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Do Employers Know How to Give Constructive Feedback?

Much is made of how employees are interested in so much more than just money; that people want to work for companies with policies and cultures aligning to their beliefs. Additionally, one of the top desires for most any employee is to feel valued and that they are important to the company.

How can employers make an employee feel valued? It may be as “easy” as giving feedback.

Employees don’t want to wait for their yearly review to hear how things are going. Make it a priority to give regular feedback and set up consistent meetings with your employees to discuss performance – this lets them know they are an important part of the team, and worth your time. And, this will make for fewer surprises at annual reviews or give an under- performing employee chances to right their path.

The only way for employees to feel they have clear goals and are working towards them is for their manager to have a clear vision. Be a role model, do good work, and openly express your plans and vision for the team.

No need to sit on information or concerns. Give your employees feedback in real time, during one-on-one conversations.

Don’t sandwich criticism. I’m sure you’ve heard that it softens the blow to say a couple positive things and tuck your criticism in the middle. Resist doing this. Be honest and up-front. Criticism shouldn’t be rude or delivered harshly – so no need to sugarcoat it. Talk to your employee in a kind but firm manner, and keep the message clear. If actions or work must change, say so. Explain how and what steps must be taken to improve work performance.

Always be open to talking to your team. Be sure if they fully understand what you are asking of them. Employees do want a manager. Employees do want clear goals.

Walk the walk, talk the talk, and lead as a team player.

Do Employers Know How to Give Constructive Feedback?

Interpersonal Indicators and Accounting Hires

Successful businesses understand the importance of making the right hiring decisions. Companies spend an average of $3,300 per hire just on recruiting the right person. Making the best hiring decision is crucial in establishing and keeping a company successful.

According to a study by Leadership IQ, a stunning 36% of new accounting hires will leave their position or be fired within the first 18 months. Even more surprising is that only 11% of them are unsuccessful because of poor technical skills. That means 25% leave their positions due to interpersonal reasons, many of which could have been detected during the interview process.

According to the study, there are four reasons new hires most often fail:

Listening: They lack the ability to accept feedback and implement it;

Emotional Intelligence: They are unable to manage emotions and understand other people’s emotions;

Motivation: Grit and determination were lacking to succeed in a role;

Temperament: Their attitude and personality did not fit the job and culture.

An unsuccessful accounting hire will take its toll on a company, the hiring manger, and the entire team.

Not only is the replacement cost high in monetary terms, but a failed hire will cause negative effects on the rest of the employees with added work-load, work disruption, and overall diminished work flow and quality. Your corporate culture is an important aspect of the job; failed hires take a toll on work culture and morale.

To lower the chances of costly turnovers, hiring managers need to focus on the non-skill related factors such as interpersonal and motivational drivers.

My colleague, Laurie Knafo, recently wrote a blog highlighting soft skills. (http://www.accountingnow.com/Blog/soft-skills-to-highlight-during-your-next-job-interview-14162) As a hiring manager, these are some of the less obvious traits you should key-in-on during your interviewing process – exactly the factors listed above. An employee with great emotional intelligence, attitude, and work ethic will likely make a better hire than someone technically superior – but lacking in areas needed to be a fit on your team.

As a candidate, be sure to highlight the ways you can shine as a new member of the company – in addition to the technical, educational, or project experience you bring to the job.

Interpersonal Indicators and Accounting Hires

Market Risk Analyst

One of the accounting roles we anticipate as a high demand hire throughout this year, and in the future, is Market Risk Analyst.

Market Risk Analysts provide a company or investors with information on market trends. In order to provide a comprehensive market assessment, Risk Analysts must have an overall grasp of the industry in which they are conducting research.

Information provided by analysts will be used by the company to make informed decisions about possible investments and proposed ventures.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 12% employment growth rate for Market Risk Analysts during the 2014-2024 decade, which is faster than average for this type of professional position.

Market Risk Analysts perform research to determine the probability of asset loss or reward from investments in their industry. The main areas of focus for a Market Risk Analyst would be:

  • Conduct statistical analysis

  • Develop risk management systems

  • Consult with securities traders

  • Report and present research results

Most companies require analysts to hold at least a bachelor's degree. Bachelor's degree programs in finance, business, accounting, and statistics may best prepare students for a career in risk analysis. Some companies may prefer to hire a candidate with a graduate degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a master's degree in finance. An MBA program with a financial focus would offer relevant courses in managing corporate investment portfolios and analyzing interest rate fluctuations.

Some employers may expect candidates to have professional certifications, such as the credential offered by the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute. The CFA designation demonstrates a professional dedication to employers, as it typically takes four years to complete the curriculum and pass three required exams. Additionally, CFAs must adhere to a code of professional ethics and standards. Financial Analysts, including Market Risk Analysts, are also subject to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) licensing regulations.

For finance organizations selling stocks or making decisions based on market conditions and fluctuations, a Market Risk Analyst is a “must have” member of the team.

Market Risk Analyst

Should You Accept a Counter Offer?

It’s a candidates’ market right now, especially in the finance and accounting world. As recruiters, we have access to career opportunities never posted to the public, and have relationships with top candidates who are not even active job seekers. In such a market, companies with opportunities are offering attractive packages; top salaries, benefits, incentives, exciting office culture, and/or flexibility. Conversely, companies with great employees want to keep them and are going to extended lengths to do so. Obviously, it’s much easier for a company (especially in the short-term) to keep the employees they have and avoid work disruption.

Enter the counter offer.

When a company wants to do everything in their power to keep an employee from resigning a counter offer is extended, adding incentives which previously were not part of their total employment package. Most often this means increased pay, but may also include added benefits, flexible schedules, or a promotion. Of course, the new incentives sound great and frequently have the intended outcome… the employee stays at their current job.

So, why not accept a counter offer? By accepting a counter offer you can stay in a job you know, with people you know, and now you have added to your compensation package. Change is hard. Sounds like a big win.
Not so fast....

Let’s take a look at the consequences of a counter offer.

  • There were reasons you decided to look at the new job opportunity. Those reasons are still there. Underlying issues remain, and most often are not resolved. Counter offers generally only address the issue of salary, which is rarely the reason people leave their job. A raise does not alleviate the systemic issues which caused you to look for a new role in the first place.

  • Generally, if the company is making you a counter offer you have been paid slightly to well below your skill set value. There is a cost to the company to fill your position. Replacing an existing employee has a real price – both monetarily and timewise - to a corporation.

  • People talk at the office. We all know that by the time you have accepted an offer at a new company, and then decided to remain in your current position - your coworkers have heard about your leaving, and then “not leaving”. They have probably heard about your current company sweetening the deal as well. The whole workplace dynamic of your team has now shifted.

  • Not only had you mentally checked-out of your current role, and mentally moved-on to the new opportunity, even if only temporarily, but now your current company has become less trustful. You resigned once, and returned for incentives. The relationship between you and your employer is on less solid ground than it was previously.

  • You’ll likely be out the door soon. Studies from the Wall Street Journal show that 85% of employees who accept counter offers leave the company within 6 months anyway. And, 90% are gone within the year.

For employees, reasons for looking into other job opportunities are beyond just the paycheck, and a counter offer rarely leads to a long-term solution.

Should You Accept a Counter Offer?