Part 2 - How do you make your employees better critical thinker

Part 2 - How do you make your employees better critical thinker?

Posted by  on 23 March, 2016  5 minute read

Last week we told you why critical thinking is important to a CPA organization. But how do you do it is the question? How do you make your employees better critical thinker?

Critical thinking training is important for employees of a CPA organization because they learn how to evaluate information and assumptions to arrive at quality judgments, reducing errors especially during high risk situations such as near the tax filing deadlines. Employees that make judgments based on assumptions can prove harmful to any organization let alone a CPA organization, where accuracy matters the most.

As a CPA and leader of your team you must demonstrate and instill critical thinking in all matters of work, and inspiring your employees to imbibe critical thinking in themselves. This will make them develop a habit to analyze, seek clarity, accuracy and relevance through data, their past knowledge and logic.

You can demonstrate critical thinking by pondering aloud the most efficient way to do the entries, evaluating the wrong entries made by clients in their books, monitoring your work progress toward the organizational goals, or approaching social issues in your community. Describe how you think and solve problems as this is the best way to instill similar thinking patterns in your employees.

Here are 7 things you can do:

  1. Organize group discussions and give tasks to your employees to come up with suggestions to make work process more efficient. Ensure this is not just a box-ticking activity but take the suggestions seriously and follow this by rewarding the employee
  2. Encourage your staff to reflect on their thinking and those of their colleagues
  3. Analyze past good choices and decisions and help them understand how you arrived at them. Tell them research and reason based practice is crucial and effective
  4. Have a strategy that encourages self-evaluation as this will enhance performance
  5. Encourage employees to start speaking up and ask more questions
  6. Provide them with good mentors. Who better to learn strategic and critical thinking from than an accomplished critical thinker himself?
  7. Give your employees opportunities to consider various opinions and analyzing them based on data.

When CPAs promote critical thinking, their employees are less likely to say;

  • "But that's the way we've always done it,"
  • "I didn't know we were allowed to do that," or
  • "I thought that was odd but didn't think it was my place to question." 

The ultimate goal is for your staff to deploy critical-thinking strategies in day to day work activities without prompting from you or other superiors. Reasoning at high levels is one of the most valuable skills a CPA can foster in their staff, one that will prepare them for success and drive growth for the organization.