The lion’s share of tax preparation work takes place during tax season, even though your business operates all year. Perceived as a grueling grind by many employees, burnout rates can be high. Managers can ease the stress of this three month period by listening and providing a mix of fun and support.
Try some of these fun tips to make work easier. After all, a good work-life balance is key to employee retention.
Listen And Be Flexible During Tax Season
Employees aren’t simply cogs in a wheel, they are human beings with needs. It can be difficult to focus on work if you have personal matters on your mind. First, workers of today need some flexibility in their scheduling and the ability to work from home or change their schedule when necessary. Then, they are able to focus on their daily tasks.
Many companies are incorporating lifestyle benefits to attract employees. These benefits include:
- flexible PTO
- childcare options
- and more
Being a compassionate leader makes staff want to work harder. Therefore, your company culture should emphasize self-care, teamwork, and the spirit of fun. This will ensure that employees are happy and satisfied. Happy employees don’t usually leave.
Tie In Rewards For Hard Work
Everyone loves a bonus system that rewards their performance and cash is king. However, there are other ways to incentivize staff. You could offer gift cards or other prizes for milestones and teamwork. Focus on making memories.
Try different types of incentives. Rewards can be individual, team-based, or be a joint effort to meet an office-wide goal. Think about offering a variety of rewards at different tiers so that goals are obtainable for all employees.
Never underestimate the morale-boosting power of food. Food-based rewards are popular for their affordability. Food is also associated with comfort, socialization, and fun by most people.
Food rewards can include catered lunches, happy hours, and ice cream socials. Other fun food-related events could be local favorites, soft pretzels, popcorn, and other goodies. Finally, you can offer to order take-out dinners for employees that often stay late during tax season.
Communicate Expectations Especially During Busy Season
Leaders are just as busy during tax season as their staff. However, that is no excuse not to continue good communication. Clearly define expectations with your staff. Also, remember that talk is a two-way street. You need to actively listen to the needs and opinions of your staff.
Show staff that their efforts are being noticed and appreciated. Be a supportive role model, instead of a dictator. Have faith that your staff is giving their best effort.
Offer Training All Year That Will Support Tax Season Efforts
People naturally seek to become more competent with their work responsibilities. Striving to gain more skills boosts morale in the office. Provide training that strengths tax prep skills as well as general skills like time-management and thoughtful problem-solving.
For example, some crunch time stress comes from dealing with difficult people. Tax season can be hectic and stressful for both staff and clients. Additional training on customer service can be helpful. Help foster positive employee-client relations.
Invest In Fun Activities To Reduce Stress During Busy Times
Tax season is around three and a half months long. That’s a long period of elevated workloads. To avoid staff burnout, try to have some fun activities planned.
During tax season you could:
- Host an office Olympics event
- Have a ping pong or air-hockey table for breaks
- Walking group for exercise at lunch or break times
- Catered breakfasts or lunches
- Ice cream socials or after-hours happy hours
- Earn PTO or other bonuses for overtime
Why not close out tax season with a bang? Host a party for everyone to look forward to. Additionally, some tax prep companies will offer an extra vacation day after tax season closes out.
Wrapping Things Up And Adding Incentives To Your Budget
Employees who have had a bad experience in previous years will be tempted to find other work. You could be in danger of losing your best people. Or worse, you could get a reputation for being a bad place to work. However, you can avoid all that using these tips.
All of these fun activities, bonuses, and training tips cost money. It’s essential to plan in advance and have an allocated budget to fund these benefits. Above all, employee job satisfaction is crucial if you want to retain top talent. Money you spend to help employees thrive during tax season will benefit your company in the long run.
You can have fun and reward staff without breaking the bank or distracting from work. Careful planning can help you find balance.