The most overlooked way leaders can relieve staff stress

Shutterstock_267283724Most organizations are effectively helping their staffs cope during a time that has put even the strongest among us on edge. Some stress-relieving strategies include:

  • moving to a four-day workweek,
  • giving stipends for wellness coaches or classes and
  • openly discussing mental health and better self-care with the staff.

Job security is one of people’s top worries. According to a National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation study, 54% of Americans fear that they’ll lose their job because of the pandemic. Articles, studies, podcasts or white papers are published almost daily about how employees must learn new skills to remain employable in a world where industries are going through digital transformation. The accounting and finance profession is no exception. From conducting audits and safeguarding clients’ data to improving customers’ experiences, technology is altering how we work.

Knowing job security is one of people’s top fears, how can organizations alleviate some of their staffs’ stress? Offer more training. Unfortunately, the learning and development budget often dips during uncertain times. Smart leaders, while making critical decisions to keep businesses running as smoothly as possible, understand that people are an incredible asset. Those employees drive culture and culture drives brand. Organizations that offer learning to their staffs not only boost goodwill but set up the organization to surpass competitors beyond the pandemic and for years to come.

Some organizations wrongly believe that trained employees will desert them for better-paying jobs. Science Daily cites the five-year study by two German university professors that says the opposite. They found that training increases not only productivity but loyalty to the company, even when an employee could leave for a high-paying role.

Investing in staff learning and development also can grow a business’s bottom line. An article says that companies investing at least $1,500 per employee annually earn 24% more profit than companies with lower training budgets. 

Josh Bersin, an influencer and global industry analyst, says in a LinkedIn article that the value of employees increases over time. At first, a new employee is a cost to the organization. With time, they begin to understand the internal workings and, with the right development, become more valuable to the organization. Retention is key to realizing that appreciating asset that comes from holding on to valuable staff members.

If you’re a partner or senior leader, how should you invest in your staff’s training? What does your staff need to take your organization to the next level? Maybe it’s that LMS system you’ve considered. Perhaps it’s getting a qualified trainer to educate your staff about the latest technologies. Could several members of your staff attend an upcoming conference that serves CPAs in a variety of roles and industries and at various career levels, such as ENGAGE 2021? Take advantage of group pricing and register your team.

Look for free or low-cost options to develop your staff, such as the AICPA’s Digital Mindset Pack that offers free CPE for AICPA® members around the hottest technologies changing the profession. Check out the Go Beyond Disruption podcast for insights on emerging technology, human intelligence and digital transformation.

Keeping your staff engaged with the learning they need for the future shows that you care about career development. They’ll probably be thankful and loyal to you through the pandemic, quite possibly as loud brand ambassadors who praise your organization while taking your business to the next level.

Association Staff