finance Talent?

Helping your employees set and attain short- and long-term goals enhances employee experience. When your employees understand the reasoning behind the targets they are working to reach, your employees are more likely to continue making progress toward their objectives. This helps increase engagement and retention rates.

If you are looking for accounting and finance talent, talk with Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Reach out to find out more today.

What Alternate Benefits Can Employers Offer to Combat the Year-End Bonus Request

Many candidates look for employers who provide bonuses at the end of the year. Receiving additional income during the holiday season can be a great reward for employee contributions and results during the year. However, your company may not have the budget right now to provide an end-of-year bonus. As a result, you should add other enticements to encourage candidates to accept your job offers.

Choose among these benefits and perks to increase the acceptance rates of your job offers.

Paid Sick Days

Almost all candidates want paid time off to rest and recuperate when they are ill. The ability to maintain their income encourages them to stay home and avoid spreading germs in the office. This shows you care about the health of your employees. You want them to come to work rested and ready to produce. It also reduces the number of absences due to contamination among sick coworkers.

Flexible Spending Account

Many candidates appreciate the ability to put aside pre-tax money to pay for the year’s out-of-pocket healthcare costs. These may include over-the-counter medications, co-pays for doctor visits, medical devices such as crutches or blood sugar tests, or vision needs like glasses or contacts. Consider contributing $500 to each employee’s flexible spending account (FSA) to make it even more attractive.

Tuition Reimbursement

Recent college graduates are among the candidates looking for help to pay off their student loans. Many candidates finish school in debt and want to begin making loan payments. This can help them put away money to purchase a home, save for retirement, or reach other financial goals.

Employee Development Plans

A significant number of candidates want to work for employers who provide customized education and training opportunities. This offers employees additional ways to more effectively perform their work. The skills and experience gained through employee development plans promote professional growth. This helps the employee achieve their career goals and advance both inside and outside the organization.

Performance Bonuses

The majority of candidates appreciate bonuses based on their performance. This provides motivation to stay engaged and productive. Tying the reward to employee results provides a sense of ownership and control. It also helps reach individual and business goals.

Need Accounting & Finance Employees?

If your budget does not allow for year-end bonuses, consider including other benefits and perks with your job offers. Paid sick days, an FSA, and tuition reimbursement are in high demand. Employee development plans and performance bonuses can entice candidates to accept your job offers as well.

Casey Accounting & Finance Resources can provide you with qualified professionals when you need them. Find out more today.

How to Build Better Relationships Among Your Staff

Encouraging positive relationships among your staff is important. The more comfortable they feel working together, the more confidently they will brainstorm, develop new ideas, and voice their opinions. Open communication develops trust, respect, self-awareness, and inclusion. Developing this foundation helps your staff members more effectively create, innovate, and embrace change. It also promotes employee engagement, productivity, and retention.

Implement these tips to encourage connectivity among your team.

Train on Emotional Intelligence

Talk with your staff about the ability to recognize their own emotions to better understand what they are communicating. The development of this skill helps your staff members become more adept at identifying the emotions of their coworkers. This lets your staff more effectively fill their own needs and the needs of others.

Encourage Mindful Listening

Teach your staff to listen more than they talk. This helps them focus on what is being said and how they can effectively contribute to the conversation. Also, encourage your staff to ask follow-up questions about an issue. They can uncover more information and be better prepared to overcome an obstacle. Plus, remind your staff to show empathy when helping others. Working in a supportive environment helps with problem-solving.

Promote Boundaries

Remind your staff not to let relationship-building interfere with productivity. Although they need to provide enough time to talk with coworkers, they also need to finish their work on time. This means that social interactions should take place during break times.

Ask Questions

Ask your staff members questions about their personal life. Show that you want to learn more about who they are. Share information about your own life as well. Also, find common ground that you can build on. These topics may become the subjects of future conversations. Set an example for your staff members to follow with each other.

Express Appreciation

Let your staff know how much you appreciate their efforts and results. For instance, point out one specific action each staff member took each day to contribute to the organization. Mention what the results were and how the action benefitted the company. This encourages your staff to interact in the same manner with their teammates. Such actions promote a supportive team culture.

Looking for Accounting & Finance Staff?

The stronger the relationships among your staff members, the more collaborative your team is. This increases engagement, productivity, and retention. It also improves job satisfaction, employee morale, and your bottom line.

Casey Accounting & Finance Resources can provide the collaborative professionals you need to fill your team’s needs. Learn more today.

What Candidates Are Looking for When Job Hunting in the New Year

Job seekers are expecting a lot from employers in the coming year. You need to begin preparations now, so you offer what candidates are looking for. If not, they will turn to your competition for jobs instead.

Make sure you offer these key things for job seekers in 2022.

Diversity and Inclusion

Job seekers want to work for companies that prioritize hiring and honoring people with different backgrounds and abilities. It is important that candidates see themselves represented within an organization before they decide to apply. They also want to know that their unique talents and strengths will be celebrated and rewarded. If this is not the case, applicants will look elsewhere to find a workplace that values feeling like an important part of the team.

Transparency

Candidates want to see that management and leadership make business decisions in line with the company mission. Applicants want to understand why a company is hiring for a new role, expanding to a new location, or acquiring another business. Because job seekers desire to work for an organization whose vision and values are similar to theirs, candidates want to understand the direction the company is going in. Transparency builds trust, which contributes to high performance. If applicants feel they are not being given enough information about an organization, they will look elsewhere for employment.

A Top Candidate Experience

Job seekers expect ongoing communication throughout the recruitment process. They need to know that their application was received, where they are at in the process, and what the next steps are. Applicants also appreciate guidelines as to what to expect and when they should hear from you by. Otherwise, your star applicants are likely to apply with companies that provide a better candidate experience.

Opportunities for Advancement

Applicants want the ability to move up within an organization. Because career growth is so important, candidates need to work with managers who support their upward mobility. This includes offering training, coaching, mentoring, stretch assignments, cross-training, and other ways to add to skill sets. If you do not clarify career paths within your organization, job seekers will apply with other companies.

Begin Planning Your Accounting and Finance Staffing Needs

Job seekers place a high value on issues like transparency and diversity, and inclusion. They also want a top candidate experience and opportunities for advancement. Providing what applicants desire can mean the difference between hiring the best talent or settling for less.

When planning for your upcoming accounting and finance staffing needs, be sure to include Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We have vetted professionals ready to help your business move forward in 2022.

Handling Year-End Closes for a Busy Market

The end of the year is a busy time for your accounting team. This is why it is important you have a year-end closing checklist to organize how the year gets wrapped up. Then, the books should be updated, accurate, and ready to transition to a new year.

Encourage your accounting team to follow these guidelines to handle year-end closes.

Get the Financial Statements

Gather the income statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet. This shows where the business is at financially and provides the information needed for tax filing. The income statement summarizes the money gained and lost during the year. It lists the revenue, tax expenses, operating expenses, cost of goods sold, depreciation, EBIT/EBITDA, and other financial costs and gains. The cash flow statement lists the company’s incoming and outgoing cash. This includes the timing in which the money came in or went out. The balance sheet lists the organization’s assets, liabilities, and equities and tracks its financial progress. The assets should be equal to the liabilities and equity.

Collect on Overdue Invoices

Contact customers who are late in paying company invoices. Be professional, understanding, and patient. If a customer cannot cover their debt, set up a payment plan with due dates. This shows you care about their business and understand their situation. Document each conversation and what the results were so you can refer to them as needed.

Gather Employee Information

Get together the Form W-4 you have on file for each employee. Use the information to complete each staff member’s Form W-2. They will need this information for tax filing.

Verify Payroll

Ensure your payroll records are accurate and current in your books. This includes raises, year-end bonuses, withheld tax amounts, and benefits.

Account for Inventory

Verify accurate counts of the materials and supplies on hand. This shows how much was spent on inventory during the year and its value. Make sure the inventory totals match the balance sheet. If you find discrepancies, make the proper adjustments.

Organize the Business Receipts

There are many ways you can organize receipts. For instance, you can sort them by the type of expense or in chronological order. You also can use folders and labels to keep the receipts separated or store them digitally on a mobile device.

Reconcile the Bank Accounts

Bank account reconciliation verifies that your accounting records match your bank accounts. The process involves comparing your bank statements to your accounting records. Your statements should match the balance stated in your books. If they do not, you need to uncover the discrepancy. This may involve adjusting a record for the balance to be equal.

Need Help with Your Year-End Close?

Handling year-end accounting procedures is a challenging process. Each step needs to be completed on time to transition into the new year. Having a checklist on hand can ensure everything gets done and the records are accurate and organized.

If you need help with your year-end close, get in touch with Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We can provide temporary accounting professionals to help you close out the books and get ready for 2022.

Tips for Creating a More Inclusive Work Environment

Inclusion focuses on embracing and celebrating the differences and similarities between people. In the workforce, acknowledging these differences helps staff feel accepted and valued for who they are. This helps increase innovation, improve decision-making, and elevate revenue.

Implement these tips to promote inclusion in your work environment.

Connect with Employees at All Levels

Form personal relationships with staff throughout the organization. Getting to know who they are and what matters to them encourages them to open up. Your coworkers should feel they can talk with you and not be judged. Forming authentic relationships is one way to lead by example.

Celebrate Coworkers’ Traditions

Ask staff throughout the company to share their traditions with everyone. Request that they provide some background on the tradition and why it is so special. Include small holiday celebrations at the appropriate time of year as well. You may want to create a shared calendar for everyone to add festivities too. You might wish the staff a good Hanukkah, Chinese New Year, Kwanzaa, or Cinco de Mayo.

Talk with Your Team

Ask your team members about their experiences with inclusion. Find out what they feel is working within your organization and specific changes they would like to see. Make this part of ongoing public or private conversations that can take place at any time. Request that every team has similar conversations as well. Regularly share your findings with leadership to improve inclusion throughout the organization.

Hold Bias Training

Train employees at all levels to gain awareness and understanding of unconscious biases and the effect they can have on decision-making. Everyone has preferences in favor of or against certain individuals, groups, or things. This can result in assumptions or judgments about others that we are unaware of making. As a result, we may not consider the experiences, perspectives, and ideas that differ from ours. This affects who we choose to work with, ask for advice, and are involved in making decisions. Being consciously aware of our own biases and patterns of thinking helps us overcome them.

Create an Inclusive Work Environment

Creating a more inclusive workplace is beneficial for everyone. Staff at all levels tend to be more engaged, productive, and collaborative. This results in greater innovation, retention, and revenue.

When you need to add top talent to your accounting and finance team, reach out to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Find out more today.